Posted by: Arian Eigen Heald
Admins and Auditors, Adventures in Auditing, Compliance, Wireless
I’m still amazed that folks are going about their business believing that bad things won’t happen. Is it human nature? I thought I’d share with you some of my latest adventures in traveling about and auditing various companies. Just when I think it’s strange, it get stranger.
I was doing an audit and I routinely check for wireless connections. The manager had assured me that their policy was: no wireless. OK, but I check anyway. It’s the nature of my work: controls should be in place and they should be working. Essentially a very simple rule.
Behold, a Linksys wireless router popped up with an obvious default configuration. I followed my trusty wireless signal scanner downstairs through several departments until I came upon it sitting out in the open near a group of desks.
I headed back upstairs and asked the manager about it. His face flushed, and he said, “Where is it?” He followed me downstairs, I pointed out the router, and he reached over and yanked the network cable right out of the wall, looked around, and said, “Who plugged this in?” When no one responded, he took the casing off and stomped on it. A silence ensued.
He was peeved. Glad it wasn’t my router. Not because of the router, mind you, but the person who owned it was obviously going to have a discussion with this manager before long.
Back upstairs, his dignity somewhat restored, the manager asked about my wireless signal scanner, and I promptly demonstrated its virtues (electronics can be soothing). Canary makes a great one that scans for b/g and n networks, giving me the type of encryption AND the SSID so that I don’t have to even open my laptop. It has a visual meter so I can home in on the source of the signal and actually find the access point without my laptop (which is rather obvious).
I was ready to give it to him in hopes of escaping any further compliance corrections, but he seemed calmer at that point and thought getting one of his own was a smashingly good idea. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).