Review of WI-FI Security techniques

International Journal of Modern Engineering Research (IJMER)
Vol. 2, Issue. 5, Sep.-Oct. 2012 pp-3479-3481
ISSN: 2249-6645
Review of WI-FI Security techniques
Promila1, Dr. R. S. Chhillar2
*(Department of Computer Science and Application, M. D. U. Rohtak, India)
** (Department of Computer Science and Application, M. D. U. Rohtak, India)
Abstract: Wireless technology provides us many benefits like pass this certification are required to carry an identifying
portability and flexibility, increased productivity, and lower
installation costs. Wi-Fi networks can be accessed with
laptops, mobile phones, cameras, game consoles, and an
increasing number of other consumer electronic devices.
Wireless technologies have become increasingly popular
everyday in business as well as in personal lives. Wireless
Networking changed completely the way people communicate
and share information by eliminating the boundaries of
distance and location. In this paper we are discussing about
the wireless network challenges and IEEE 802.11 Standards
and WEP protocol.
Keywords: WI-FI, WEP, SSID, MAC, WiMAX, DoS .
seal on their packaging that states "Wi-Fi Certified" and
indicates the radio frequency band used (2.5GHz for
802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n, and 5GHz for 802.11a).
Wi-Fi is the name of the popular wireless
networking technology that uses radio waves to provide
wireless high-speed internet and network connection. The
Wi-Fi alliance, the organization that owns the wi-fi
(registered trade mark) term specifically defines Wi-Fi as
any ―wireless local area network (WLAN) products that
are based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers' (IEEE) 802.11 standards." A common
misconception is that the term Wi-Fi is short for "wireless
fidelity," however this is not the case. Wi-Fi is simply a
trademarked term meaning IEEE 802.11x. Initially, Wi-Fi
was used in place of only the 2.4GHz 802.11b standard,
however the Wi-Fi Alliance has expanded the generic use
of the Wi-Fi term to include any type of network or
WLAN product based on any of the 802.11 standards,
including 802.11b, 802.11a, dual-band, and so on, in an
attempt to stop confusion about wireless LAN
interoperability. Wi-Fi works with no physical wired
connection between sender and receiver by using radio
frequency (RF) technology, a frequency within the
electromagnetic spectrum associated with radio wave
propagation. When an RF current is supplied to an antenna,
an electromagnetic field is created that then is able to
propagate through space. The cornerstone of any wireless
network is an access point (AP). The primary job of an
access point is to broadcast a wireless signal that
computers can detect and "tune" into. In order to connect to
an access point and join a wireless network, computers and
devices must be equipped with wireless network adapters.
Wi-Fi is supported by many applications and devices
including video game consoles, home networks, PDAs,
mobile phones, major operating systems, and other types of
consumer electronics. Any products that are tested and
approved as "Wi-Fi Certified" (a registered trademark) by
the Wi-Fi Alliance are certified as interoperable with each
other, even if they are from different manufacturers. For
example, a user with a Wi-Fi Certified product can use any
brand of access point with any other brand of client
hardware that also is also "Wi-Fi Certified". Products that
Related work
Wireless is in everywhere like-More devices are using
Wi-Fi:- Cell phones
- Digital cameras
- Printers
- PDAs
- Video game controllers
- Televisions
- Speakers
- Refrigerators etc [5].
Wireless Networks Challenges
Wireless Networks plays the most important role in the
development of the information in between individual-toindividual, business-to-business, and individual-tobusiness. It changed completely the way of sharing of the
information but still there are lot of challenges which are
the hurdles in the wide adaptation of wireless network
technology [1], [2].we have to understand the main
problems that not only WI-FI network faces but all the
networks faces are –CIA that is confidentiality, integrity
and authentication.
Allow only the authorised person to read the encrypted
messages or the information.
It is defined as the information not being opened by third
person and it should reach in the same format as it was sent
by the sending party.
The parties sending or receiving messages make sure that,
who they say they are, and have right to undertake such
The main issue in the security of wireless signal is
its mode of transmission .wireless signals are transmitted
through the electromagnetic waves; these waves can not be
contained physically. In wireless networks the signals are
communicated via air, hence can be easily intercepted with
the help of right transceiver equipment.
IEEE 802.11 Standards
In 1997, IEEE ratified the 802.11 standard for WLANs.
The IEEE 802.11 standard supports three transmission
methods, including radio transmission within the 2.4 GHz
band. In 1999, IEEE ratified two amendments to the
802.11 standard—802.11a and 802.11b—that define radio
transmission methods, and WLAN equipment based on
3479 | Page
International Journal of Modern Engineering Research (IJMER)
Vol. 2, Issue. 5, Sep.-Oct. 2012 pp-3479-3481
ISSN: 2249-6645
IEEE 802.11b quickly became the dominant wireless
technology [10]. IEEE 802.11b equipment transmits in the
2.4 GHz band, offering data rates of up to 11 Mbps. IEEE
802.11b was intended to provide performance, throughput,
and security features comparable to wired LANs. In 2003,
IEEE released the 802.11g amendment, which specifies a
radio transmission method that uses the 2.4 GHz band and
can support data rates of up to 54 Mbps. Additionally,
IEEE 802.11g-compliant products are backward
compatible with IEEE 802.11b-compliant products.[7].
Maximum Typical
Standard or Data Rate Range
Frequency Comments
2 Mbps
2.4 GHz
54 Mbps
11 Mbps
2.4 GHz
54 Mbps
5 GHz
2.4 GHz
with 802.11b
has been the
with 802.11b
Summary of IEEE 802.11 WLAN Technologies [7]
WEP:WEP protocol is part of the IEEE 802.11 standard [3], [8],
[9], [10], [11], [13]. It was introduced in 1997.WEP is used
in 802.11 network to protect link level data during the
wireless transmission. WEP was the first cryptographic
protocol which are developed for the WI-FI to enable
privacy and authentication .WEP uses the shared key
authentication mechanism and is based on secret
cryptographic key. WEP protocol uses the RC4 (Rivest
Cipher4) stream cipher algorithm to encrypt the wireless
communications. This RC4 stream algorithm protects the
contents form disclosure to eavesdroppers. WEP support
40-bit key and with extension it also support 128 or even
256 bit key also .WEP was designed to protect a wireless
network from eaves dropping. WEP uses linear hash
function for data integrity. In WEP there is no key
management and no replay detection facility. But in 2001
several serious weaknesses were identified. Now, WEP
connection can be cracked within minutes. After having
such type of vulnerabilities, in 2003 the WI-FI Alliance
WEP had been replaced by WPA .The main problem of
WEP was-it uses static encryption keys.
WPA/WPA2:WPA and WPA2 are two security protocols developed by
WI-FI Alliance [9], [10], [11], [13]. WPA provides
developed with the purpose of solving the problems in
WEP cryptographic method. WPA was developed in 2003.
Both WPA and WPA2 have two modes of operation:
Personal and Enterprise. The Personal mode involves the
use of a pre-shared key for authentication, while the
Enterprise mode uses IEEE 802.1X and EAP for this
purpose.WPA2 was introduced in September 2004. WPA
addresses a subset of the IEEE 802.11i specification that
addresses the weaknesses of WEP. WPA2 extends WPA to
include the full set of IEEE 802.11i requirements. WPA is
easier to configure and it is more secure than WEP. WPA
uses the improved encryption algorithm known as TKIP
(Temporal Key Integrated Protocol).TKIP provides each
client with a unique key and uses much longer keys that
are rotated at a configurable interval. It also includes an
encrypted message integrity check field in the packets; this
is designed to prevent an attacker from capturing, altering
and/or resending data packets which prevent Denial-ofService and spoofing attack. WPA can be operated with the
help of RADIUS server of without RADIUS severs. Now,
TKIP can be broken easily. WPA2 uses Advanced
Encryption Standard. WPA2 may not work with some
older network cards. WPA2 have the 4 main key factors:1.
mutual authentication
strong encryption
Ease to use.
These are the 4 main advantages of WPA2. WPA and
WPA2 use the cryptographic hash function for data
integrity. WPA and WPA2 both provides the key
management and replay detection.
The fundamental aspect of Wireless Networks in
maintaining security is to maintain Confidentiality where
the receiver should receive the actual transmitted
information from the sender. The message authentication
provides integrity to both sender as well as receiver. The
Wireless Link should be always available and should be
secured from outside world like malicious attacks as well
as DoS Attacks (Denial of Service Attacks).
There are basically two common attacks which
compromise the security and authentication mechanism of
Wireless Networks i.e. Message Reply Attack and Man in
the Middle Attack. The Message reply attack acts
principally on the authentication and authentication key
formation protocols. The Man in the Middle Attack
(MiTM) attack occurs on that security mechanism which
doesn’t provide mutual authentication.
Various other attacks like Session Hijacking,
Reflection attacks are there which affects the security
mechanism of Wireless Networks.
IEEE helped in securing the wireless networks by
providing the basic measures for securing wireless network
and it also provide CIA factors by disabling SSID, use of
MAC i.e. Media Access Control address filtering and
WPA/WPS protection mechanism.
The recent
developments in computer technology and software
developments notice that these mechanisms have network
vulnerable attack. So, due to these vulnerabilities WiMax
standards comes into existence, for solving the short
comings of 802.11 wireless networks [4]. WiMax is the
new advancement in the wireless network. WiMax is still
undergoing development and still the securing problems
are not being decreased by WiMax technology. It also has
some drawbacks like it lack mutual authentication and is
suspected to relays attacks, spoofing of MAC address of
3480 | Page
International Journal of Modern Engineering Research (IJMER)
Vol. 2, Issue. 5, Sep.-Oct. 2012 pp-3479-3481
ISSN: 2249-6645
Subscriber Station
Wi-Fi security is not an easy task. Wireless network
security is more difficult than wired network security.
There are many protocols or standards or we can say
technologies for wireless network security but every
protocol has its demerits, until now there is no protocol
which can provide security 100% or near about it. Many
researchers are working on it and they are searching for the
best protocol which can provide security as much as
possible. WiMaX is the recent technology in the Wi-Fi
security. It also has some deficiencies.
Journal Papers:
[1] Wireless security: an overview by Robert J.Boncella.
Washburn University ZZbonc@washburn.bdu.
[2] White paper: WLAN security Today: wireless more
secure than wired by Siemens Enterprise
[3] Sara Nasre Wireless Lan Security Research Paper IT
6823 Information Security Instructor: Dr. Andy Ju
An Wang Spring 2004.
[4] Security Issues on Converged Wi-Fi & WiMAX
Networks by Prof. Anand Nayyar, Lecturer, P.G.
Department of Computer Science, K. L. S. D College
Ludhiana , .
[5] Wireless network security? Author:-Paul Asadoorian,
GCIA, GCIH. Contributions by Larry Pesce, GCIA ,
GAWN PaulDotCom.
[6] Securing Wi-Fi network (10 steps of diy security) by
Rakesh M Goyal and Ankur Goyal
[7] Establishing wireless robust security networks: a
guide to IEEE 802.11i by Sheila Frankel Bernard
Eydt Les Owens Karen Scarfone.
[8] Wireless LAN security today and tomorrow By
Sangram Gayal And Dr. S. A. Vetha Manickam .
[9] Introduction to WI-FI network security by Bradley
[10] The state of WI-FI security by WI-FI Alliance.
[11] WI-FI security –WEP, WPA and WPA2 by Guillaume
[12] Wireless network security 802.11, Bluetooth and
handheld devices by Tom Karygiannis, Les Owens.
[13] WEP, WPA, WPA2 and home security by Jared
3481 | Page
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