Wi-Fi group certifies security

Signaling the next step in securing standard wireless LAN access points, the Wi-Fi Alliance on Tuesday unveiled its first certifications of products for compliance with the WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) specification.

The products, including components and systems from Atheros Communications, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Intel, Intersil and Symbol Technologies, can interoperate using the WPA specification, the nonprofit organization announced at the Networld+Interop (N+I) trade show here. The alliance also will demonstrate WPA in its booth on the N+I show floor.

WPA was developed by the alliance using a subset of the IEEE ( Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) 802.11i standard due next year. It improves upon the current standard, WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), with different systems for handling keys and for LAN access control. For encryption, WPA has TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol), which constructs keys in a different way than does WEP. For access control, WPA will use the IEEE 802.1x protocol, a recently completed standard for controlling entry to both wired and wireless LANs.

WEP has come under fire for being too easy for electronic eavesdroppers to crack. The danger that poses has held back enterprise adoption of wireless LANs, according to industry analysts.

News source: infoworld.com

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