Earlier in the book, we explained the basics of Wi-Fi LAN technology and provided an intuitive notion of what security is all about. In this chapter, we jump into the details of the various known attacks against the security standards used in building wireless LANs, including IEEE 802.11. Some of the material may appear complex, and at least one of the attacks requires a reasonable background in cryptography for full understanding. We present the information as simply as possible; but if you're not interested in the details, skip to the next chapter, which discusses how attackers can use techniques such as described in this chapter to break into a poorly protected wireless network.
In Chapter 4, we classified attacks into four broad categories: snooping, modification, masquerading, and denial of service. In this chapter, we cover the material somewhat differently by classifying the various attacks by the security mechanism that it breaks. We also categorize the attacks so you'll understand what a successful attack provides to the bad guys.