Most WiFi network encryption protocols, particularly the WEP (Wired Equivalent Policy) standard, are notoriously easy to crack. That's because WEP is inherently flawed by design; so much so that even with the improvements that WPA has brought about, wireless security in general remains nebulous at best. WEP runs under the format wherein it employs an ICV (integrity check value) to guarantee that the packets under its care aren't compromised while they're being sent from one computer to another.
More to the point, this protocol does little to mitigate unauthorized access to your information or correspondences; it only assures that the data you've delivered arrives at its intended destination in one piece, without any assurances that it has been intercepted and stolen by online outlaws or wardriving hackers in the meantime. What's more, this algorithm is pathetically easy to fool, such that crackers could get the data they want without it (or you) being the wiser.
Then came the WPA (WiFi Protected Access) standard
Which addressed and corrected that little ICV problem by using an algorithm named "Michael" that produced a unique integrity value every time it delivered data (which is based on the receiver's and sender's respective MAC addresses) for added security and assured encryption. Alas, Brute Force methods are all that's needed for Michael to succumb to the cyber criminals and virtual villains of the worldwide web.As another way to compensate for this one other deficiency, Michael was updated to automatically halt the network for a minute and reset all passwords whenever it detects more than two invalid packets within a minute of operation.
However, like any good hydra-headed dilemma, the automatic reset feature has problems of its own, such as the fact that it actually enables hackers to launch their DOS (Denial of Service) attacks by intentionally injecting faulty packets to induce that reaction. From forgery and replay to a fake authentication attack, a hacker's toolbox is seemingly bottomless because his dedication to innovation sometimes exceeds those of actual programmers and developers.
Luckily, security researchers have addressed these quandaries by making hackers jump through all sorts of hoops and security measures in order to lessen the chances of a successful breach. For every predicament posed and weakness found by these cyber criminals, the world's IT security vanguards will prepare a ready solution every time, even to the point of providing layers upon layers of digital protection. Unfortunately, it's a never-ending task that makes wireless security a lot more complicated that it should be.