Exposing the Wired Equivalent Privacy Protocol Weaknesses in Wireless Networks

Exposing the Wired Equivalent Privacy Protocol Weaknesses in Wireless Networks

Kevin Curran (University of Ulster at Magee, UK) and Elaine Smyth (University of Ulster at Magee, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/jbdcn.2005070104
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This article highlights a number of security issues within wireless networks. Signal leakage for instance, means that network communications can be picked up outside the physical boundaries of the building in which they are being operated, meaning that a hacker can operate from the street outside or discretely from blocks away. In addition to signal leakage, the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol is inherently weak. There are also various other attacks that can be initiated against WLANs, all with detrimental effects. During our investigation, a war-driving expedition was conducted to ascertain the number of unprotected WLAN devices in use locally. We concluded that there was an apparent and serious lack of security on WLAN devices. Even those users that have implemented WEP do not seem to realize just how weak this protocol is or how their networks could be affected.

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