Researchers Claim to Crack Wi-Fi Security

Thank you Darren

Proponents deny wireless networking spec is vulnerable to hijack, authentication attacks.

A University of Maryland professor and his graduate student have apparently uncovered serious weaknesses in the next-generation Wireless Fidelity security protocol known as 802.1x.

In a paper, "An Initial Security Analysis of the IEEE 802.1X Standard" funded by the National Institute of Standards, Professor William Arbaugh and his graduate assistant Arunesh Mishra outline two separate scenarios that nullify the benefits of the new standard and leave Wi-Fi networks wide open to attacks.

The use of public access "hot spots" are particularly vulnerable to session hijacking because these locations do not even deploy the rudimentary Wired Equivalent Privacy protocol.

"This problem exists whether you use WEP or not, but it is trivial to exploit if not using WEP," said Arbaugh.

Dubbed "session hijacking" and "man-in-the-middle," both attacks basically exploit inherent problems in Wi-Fi as well as exploiting how the new 802.1x standard is designed.

News source: Infoworld

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