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As individuals and enterprises increasingly depend on 802.11 wireless LANs for mission-critical applications, in particular time-sensitive applications such as voice and video, the need to detect malicious attacks and protect legitimate users becomes even more important. Detecting 802.11 attacks, however, requires measurement at the Media Access Control (MAC) layer, which in turn requires radios that can hear the management and control frames that govern the MAC protocol. Deploying measurement software within 802.11 Access Points (APs) is difficult because most such devices are closed "Black boxes," are typically locked to a specific channel (whereas attacks may be found on other channels), and have processors that are too limited to capture or analyze all traffic while simultaneously performing their primary function.
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