Wireless Security
what do the wifi switches on laptops really do? Jan 29 2008 02:51PM
Robin Wood (dninja gmail com) (2 replies)
RE: what do the wifi switches on laptops really do? Jan 29 2008 06:50PM
Debasis Mohanty (debasis mohanty listmails gmail com)
Re: what do the wifi switches on laptops really do? Jan 29 2008 04:04PM
Tiago Batista (tiagosbatista gmail com) (2 replies)
Re: what do the wifi switches on laptops really do? Jan 29 2008 04:50PM
nettrace112 (nettrace112 googlemail com) (1 replies)
Re: what do the wifi switches on laptops really do? Jan 29 2008 06:16PM
Brian Altenhofel (brian altenhofel com) (2 replies)
RE: what do the wifi switches on laptops really do? Feb 22 2008 12:50PM
Paul (carter-penley2 iinet net au)
Re: what do the wifi switches on laptops really do? Jan 30 2008 06:37PM
Jarrod Frates (jfrates ml gmail com)
Re: what do the wifi switches on laptops really do? Jan 29 2008 04:47PM
Robin Wood (dninja gmail com)
On 29/01/2008, Tiago Batista <tiagosbatista (at) gmail (dot) com [email concealed]> wrote:
> I think that it deppends on the way the switch is implemented. On my
> laptop, using early 2.6 kernels, the only way I could shut down the
> wireless device was using the hardware kill switch, wich I belive may
> trigger some interrupt that somehow was caught by the card firmare.
> Only with recent firmwares was I able to control the kill switch using
> software.
>
> Maybe your switch tuns off the antenna ant tells the OS to turn of the
> card, but your driver does not understand it?
>

On mine the performance isn't affected so the whole thing seems to be
in software, the problem with this is that I could put a backdoor on
your machine and use software to enable the wireless card, you would
turn it off at the switch as the IT department tell you to do when you
connect to the corporate network but in reality the interface is
really up and running.

> I am talking about internal minipci cards of course, when using
> external ones, I just unplug it when I have to turn them off!

ye, same here
>
> My knollege of the wireless networking under linux is not as complete
> as I would like, so this answer should be taken only as an educated
> guess.

Anything you can do under linux you can probably reproduce in Windows
if you put in enough effort and are smart enough. You'd essentially be
downgrading the windows driver support
>
> Anyway, I find it more important to shutdown the network interface
> than to actually turn off the radio interface...
>
Is that what we should be telling users, turn the switch off and then
go to the interface in the control panel and disable it. I don't have
a windows box to test it on but can you do that if you are not an
administrator? Is that getting too complex for the ordinary user.

I'm just surprised that a switch that says "turn off wireless" doesn't
really do what it claims. I'd have expected the switch to physically
disable the card in some way, in the same was as unplugging an
external device.

Robin

> Tiago
>
> On Tue, 29 Jan 2008 14:51:32 +0000
> "Robin Wood" <dninja (at) gmail (dot) com [email concealed]> wrote:
>
> > I'm guessing that the switch just triggers software which linux
> > ignores, is this just Toshiba or do other brands act in the same way?
> >
> > Robin
>

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