Exploration on SA Query Mechanism in IEEE 802.11w

Exploration on SA Query Mechanism in IEEE 802.11w

Yong Lu (Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China), Jingjing Liu (Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China), Lu Ning (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden) and Yi Huang (Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China)
DOI: 10.4018/ijitn.2015010102


Wireless communication has become increasingly popular due to development of internetworking. In this paper, the hidden security problems of IEEE802.11i in wireless LAN are presented. To solve them, the implementation of SA Query Mechanism of wireless devices is well-designed, based on Security Association (SA) Query mechanism proposed according to the IEEE 802.11w protocol. As to the reality, the implementation mentioned above is especially significant while plenty of wireless devices are lack of SA query mechanism, which is necessary in 802.11w protocol. In the last part, certain security risks of SA query mechanism are also discussed in this essay as supplementary.
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With the popularity of the internet in recent years, many multifunctional data and multimedia terminal have been designed and widely used, which lead to the rapid development of wireless communication and internet technology. While the development of wireless local area network (WLAN), security problems become increasingly exposed(Xiao,2013) .Therefore, an amendment has been made by IEEE in 2004 to enhance the data security and user authentication mechanism, which known as IEEE802.11i.It can protect data frame, while the management frame is still left unencrypted when transmission. The attacker can easily intercept analysis or counterfeit messages on wireless equipment. Which leads to the consequence that communication cannot be performed normally in the network. To address this issue, IEEE launched the IEEE 802.11w protocol in 2009, which protected the use of a few management frames including (de-)authentication, Disassociation and Robust Action Frames, Robust Action Frames are shown in Table 1.

Table 1.
The management frame 802.11w protected
NumberTypeWhether is Robust Action Frame
1Spectrum managementYes
4Block AckYes
6Radio measurementYes
7Fast BSS TransitionYes
8SA QueryYes
9Protected Dual of Public ActionYes
11Vendor-specific ProtectedYes

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