wireless driver flaws highlight 2005

I was putting up a list of things to “predict” for next year, for my own amusement. It looks like one is coming true sooner than intended as the Month of Kernel Bugs has released a second wireless driver flaw along with Metasploit exploit.
There are three reasons this is huge right now: 1) lack of patching channels, 2) lack of hardened drivers, 3) and growing emphasis on mobility and wireless.
While Windows and other OS and software apps have various levels of seasoned updating and notifications, the driver community has no such luxury. In fact, neither do the corps who use hardware drivers like Dell, Gateway, HP, and so on. Customers are really on their own to know there is an issue, know how to find the right driver (still easier said than done on most of those sites), and install it properly (still sometimes a very arcane and archaic process).
This is a huge mess that isn’t waiting to happen anymore; it’s happening now. I now predict that 95% of all affected systems will not be patched until they are either rebuilt or retired to a garbage heap.
Second, drivers have long been relatively untouched in the media, and as such all their vulnerabilities and code issues have remained in the underground, if anywhere. But combine wireless proliferation, fuzzing, and virtualization, and it was just a matter of time before hardware drivers got the evil eye. Sadly, driverland is not ready for such attention, and I expect a lot of vulnerabilities to be exposed in the next few years in various hardware devices. The code is soft and not hardened over years of exploits and poking.
This is also important because of the growing prevalence of widespread wireless capabilities and laptops roaming around all over. And how default settings leave wireless network cards turned on. All it takes is a running laptop with an active wireless network card to be exploited. It doesn’t even need to be associated with a network, and it can be rooted. It can then, possibly, spread.
I also predict there will be some wormable exploits popping up, but thankfully should only be problems in larger hotspots like airports or college campuses or muni-wifi implementations. However, this could still slowly spread from laptop to laptop in an apartment complex or metro area.