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2004-12-21

WiFi security: WEP no longer very secure (updated)

WEP is the simple security method of closing your wireless network to outsiders, advocated by the well-meaning popular press. That was then, but this is now, and WEP is no longer enough.

Robert Bruce Thompson, author of O'Reilly's PC Hardware In a Nutshell, revealed this morning cracks for WEP security of WiFi wireless networks are, if not trivial, easy enough for crackers with rudimentary skills (i.e., anyone who has studied cracking for over an hour- Ed. note). After explaining some (not all) of the most dire implications of poor network security, he refers to a Security Focus article which documents the process and tools involved.

Thompson advocates moving from WEP to WPA as a security solution, which may require updating the 'firmware' in your WiFi cards and routers, or replacing them. Therefore, if you are planning to buy wireless gear, make sure it offers WPA.

BTW, There's another WPA: Windows XP Product Activation. We're talking about Wi-Fi Protected Access here.

More links on the subject:
Hackers explain how to keep your WiFi secure
Daily Wireless
Broadcom, a chip maker, explains WPA
Tech-FAQ.Com
Security Forums FAQ on WPA
About.Com explains how to configure XP for WiFi WPA
Microsoft on WPA and XP
WiFi Planet Tutorials
WPA Security Enhancements
Tom's Networking on WPA
Unless your organization has multiple dedicated servers, the WPA PSK (Pre-Shared Key) Mode is the way to start.

And, here's the Slahdot discussion on this topic, set to screen any posting without at least two other positive reviews (as Slashdot respondees sometimes need a little filtering).

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