Posted by: bhalley | 09/29/2011

Understanding Wireless Networks, Pt 2

Sorry for the delay in getting  this Part 2 on Wireless Networking.  In today’s post I am covering Wireless Security, in particular Authentication (but will just refer to it as security), and will address Cipher types in my next post.  When it comes to security there are several options on the newest devices.  If you get an older unit may only find the first security introduced called WEP.  WEP comes in 128 and 256 bit encryption but is not secure.  It is better than no security, but be aware that if someone wants to crack they can with free tools that are available.  The FBI conducted a demonstration where they cracked the encryption in under 5 minutes.

WPAv1 was the next security to be implemented and was a great improvement over WEP.  The security is only as good as the passphrase used with it. You can use an 8 to 63 character passphrase, or you can enter a 64 character hexidecimal passphrase.  Simple passphrases can be cracked with simple offline dictionary attacks.  WPA supports use of a Radius server helping increase the security and prevention of the passphrase being hacked.

In 2004 the newest Authentication introduced was WPAv2.  The biggest advance with this was in the Cipher strength or encryption which will be covered in my next post.

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