[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ISN] DISA's Wi-Fi Flying Squirrel


By Allan Holmes 
May 15, 2007

The following item was posted by Bob Brewin.

The Defense Information Systems Agency has started to deploy throughout 
the Defense Department a Wi-Fi network monitoring tool dubbed Flying 
Squirrel, according to an internal agency briefing obtained by Tech 

The name Flying Squirrel, Im told, has nothing to do with DISA whose 
headquarters on Courthouse Road in Arlington, Va., is pretty much in a 
squirrel-free zone or with the actual device itself, but rather its just 
a moniker that caught the fancy of an unnamed developer at the Naval 
Research Lab, which created the monitoring tool. DISA, on the other 
hand, calls the system a Wireless Discovery Tool.

The Flying Squirrel provides the most basic defense of any Wi-Fi network 
against intruders who may monitor radio activity around a DOD facility 
or base, Im told by an industry source well versed in its development.

Flying Squirrels software, the development of which was overseen by the 
U.S. Strategic Commands Enterprisewide Information Assurance and 
Computer Network Defense Solutions Steering Group, sniffs for users on a 
Wi-Fi network and, once it finds one, captures the users unique 
identifying address and geolocation. Network personnel then check the 
address to determine if the user is an authorized or unauthorized user 
on the wireless network.

My source told me security personnel load Flying Squirrel on a notebook 
computer equipped with a Wi-Fi card or chip and then drive around the 
perimeter of a DOD base to locate Wi-Fi networks and users. The 
software, this source said, owes a lot to open source Wi-Fi sniffing 
tools such as NetStumbler or Kismet, but has a somewhat snazzier 
interface and the all important U.S. Strategic Command steering groups 
stamp of approval.

The Marines were the first organization to use Flying Squirrel two years 
ago, Im told, and the software caught the attention of a contractor from 
Smartronix, who backed its DOD-wide. (Smartronix had not returned a call 
by deadline.)

DISA, the Strategic Command steering group and Smartronix now are 
working on the Wireless Mapping System, which security personnel, using 
Flying Squirrel, will use to pinpoint on a digital map the locations of 
Wi-Fi users. The mapping application, Im told, continues the 
furry-critter marmot naming scheme, operating under the codename of 

Attend Black Hat USA, July 28-August 2 in Las Vegas, 
the world's premier technical event for ICT security 
experts. Featuring 30 hands-on training courses and 
90 Briefings presentations with lots of new content 
and new tools. Network with 4,000 delegates from 
70 nations.   Visit product displays by 30 top
sponsors in a relaxed setting. Rates increase on 
June 1 so register today. http://www.blackhat.com