Washington: Scientists have developed a way to gauge how badly a Wi-Fi network can be damaged by cyber attacks. This can ensure stronger security systems.
"This information can be used to help us design more effective security systems, because it tells us which attacks - and which circumstances - are most harmful to Wi-Fi systems," says study co-author Wenye Wang.
Wang is assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the North Carolina State University, the journal IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing reports.
Wi-Fi networks, which allow computer users to access the Internet via radio signals without a cable, are found everywhere from offices to coffee shops.
Wi-Fi networks are important channels for business communication. As a result, attacks that jam them, blocking user access, are not only inconvenient but have significant economic consequences.
Wang and her team examined two Wi-Fi attack models, according to a Carolina statement.
One model represented persistent attacks, where the attack continued non-stop until it could be identified and disabled.
The second model represented an intermittent attack, which blocked access on a periodic basis, making it harder to identify and stop.
"If we want to design effective countermeasures," Wang says, "we have to target the attacks that can cause the most disruption. It`s impossible to prevent every conceivable attack."
So, one suggestion the researchers have is to focus on continuous attacks that target networks with large numbers of users - because that scenario has the largest order gain.
Beyond that, network security professionals can use the new approach to assess a complicated range of potential impacts that vary according to type of attack and number of users.