Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Wi-Fi technology dominates wireless local network access. It is pervasive in mobile devices such as smartphones and it is constantly improved to support novel applications such as multimedia or vehicular communications. The main focus on Wi-Fi development has been to increase data rates. At the same time, implementors moved functionality into the firmware of the Wi-Fi cards to help saving energy. In summary, Wi-Fi technology and platforms have evolved steadily, but never really been pushed outside their 'comfort zone'. In this talk, I will detail multiple ways to push Wi-Fi technology and platforms out of this comfort zone. First, I will present how Wi-Fi firmware modifications transform your smartphone into a versatile, programmable tool for networking and security research. Second, I will show how Wi-Fi can be used to inconspicuously exfiltrate data from networks with high data rates, without the ability to detect this exfiltration with off-the-shelf intrusion detection systems or regular Wi-Fi devices. Third, as an outlook, I will show that a radical shift away from the existing Wi-Fi medium access control principles is possible and promises to make Wi-Fi fit for low latency multihop communications, which is ill-supported as of today.