[ISN] Wi-Fi eyes better wireless LAN security

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu Oct 31 2002 - 02:15:52 PST

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] Security guide aims to lock up agencies"

    By Stephen Lawson
    IDG News Service, 10/30/02
    The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance, which certifies IEEE
    802.11 wireless LAN products with the Wi-Fi label, on Thursday will
    announce a new set of mechanisms to combat the security problem that
    has plagued wireless LANs.
    A WECA official did not provide details of the mechanisms but said
    they are intended to replace the current security system based on
    Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP).
    WEP, which is built in to products that use the IEEE 802.11b and
    802.11a standards, is easy for intruders to break into, according to
    many analysts and other observers. A task group within the working
    group that administers 802.11 in the IEEE is developing a new security
    specification that would require equipment to support several
    different strong algorithms for encrypting traffic. That work is not
    done yet, and products using it are not expected until the second half
    of next year.
    WECA has taken a "snapshot" of part of the security task group's work
    to get better security to the market sooner, said Al Petrick, vice
    chairman of the IEEE 802.11 working group, in a speech last month.
    Security concerns have hindered the acceptance of wireless LANs,
    especially in corporations, overshadowing the potential benefits of
    letting employees stay connected to a network while moving around a
    building or campus, according to some analysts.
    With WEP, the keys used to encrypt data passing over the network can
    be cracked just by examining a brief sample of packets, according to
    Peter Shipley, a security consultant in Berkeley, Calif.
    Some vendors, such as Cisco, sell corporate 802.11 systems equipped
    with other methods of security on top of WEP. However, most
    consumer-oriented wireless LAN equipment offers only WEP.
    ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org
    To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn'
    in the BODY of the mail.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Thu Oct 31 2002 - 08:43:01 PST