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IEEE-802.11b analysis software handshakes with Wi-Fi receiver

Posted: 11 Oct 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:berkeley varitronics systems? bvs? ieee-802.11b? wifi? beekeeper?

BVS' new IEEE-802.11b receiver/software package

Portable RF test equipment supplier Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS) is rolling out an IEEE-802.11b Wi-Fi hardware receiver/software package for Windows PCs. Dubbed BeeKeeper, BVS's passive network-independent product runs on any Windows 2000, Windows NT, or Windows XP platform.

In use, the BeeKeeper system graphically and textually scans, monitors, and logs all 2.4-GHz 802.11b Wi-Fi networks. The BeeKeeper system uses a dedicated receiver module (shown here) to monitor all 14 DSSS (direct sequence spread spectrum) network channels. Communicating over your PC's serial and Ethernet ports, it can even run on a 24-hr/day basis.

It reveals MAC and SSIDs, as well as channel utilization, SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) and RSSI (received signal strength indicator) signal levels of any access point or NIC (network interface card).

Hackers Beware

The BeeKeeper monitoring system can identify any unauthorized MAC, alerting you with an audible buzz. It also logs time-stamped files into your desktop or laptop PC.

Information such as RSSI, SNR, SSID, and channel utilization, once captured, can be used to identify neighboring 2.4GHz interference, WLAN (wireless local area network) interference.

In addition, APs (access points) can be traced from the local NICs they're connected to, permitting you to essentially view a network, transparently. What's more, unlike NIC-based analyzers, BeeKeeper's transparency means it operates without being seen or detected by anyone on or off the network.

Finally, BVS Yellowjacket users can use Berkeley's Pollenator receiver interface and the BeeKeeper software.

A combination package to do that is priced at about $500. For its part, the Yellowjacket receiver module works in conjunction with an iPAQ Windows CE-based PDA to sweep, analyze, and optimize 2.4GHz systems. The Yellowjacket also measures all DSSS 802.11b channels.

The BeeKeeper receiver hardware and software is priced at $2200 and $500, respectively.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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