Security flaw in 802.11b WEP technology

Gartner Group is warning of the security threat to 802.11b Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol, following the discovery of a flaw in the technology by a group of computer scientists at the University of California.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  February 11, 2001

Gartner Group is warning of the security threat to 802.11b Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol, following the discovery of a flaw in the technology by a group of computer scientists at the University of California.

The 802.11b WEP protocol enables notebooks to connect wirelessly to LANs, but the flaw could allow hackers to intercept the transmission of data and modify it without detection.

Attacks require close proximity, but the current flaw in the WEP technology, according to Gartner, would allow a relatively unsophisticated hacker to intercept and inject LAN traffic while sitting in a car park outside the building.

Gartner warns that the vendors taking shortcuts due to protocol stacks, weak encryption, user confusion, bandwidth and device restrictions only increase the security vulnerabilities, and advises use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to encrypt communications over the 802.11 wireless interface.

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