Paper finds new wireless standard less secure

Monday, 10 November 2003, 2:48 PM EST

A new paper by a leading security expert says that the new Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security standard may be less secure, in certain scenarios, than WEP, the wireless standard it was designed to replace.

In the paper, "Weakness in Passphrase Choice in WPA Interface," Robert Moskowitz, a senior technical director at ICSA Labs, part of TruSecure Corp., describes a number of problems with the new WPA standard, including the ability of attackers to "sniff" critical information from wireless traffic and to discover the value of a wireless network's security key.

WPA is a new security standard based on work by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) on the 802.11i wireless security standard. WPA is intended to replace Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), the most common standard for securing data on wireless networks.

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