Wireless LAN

Wireless NetworkUsing wireless networks has been completely accepted in the market. It is very comfortable to use wireless connections. At home, in the office. Do do not have to have cables everywhere. The speed you get, using 802.11n is absolutely acceptable.

One of the big disadvantages of wireless LAN is the security. Like TV and Radio, the data are transmitted or antennas. The wireless LAN is in the air. Everyone being in the physical reach of it, can receive the data.

To maintain the privacy of a wireless network there was an Encryption called WEP. WEP stands for “Wired Equivalent Privacy”. In todays world, this encryption is not sufficient anymore. Using commonly available software like aircrack, the key can be recovered in seconds. It does not matter if you got secret data at home, a wireless LAN has to be encrypted.

Another alternative for encryption is WPA. Again, this encrytion is not strong enough for today.

To be really safe, use WPA2.

WPA2 is a must. WPA2 can be used in two flavours. Either in the enterprise version with certificates or with a “shared key”. A shared key is nothing else than a password, which has to be long enough, not to be easy guessable and difficult to brute force.

Think about, wireless is never a piece of wire. The signal is always on air and can be read by everyone.

Also keep in mind, if you use shared keys, you have no control who uses the key. Once somebody got the key, all keys on all devices have to be changed to be save again.

All access points have a feature called MAC filter. This filter only accepts known hardware addresses. This is no security at all. because the information is on air, getting some valid hardware addresses is no big deal. Setting a fake hardware address on the network interface is done faster, than configuring the MAC address filter.