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Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technologies are a popular choice for emerging wireless systems due to their promised gains in throughput and reliability. In order to realize any gains over traditional non-MIMO communication systems, these systems must possess accurate knowledge of the wireless channel. In this paper, we investigate strategies for disrupting MIMO communications by developing attacks that target the often overlooked, but essential, channel estimation procedure. Our study focuses on the two most popular and well-known MIMO techniques: the capacity achieving SVD-based MIMO scheme, and the Alamouti space-time block code (STBC), which spans many protocols including 802.11n, WiMAX, and 3GPP. We augment theoretical and simulation results with real-world experimentation using the USRP/GNU Radio software defined radio platform. We also present novel methodology to protect the channel estimation procedure from such attacks by embedding authentication messages into physical layer features of the transmissions.