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Wireless Encryption Standards

If you're confused about the different wireless encryption standards, then make use of the following examples are your basic wi-fi standard manual. Take note that all WEP and WPA with TKIP standards have long been considered insecure and, as such, aren't recommended for use at all!
  • WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy):

  • The old, original, and currently discredited wireless security standard. Easily cracked.
  • WEP 40/128-bit key, WEP 128-bit Passphrase:

  • See WEP. The user key for WEP is generally either 40- or 128-bit, and usually has to be supplied as a hexadecimal string.
  • WPA, WPA1:

  • Wi-Fi Protected Access. The initial version of WPA, sometimes called WPA1, is essentially a brand name for TKIP. TKIP was chosen as an interim standard because it could be implemented on WEP hardware with just a firmware upgrade.
  • WPA2:

  • The trade name for an implementation of the 802.11i standard, which includes AES and CCMP.
  • TKIP:

  • Temporal Key Integrity Protocol. The replacement encryption system for WEP. Several features were added to make keys more secure than they were under WEP.
  • AES:

  • Advanced Encryption Standard. This is now the preferred encryption method, replacing the old TKIP. AES is implemented in WPA2/802.11i.
  • Dynamic WEP (802.1x):

  • When the WEP key/passphrase is entered by a key management service. Therefore, WEP didn't support dynamic keys until the advent of TKIP and CCMP. 
  • EAP:

  • Extensible Authentication Protocol. A standard authentication framework. EAP supplies common functions and a negotiation mechanism, but not a specific authentication method. Currently, there are about forty different methods implemented for EAP. See WPA Enterprise.
  • 802.1x, IEEE8021X:

  • The IEEE family of standards for authentication on networks. In this context, the term is hopelessly ambiguous.
  • LEAP, 802.1x EAP (Cisco LEAP):

  • The Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol is a proprietary method of wireless LAN authentication developed by Cisco Systems. Supports dynamic WEP, RADIUS, and frequent reauthentication. 
  • WPA-PSK, WPA-Preshared Key:

  • Use of a shared key, meaning one manually set and manually managed. Does not scale with a large network either for manageability or security, but needs no external key management system. 

  • Remote Authentication Dial In User Service. A very old protocol for centralizing authentication and authorization management. The RADIUS server acts as a remote service for these functions. 
  • WPA Enterprise, WPA2 Enterprise:

  • A trade name for a set of EAP types. Products certified as WPA Enterprise or WPA2 Enterprise will interoperate (EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS/MSCHAPv2, PEAPv0/EAP-MSCHAPv2, PEAPv1/EAP-GTC & EAP-SIM). 
  • WPA-Personal, WPA2-Personal:

  • See Pre-Shared Key.
  • WPA2-Mixed:

  • Support for both WPA1 and WPA2 on the same access point. 
  • 802.11i:

  • An IEEE standard that specifies security mechanisms for 802.11 networks. 802.11i uses AES, and includes improvements in key management, user authentication through 802.1X, and data integrity of headers. 
  • CCMP:

  • Counter Mode with Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol. An encryption protocol that uses AES.

Portable Penetrator: Wi-Fi Security Auditing

With the Portable Penetrator you can audit and crack WEP, WPA, and WPA2 wi-fi standards with relative ease! It is recommended for you to fully utilize the Portable Penetrator for regular audits of your wi-fi networks in order to guarantee that no hackers or crackers can compromise your system.


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