Sunday, May 9, 2010

Unsecured Wifi and We-------- Part -1

My dear friends,

After long long and long interval I am again in front of you with an interesting topic, which I feel important to tell you. That is un-secured wifi. I think most of you know what wifi connection is. Wifi connection is a method of connecting your computer with the internet. You can connect your computer or any network device in two ways i.e.:- wired and wireless (wifi). So now it’s clear to all what is wifi connection. In your wired connection none can use your connection unless you are connected with internet or you have allowed someone to use your computer systems and in the same way in wifi connection you are not allowed to use anyone’s network connection if it is secured i.e.:- when you are going to use someone’s wifi network it seeks authentication with key or password, though there are some conditions i.e.:- level of encryption.

So now let me tell you some important issues about un-secured wifi networks. First of all you should know what is unsecured network. Unsecured networks are those which do not seek any password or key or authentication to connect to the network. So you are thinking that when a wifi connection seeks all the above requirements they are secured. But not my friend and that’s why I mentioned earlier about some conditions. The conditions are level of encryption. Wifi networks have generally three types of level of encryption i.e.:- WEP, WPA1 and WPA2. WEP and WPA1 can be cracked easily. So the wifi networks with WEP and WPA1 are not secured. WPA2 is secured.

So now definitely a question has arose in your mind where un-secured networks are found. These are found outsite the hotels, restaurants, corporate areas and in the IT sectors, cafes, airports, outside someone’s residence nursing homes, hospitals, colleges etc, and study says that 30% wifi networks are secured in the world and rests are unsecured. So it’s a huge drawback for wifi networks.

To be continued and be in touch for some interesting forth coming topics on the same subject.

With thanks
Urproblemmysolution Team

1 comment:

Sitanshu said...

Dear Sujit,

I would like to share with your users some Technical Information about what are the flaws and weaknesses with the WEP and WPA Version 1 protocols.

First of all your users must know that the ultimate goal for securing WiFi networks is to implement the IEEE 802.11i standard. WEP, WPA 1 and WPA 2 are mechanisms to reach that goal. The day that goal is achieved there will be no issues with Wireless Networks.

WEP - The 802.11 standard describes the communication that occurs in wireless local area networks (LANs). The Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) algorithm is used to protect wireless communication from eavesdropping.

WEP relies on a secret key that is shared between a mobile station (eg. a laptop with a wireless ethernet card) and an access point (ie. a base station). The secret key is used to encrypt packets before they are transmitted, and an integrity check is used to ensure that packets are not modified in transit. The standard does not discuss how the shared key is established. In practice, most installations use a single key that is shared between all mobile stations and access points. More sophisticated key management techniques can be used to help defend from the attacks we describe; however, no commercial system we are aware of has mechanisms to support such techniques.
In WEP the PLAINTEXT (the original unencrypted message is XORed (exclusive ored) with the encryption key and converted into Cyphertext. By examining enough packets (especially the short packets), the original key could be reconstructed by XORing two Plaintexts. Once you have found one plaintext then finding the rest is just a matter of time.

Today there are tools such as WEP BUILDER that can examine about 20000 packets within 2 - 3 minutes and produce the KEY.

WPA version 1 - The WPA protocol implements the majority of the IEEE 802.11i standard. The Wi-Fi Alliance intended WPA as an intermediate measure to take the place of WEP pending the preparation of 802.11i. Specifically, the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), was brought into WPA. TKIP could be implemented on pre-WPA wireless network interface cards that began shipping as far back as 1999 through firmware upgrades. Because the changes required fewer modifications on the client than on the wireless access points (APs), most pre-2003 APs could not be upgraded to support WPA with TKIP. Researchers have since discovered a flaw in TKIP that relied on older weaknesses to retrieve the keystream from short packets to use for re-injection and spoofing.

I will explain in more simpler terms what TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) is, in my next posting.

WPA version 2 - WPA2 implements the mandatory elements of 802.11i. In particular, it introduces a new AES-based algorithm, CCMP, which is considered fully secure. Certification began in September, 2004; from March 13, 2006, WPA2 certification is mandatory for all new devices to bear the Wi-Fi trademark.

My apologies for not explaining all the technical terms using simple language, but I promise that I will do that in my next posting.

Today due to lack of time, I must end my posting now, but like I said I will explain all these fancy terminologies using simple language.

Sitanshu Ray