Wireless Security
Desktop Apps Training - Wireless

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WEP - Wired Equivalent Privacy

This is a security protocol (or language) for wireless networks which adheres to the 802.11b standard.  The purpose of WEP is to provide you with the level of security commonly found on wired networks. Unfortunately, a security hole was found in WEP that allows a user to decipher WEP encryption keys within minutes, so WEP is not the best option. By default WEP uses a 40 bit key that will be formatted in hexadecimal notation, in other words numbers between 0-9 and alphabetic characters between A-F. So a typical key will be 10 characters long and look something like this:


On the wireless router you will need to set up WEP with the key. Select WEP as the security Mode and then enter your key. You can see here is an option to enter a phrase which then creates the keys. You will use the primary key, the first one.

Once you have set up the router or access point then you will go to each of your wireless devices and enter the WEP key that you are using on the router. Be sure that you choose the correct key length as the standard on the router was 64 bits so you will need to select the same on each machine with wireless. Note in the example below that the first key is selected for the one to enter the key information.

Linux wireless


WAP - Wireless Application Protocol

WAP is designed to provide secure access for handheld devices.

WPA - Wi-Fi Protected Access

WPA was created because of concern that WEP was not secure enough.  WPA is designed to work with all wireless cards, at least the newer ones. WPA has several Modes that can be used. The Personal Mode or Pre Shared Key (PSK) manually configures an encryption key on all devices on the network. The Enterprise Mode will use both authentication and encryption. EAP, or Extensible Authentication Protocol is used for authentication with LDAP and Active Directory. EAP may be combined with TLS (Transport Layer Security) and TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) as a procedure which regenerates encryption keys for added security.

SSID - Service Set Identifier