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Configuring a WBP54G on a Mac

I saw another reader question on Ken Camp’s blog about the Linksys WBP54G Wireless Bridge and configuring it on a Mac. I’ve had one of these WBP54Gs around for a while. This gave me motivation to take a look at it.

The WBP54G is configured using a proprietary Layer 2 protocol. I confirmed this by hooking my WBP54G to a Windows-based PC, firing up Ethereal, and using the setup program. It looked like the configuration information was sent in the clear, however, so it might be possible to reverse engineer the protocol and write a MacOS program to configure the unit. I could probably reverse engineer the protocol, given enough time, but writing the program to do it is a bit out of my area of expertise.

Presumably, it is only possible to send this configuration information over the Ethernet, not via WiFi. Since the ethernet cable of the WBP54G is supposed to be plugged into a Linksys ATA or some other “known” device, it is unlikely this device would be compromised. That is, of course, unless they allow this information to be received and processed over WiFi as well.

Linksys should be able to write a Mac or Linux program to configure the device. Heck, if the protocol is so obviously “cleartext,” then they could even open source the thing.

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