Re: Style question: "war dial" vs. "wardial" vs. "war-dial"

Subject: Re: Style question: "war dial" vs. "wardial" vs. "war-dial"
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 09:02:52 -0800 (PST)

"Rachael Lininger" wrote ...
> I need to write a report on war dialing and I'm not sure what to call it.
> War dialing (however you spell it) is the ritual of calling all
> the phone numbers in an exchange to see which answer with a modem. It's good
> for either cracking into a network or for seeing if your network is properly
> defended -- random modems are usually much easier to get into than a
> company's firewall.

Actually, that's not true. Most company's firewalls are very easy to get
through. They're also easier to brute-force attack. Modems on the other hand
are harder to find and take much longer to brute-force attack. Firewalls are
therefore a considerably more important aspect of an organization's security as
they experience more security incidents then modem pools. Wardialing, while
interesting, rarely yields results.

10-15 years ago, wardialing was more useful because organizations didn't have
Internet connections or had very lightly used connections. Dialup was the only
way into a network. Today, dial-up modem banks are being rapidly decommissioned
in favor of VPN connectivity. And dial-up access is easier to secure. Just
unplug the modem and you're done.

That isn't to say wardialing isn't useful. As part of a comprhensive security
assessment, its a valuable test. But, wardialing in a vacuum rarely tells you
much about the security (or insecurity) of a network.

As for style, it doesn't matter which you use, just be consistent. But, you
might want to revise your report based on current trends.

Andrew Plato

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