Hacked Wi-Fi security standard faces axe

Wednesday, 7 May 2003, 11:09 AM EST

Corporate fears about wireless local area network (Lan) security may be quelled by the Wi-Fi Alliance's decision to improve security and encryption interoperability for a number of 802.11 products.

The Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) standard is designed to replace the Wireless Equivalent Privacy (Wep) security protocol, which tests have shown is far too easy to hack.

WPA fixes Wep's cryptographic weaknesses through the use of Temporal Key Integrity Protocol.

This assigns different encryption keys for each packet of data transmitted, as well as carrying out integrity checks and authentication.

WPA will now be integrated as standard into many new wireless Lan products, and vendors said that they will add WPA upgrades to their 802.11 kit.

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