IN THIS CHAPTER
This chapter covers palmtop hacking with a handheld computer. Mastering this chapter will enable you to do a weekly walk-around of your campus to audit your network's wireless security. The tools discussed in this chapter might be available on a variety of pocket computers and pocket operating systems. However, for this chapter we have chosen the war driving king of them all ” the Compaq iPAQ running Windows Pocket PC (based on Windows CE). See Chapter 1, "Wireless Hardware" for more on the iPAQ.
Although the options available to Pocket PC users are relatively limited compared to the typical desktop and laptop environment, the palmtop computing movement is picking up speed and has already engendered a surprising number of tools that you would only expect to find on a traditional PC. Everything from Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access to hacker tools are now available for download. As a bonus, many of the tools are still offered free to grow market share among this burgeoning industry.
Ironically, the palmtop computing environment is once again becoming the battleground for the Linux/Microsoft battle that has been raging for years . In other words, there is a Linux-based operating system available for select versions of pocket computers. The iPAQ is one of these devices, and it will support the use of an embedded version of Linux. However, more so than with the desktop world, the number of tools and programs for embedded Linux is limited, and support for these programs even more so. Although many security consultants are partial to Linux on the desktop, Windows CE is leading the embedded market among wireless security consultants . Windows CE is an optimized, robust, and fully multitasking operating system that is statistically the most frequently used among palmtop war drivers.
Finally, it is important to recognize the usefulness and importance that wireless networking has and will continue to have in the mobile computing movement. This is why the iPAQ and other palmtop computers support the use of WNICs. This is accomplished through several means, from enhancement sleeves to compact flash (CF) wireless network cards that enable you to quickly and easily get connected to any WLAN. Using such a setup, business users can send and receive email, stay connected to corporate calendars, and even perform offsite database lookups using a wireless phone connection. Now, however, we turn to security.