COMPTIA Security+ Tutorial: Module 06,Part 04 – WEP, WPA and WPA 2

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)

It is any type of encryption that secure wireless traffic. It relies on RC4 which is a victim to or easily prone to malicious attack. In some of the cases, keys are easily repeated and makes it easy for the malicious persons to hack it with reverse engineering.

WEP can be defined as the wireless network security standard. The Wired Equivalent Privacy is  a security algorithm for wireless networks that provides data confidentiality comparable to that of a traditional wired networks. WEP uses stream cipher RC4 for confidentiality.

As discussed in Module 1, there are two methods of authentication that can be used with WEP: Open System Authentication and Shared Key Authentication. In the Open system authentication, the WLAN need not provide its credentials to the Access Point. Any client can authenticate and then attempt to associate.

However, in the Shared Key Authentication, the WEP key is used for the authentication in the four step challenge response handshake.

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

WPA was the intended measure to replace the WEP encryption protocol. It used Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP).  TKIP employs a per packet key, which means that it dynamically generates a 128 bit key for each packet, and prevents the attack that are compromised with WEP.

Some of the security issues with WPA are weak passwords, WPA packet spoofing and decryption, WPA PIN recovery, and Lack of support of forward secrecy.

Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA 2)

WPA 2 provides stronger data protection that can be categorized as the government grade security by implementing the National Institute of Standards and Technology. There are two versions of WPA 2 :WPA 2 Personal, and WPA 2 Enterprise. WPA-2 personal protects unauthorized access by using passwords and WPA 2 verifies network users through a server.

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