802.11i and WPA2: addressing WLAN security weaknesses

Friday, 12 March 2004, 3:49 AM EST

802.11i (an implementation of the RC4 algorithm) was proven to be compromised in the widely distributed Fluhrer, Mantin and Shamir whitepaper. Its authors launched an attack against WEP—802.11i’s RC4 encryption method for data privacy—and demonstrated how hackers could easily recover 128-bit secret keys by constructing new distinguishers for RC4 and launching further key attacks. It was then concluded that weakness of the key scheduling algorithm of RC4 enabled hackers to recover encryption keys used in WEP. That, of course, dealt a blow to WEP, the link-layer security protocol for 802.11i, as it meant that the RC4 scheduling algorithm was only strong enough to protect against casual eavesdropping rather than commercial-grade hacking.

By Susana Schwartz at Billing World.

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