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Wireless LAN security holes exposed
Posted: 10-Feb-2001 [Source: ZDNet]

[One security specialist says WEP is "inherently untrustworthy because it's a proprietary protocol," and describes it as "security through obscurity."]

by Dennis Fisher and Carmen Nobel -- "The integrity of wireless LANs is under attack with the revelation of several holes in the WLAN security protocol. As a result, IT managers and security experts are scrambling to find a solution.

"This week, three researchers -- two from the University of California at Berkeley and one from security vendor Zero Knowledge Systems Inc. -- announced they had found four flaws in the WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy) protocol portion of the 802.11 standard and were able to mount successful attacks on it within one day of trying.

"The holes, said the researchers, who declined to name the wireless LAN products used for the tests, allow hackers to intercept WLAN traffic sent using WEP. The situation underscores the fact that much of the industry's wireless infrastructure was built without security in mind.

"IT personnel now worry that this oversight will continue to manifest itself in more frequent and more sophisticated attacks against wireless networks

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The holes, said the researchers, who declined to name the wireless LAN products used for the tests, allow hackers to intercept WLAN traffic sent using WEP. The situation underscores the fact that much of the industry's wireless infrastructure was built without security in mind.

IT personnel now worry that this oversight will continue to manifest itself in more frequent and more sophisticated attacks against wireless networks.

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