School offers wireless security lessons

One man who could teach Auckland's wireless LAN operators a thing or two about security is Saint Kentigern College's director of IT, Walter Chieng.

One man who could teach Auckland’s wireless LAN operators a thing or two about security (see Wireless LANs found wide open) is Saint Kentigern College’s director of IT, Walter Chieng. He has 1100 students and teachers using laptops to connect to the school’s wireless LAN.

“If you don’t lock it up with a password then people will be able to get in. We have taken preliminary steps but will continue to improve our security.” Chieng uses the WEP standard despite concerns over security holes in it.

“You’ve got to make it a bit more difficult for them to get in.”

He says he doesn’t pick up many stray connections on the network. “It’s probably because of our location - we’re quite a way away from other wireless LANs.”

Unwanted users is only part of the security issue for Chieng. The fact that the vast majority of his 1100 users are students can pose its own problems.

“We have a lot of very energetic boys who are keen to explore their capabilities. We use our students to help find holes in our security and then we can patch them up.”

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