O Defending Against Attackers Using Linux Native Chipsets and Drivers

Linux-native-supported wireless chipsets and drivers are absolutely necessary for attackers to have on hand before they can conduct any sort of attack. However, because chipsets and drivers are tied to physical hardware, the only way to stop attackers from physically using their equipment is to deny them access to that equipment in the first place. This entails

• Drying up the supply of Linux-native-supported wireless chipsets

• Stopping the development of the Linux-native wireless drivers that enable the use of the hardware in Linux

• Running RF- or protocol-based denial-of-service (DoS) attacks against the attacker's hardware

The first two are simply not practical, given the profit motive of hardware manufacturers who want to ensure their product is adopted under as many platforms as possible, as well as the distributed nature of open-source software development.

The third action, although technically possible, is practically impossible because you first have to identify the attacker. If all the attacker is doing is passively sniffing the air, you would have no warning or indication this was happening as it's not generating any traffic. Even if you manage to identify the hacker in mid-attack, launching an RF-based DoS attack against the attacker would kill any other legitimate transmissions using the same frequency band as the attacker.

Therefore, only a protocol-based DoS attack is a plausible defense. Be aware, however, of legal issues in your country because incorrect targeting of what appears to be an attacker in conjunction with the type of protocol-based DoS attack used (e.g., 802.11 management frame deauthentication/disassociation or 802.11 control-frame CTS/RTS attacks) may cause what is called collateral damage (i.e., the harming of innocent bystanders). This may give rise to legal liability and criminal prosecution under certain jurisdictions since DoS-type attack activities are considered illegal in some countries.

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