Wireless security: Harder than you think

Monday, 4 August 2003, 12:16 AM EST

Once more I sat at the control console and went through the D-Link wireless access point’s forms to enable WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) encryption. I knew it wasn't exactly the best encryption on the planet, but it was better than nothing at all, and the network I was working with didn't handle much sensitive information anyway.

I entered the key in hex and clicked the submit button. Next, I went to a laptop computer that already had 802.11g built in. Until I'd enabled encryption on the access point, everything had been (in technical terms) hunky-dory. Now, of course, the access point couldn't be reached.

So I went through the configuration for the 802.11g hardware (designed for the laptop by Hewlett-Packard), entered the same hex key as I'd entered into the access point, and confirmed that the rest of the settings were correct.

Again I submitted the changes. And again the laptop wouldn't communicate with the access point.

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