Microsoft bolsters Wi-Fi security in XP

Tuesday, 1 April 2003, 10:45 AM EST

Microsoft Corp will offer users of its Windows XP operating system free upgrades to beef up wireless LAN security, a move analysts said today will go a long way toward alleviating security concerns that make some enterprises reluctant to embrace Wi-Fi.

In a related Wi-Fi development, Hewlett-Packard Co. introduced a new line of notebook computers that support both 802.11b and 802.11g Wi-Fi standards. This is the latest in a string of announcements of products that don't adhere to Intel Corp.'s new Centrino WLAN architecture, which is built around the 802.11b standard only.

Microsoft is offering a download of the new industry standard Wi-Fi Protected Access Security (WPA) software as a replacement for older -- and more easily hacked -- Wired Equivalent Protocol (WEP) security software (see story). Using a built-in Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), which runs on Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service network servers, WPA can help enterprises determine the identity of users accessing corporate Wi-Fi networks.

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