Wpa Vs Wep Encryption Crack ~UPD~
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There are many encryption standards in the digital world today, many of which have been shown to have fatal flaws. Unfortunately, many standards that are considered insecure are still being used in sensitive applications. One such standard is WEP. So what is it and why is it bad to use?
This is reminiscent of my high school days when our STEM Lab teacher would set up a few computers with Kali Linux installed. He also created a WEP Wi-Fi access point for the class. This was so that we could learn how to use Fern Wi-Fi Cracker and similar software to crack the insecure WEP access point and see how much harder WPA/WPA2-PSK access points were to crack. The WEP attack took maybe 5 minutes and was able to penetrate the network, all at the hands of a class of high schoolers. However, the WPA attacks required the use of a dictionary and never found the password to the network.
WEP is not a good encryption standard; however, it is better than no security. It encrypted all traffic to and from the access point using a static key, which was its downfall. This downfall can now be exploited by common, everyday computers. It is now recommended to use at least WPA, but how much longer until that can be cracked by everyday computers?
In wireless security, passwords are only half the battle. Choosing the proper level of encryption is just as vital, and the right choice determines whether your wireless LAN is a house of straw or a resilient fortress.
In addition to the risk of snooping and data breaches, threat actors can use unsecured wireless networks as a point of vulnerability to gain access to the broader enterprise network. Encryption doesn't necessarily solve this problem, but it's reasonable to expect that attackers who see a WLAN with outdated encryption protocols in place will begin poking around for other weak spots in the wireless network.
When choosing from among WEP, WPA, WPA2 and WPA3 wireless security protocols, experts agree WPA3 is best for Wi-Fi security. As the most up-to-date wireless encryption protocol, WPA3 is the most secure choice. Some wireless APs do not support WPA3, however. In that case, the next best option is WPA2, which is widely deployed in the enterprise space today.
Wi-Fi Alliance developed WEP -- the first encryption algorithm for the 802.11 standard -- with one main goal: prevent hackers from snooping on wireless data as it is transmitted between clients and APs. From its inception in the late 1990s, however, WEP lacked the strength necessary to accomplish this aim.
WEP uses the RC4 (Rivest Cipher 4) stream cipher for authentication and encryption. The standard originally specified a 40-bit, preshared encryption key. A 104-bit key later became available after the U.S. government lifted certain federal restrictions.
An administrator must manually enter and update the key, which combines with a 24-bit initialization vector (IV) in an effort to strengthen encryption. The small size of the IV increases the likelihood that users will recycle keys, however, making them easier to crack. This characteristic, along with several other security flaws and vulnerabilities -- including problematic authentication mechanisms -- makes WEP a risky choice for wireless security.