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Proactive Wireless Networks with OpenBSD

The OpenBSD project produces a free, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. Their efforts emphasize portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography.

But what about Wireless LAN support in OpenBSD? A few years ago WLAN support in Open Source operating systems was only an unimportant side-issue. Meanwhile, wireless networks are spread all over the world and the IEEE 802.11 protocol has become the leading approach. During the last years, consumer-grade WLAN products have become available mostly everywhere. OpenBSD is probably the operating system with the best out-of-the-box support for most of the current wireless network devices. And of course, it is free without any non-free code or binary driver blobs.

The WLAN support in OpenBSD provides everything to run host-based Access Points, clients and even proactive wireless monitoring nodes. OpenBSD does not support all of the latest industry standards and IEEE 802.11 subtypes, but it provides support for a powerful basic operation and some bleeding-edge wireless network and security concepts. Some of the advanced proactive wireless networking capabilities, such as roaming and WIDS, are provided by the OpenHostAPD, which first appeared in the OpenBSD 3.8 release. Latest works like the improved and easy IPsec support, authpf and even SSH-VPN are reliable and secure alternatives to existing wireless security standards like WEP and IEEE 802.11i/WPA2.

This talk will address the latest wireless capabilities in the latest release OpenBSD 3.9 with a brief introduction of the concepts and basics. Even for advanced setups, like large and secure distributed wireless networks- Most of the required software is already part of the OpenBSD base system. The talk will illustrate how the pieces belong together, including a live demonstration of selected scenarios.

speaker: Reyk Floeter

location: SITE H0104

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