Secure authentication with the new IEEE 802.1x standard

Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 7:56 AM EST

The IEEE 802.11 standard used WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) to provide authentication and privacy for a wireless LAN (WLAN). However, WEP has well-known vulnerabilities: it is unsafe at any key length and many consider its RC4 algorithm to be very weak. To fix the vulnerabilities in WEP, IEEE has introduced a new standard called 802.11i. Another IEEE standard, 802.1x, plays a key role in this new IEEE 802.11i standard by providing authentication as well as a mechanism to distribute encryption key information that IEEE 802.11i uses to provide security to a WLAN.

At IBM developerWorks.

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