Download paper

Brief History Of Wep Computer Science Essay

In this research paper I intend to look into the 802.11 encoding criterion Wired Equivalent Privacy and the issues involved in implementing the protocol. The ground for composing this study on WEP is that many Businessi??s and personal users unwittingly implement WEP encoding on their webs unaware of the security hazards involved.

WEP was introduced in 1997 as the first effort to procure wireless engineering whilst it was being implemented the US Torahs sing cryptanalysis where really strong and it wasni??t until they were relaxed that it became easier to interrupt the 40 spot WEP key which at the clip was the maximal length.

In the early phases of WEP the major exposures included the usage of generic keys and besides weak message hallmark. As these became widely know within the i??computing undergroundi?? universities began to prove the execution of WEP and in a ulterior probe it was found that it was possible to shoot packages into a web due to insecure message hallmark intending no affair what the length of key was it was possible to check.

Breakdown of WEP

WEP is a benchmark created by the IEEE to offer OSI bed 2 defense mechanism scheme for 802.11 webs. In this subdivision I will look at the constituents which make up WEP and discourse the different properties associating to each facet.


WEP implements the watercourse cypher RC4. RC4 was created in 1987 it has the possible cardinal length valuei??s of 8 to 2048 spots but is largely known to utilize between 40 and 256 spots the low-level formatting vector ( IV ) is a length of 8 spots the IVi??s intent is to let the cypher watercourse to be executed without holding to travel through the procedure of rekeying.

Top Experts
Verified expert
4.8 (756)
Bella Hamilton
Verified expert
5 (234)
Academic Giant
Verified expert
5 (345)
hire verified expert

The manner WEP reuses IV is what makes it easy to be cracked this is because if the IV is reused after a affair of clip there will be a form and so it is possible to shoot packages exciting the necessary traffic by usage of a radio NIC and puting it into promiscuous manner. The WEP algorithm does non code the package heading or induction vector doing it easy for a exposure appraisal to be carried out on WEP encrypted webs

Figure 1.1

( Basic WEP encoding: RC4 keystream XORed with plaintext- hypertext transfer protocol: // )

CRC-32 ( cyclic redundancy cheque ) is an insecure hash map which is used to keep unity this is done by observing inadvertent alterations within natural informations strings it was created by the RSA to constantly encrypt informations between two nodes. CRC works by ciphering a set length binary sequence. Each clip a new package is sent or received a new sequence is calculated if the sequenced do non fit a petition is sent for the corrupted package to be re issued.

CRC is really good at happening common mistakes including mistakes in the conveyance of the package but CRC does non protect against injected packages or altered packages along as the sequence is right hence an aggressor can redact a message and recalculate the CRC without the permutation being detected. An illustration of how this can be used to assail a web is by supervising the traffic across a web and taking the sequence Numberss after this has been achieved the aggressor can the make a jammed with the right sequence figure which will be accepted on the web dependent on the other beds of security implemented.


To guarantee that lone clients permitted can entree a router WEP used an hallmark sequence as the one described below.

1. Turn on the radio station.

2. The station listens for messages from any entree points that are in scope.

3. The station finds a message from an entree point that has a duplicate SSID.

4. The station sends an hallmark petition to the entree point.

5. The entree point authenticates the station.

6. The station sends an association petition to the entree point.

7. The entree point associates with the station.

8. The station can now pass on with the Ethernet web through the entree point.

( hypertext transfer protocol: // )

Open System Authentication

This type of confirmation is to allow a client to unify with the web group supplying that the clients and hosts SSID lucifer. Another option is to utilize the any service set identifier puting to unite with any gettable radio host inside scope, despite fiting its SSID.

The undermentioned stairss occur when two devices use Open System Authentication:

1. The station sends an hallmark petition to the entree point.

2. The entree point authenticates the station.

3. The station associates with the entree point and joins the web.

Figure 2.1

( hypertext transfer protocol: // )

Shared Key Authentication

This has the demand that both the client and the AP have indistinguishable WEP keys to formalize. These confirmation processs are explained below.

1. The station sends an hallmark petition to the entree point.

2. The entree point sends challenge text to the station.

3. The station uses its configured 64-bit or 128-bit default key to code the challenge text, and it sends the encrypted text to the entree point.

4. The entree point decrypts the encrypted text utilizing its configured WEP key that corresponds to the stationi??s default key. The entree point compares the decrypted text with the original challenge text. If the decrypted text matches the original challenge text, so the entree point and the station portion the same WEP key, and the entree point authenticates the station.

5. The station connects to the web

If the decrypted text does non fit the original challenge text ( that is, the entree point and station do non portion the same WEP key ) , so the entree point will decline to authenticate the station, and the station will be unable to pass on with either the 802.11 webs or Ethernet web.

Figure 2.2

( hypertext transfer protocol: // )

IEEE 802.11

IEEE 802.11 is a list of criterions created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers which must be achieved in order to derive the wireless local area network certified logo. IEEE is an international administration which is non net income and is recognised in over 150 states. The chief intent of IEEE was to guarantee that the same protocols where used around the universe. Below is a table demoing the IEEE 802.11* protocols.

Table 1

( # 802.11-1997_.28802.11_legacy.29 )

The IEEE besides define the radio frequences which can be used these are split into channels the chief ground for this is to command which frequences are being used below is a table graph demoing the defined channels notice how each channel over laps.

Graph 1.1 ( 802.11 Channels and frequences )

hypertext transfer protocol: // % 28802.11b % 2Cg_WLAN % 29.svg

Wireless Foot printing

War drive is a technique used by security partisans and felons to scan big countries for webs. For this research paper I scanned webs around my place town of ( Newcastle Upon-Tyne UK ) the purposes of the i??war drivei?? are to foreground the fact that even though WEP has been replaced with WPA due to security issues big Numberss of personal and concern users still implement WEP as a manner of procuring their webs. There are a figure of cardinal elements to transporting out a successful i??war drivei?? which are discussed below.

Wireless card are non made to the same specification therefore it is advised to research which is the most suitable card to your demands, factors which can impact the scan involve power demands, sensitiveness and sockets to add a aerial. For the trials carried out in this research paper I used a high power ALFA Network AWUS036H. This wireless card supports promiscuous manner every bit good as holding the capableness to add a different aerial. For the aerial I researched the three chief types of aerial which are directional, multi-directional and omni-directional. Each has a benefit depending on the fortunes in which they are used but due to the trials being carried out within a big built up metropolis the low addition omni aerial was ideal.

For function of radio webs a GPS device can be used with most of the major radio whiffing tools such as NetStumbler and Kismet the package records when the signal is at its strongest so takes a reading from the GPS device so when a map is required the co-ordinates are linked with the radio web and a map can be drawn. There are besides many unfastened beginning web sites which enables users to input information on radio webs to portion with other users online such as are which is worth look intoing out.

Equally far as package goes the major two are NetStumbler for Windowss and Kismet for Linux they both work by directing investigation petitions which in bend receive a 802.11 investigation response the tools analyse the heading of the package in order to find the service set identifier ( SSID ) , Media Access Control reference ( MAC reference ) , WEP use, WEP cardinal length ( 40 or 128 spot ) , signal strength and besides the maker of the equipment. NetStumblers disadvantage over Kismet is that as a counter step a user can disenable the broadcast investigation petition within the router or AP scenes page which efficaciously renders NetStumbler useless although as default this is set to on by sellers. Kismet does non endure from these disadvantages as it uses inactive web sensing which involves cycling through channels to listen for 802.11 traffic which indicate the happening of a web.

Wireless Scanning and Enumeration

Now that the possible marks have been identified and mapped it is clip to find the method to derive entree to the web this is done by look intoing the consequences from the i??war drivei?? since all the information is encrypted it is best to find whether it is encrypted via WEP or WPA and so the length of the key which for WEP ranges from 40 to 128 spot. Besides the channel of the radio web which you intend to prove is needed as the radio card will necessitate to be in promiscuous manner on that specific channel.

Once your card is configured it is clip to get down whiffing out packages for this I used wire shark which has a characteristic to gaining control and un-encode 802.11 packages it besides runs with all its characteristics on both Linux and windows bases systems.

Connecting to the encrypted web

Now that the initial phases have been carried out it is clip to derive entree to the web, to make this you need to put your wireless interface to link to the desired SSID and so implement the MAC reference of the client from the scanning phase. Now that the computing machine is set up you can take whether to transport out beastly force onslaughts or IV analysis in connexion to the primary RC4 Byte. The brute-force onslaught uses a lexicon of words to try each one and from research an onslaught on a 40 spot cardinal infinite can take up to 4 hebdomads carried out from a individual system. This clip can be shortened dramatically by IV analysis which involves passively roll uping IVi??s from the web ( client-network / network-client ) the larger sum of IVi??s collected the higher opportunity of success. When you gather two packages with an indistinguishable IV heading you need to X-OR them to derive a individual X-OR of the packages. By making this it is possible to derive the shared key as it is the same used to make the X-OR packages.

To do the procedure of perforating a radio web tools designed for the mechanization of this have been produced. AirSnort is the most popular tool used by wireless examiners and comprises of a aggregation of books and plans. AirSnort has a GUI which simplifies the procedure. A tool called WEPAttack has the ability to transport out dictionary onslaughts utilizing wordlists.

Counter Measures

In this subdivision of my research paper I will place the ways in which to indurate wireless security. First due to the SSID being used as a mention to the web it is a good thought to forestall this from being issued as mentioned above by barricading investigation petitions. The SSID can be seen in a figure of topographic points such as:

i?? Beacons these by default are sent continuously and can be viewed utilizing wireshark by puting the filter to beacons.

i?? Probe Requests are from clients linking to the web.

i?? Probe Responses are answers from the petitions from the client.

i?? Association and Reassociation Requests are sent when a client is fall ining or rejoining a web they are chiefly used to ease rolling from around linking to different within APi??s within the same ESS

If the entree point has the petitions blocked you will necessitate to wait until a client establishes a connexion in order to capture the Association / Reassociation package to rush up this procedure a tool can be used called essid_jack available at hypertext transfer protocol: // which will direct a deauthentication package spoofed to look resembling traffic coming from the entree point.

MAC entree lists though non stated within the 802.11 demands on some occasions have been used by sellers as a manner of indurating security, merely users with the MAC reference in the tabular array are able to link. The first major job which can be seen is if you are be aftering to implement filtrating on big graduated table webs all wireless MAC references will be needed and updated when new NICi??s are added to the web. Another job with MAC filtering is that by utilizing readily available radio sniffers the MAC reference for the network/ AP can be seen along with the references for the clients connected ; by garnering these it is so possible to alter you MAC reference to a client in order to short-circuit the filter to make this a tool can be used which is called Bwmachak by BlackWave.

To forestall against these types of onslaught is impossible unless you upgrade to WPA but to try to indurate against these tools it is advised to utilize 128-bit encoding and utilize a word non found in the dictionary incorporating a mixture of alphabetic, numeral and particular characters. Besides change the default SSID of the web and altering the watchword on a regular basis.

Other ways to try to indurate WEP is to implement a superimposed security with multiple encodings but the lone manner to protect you from WEP is by upgrading to WPA/ WPA2.

Personal trials

For this research paper I have implemented the methods described above and put up a i??war drivingi?? machine as discusses and drove around my local country I wasni??t surprised at the sum of WEP encrypted webs I came across. Out of 1000 scanned webs 35 % had WEP encoding in the appendix is inside informations of merely some of the webs I came across alarmingly many appear to be concerns. Due the Torahs sing these types of radio onslaughts I could non try to derive entree to someonei??s web without deriving consent therefore I had to utilize my ain web. I found it really simple to transport out the onslaughts due to the many in depth ushers readily available through the cyberspace.

Legal Aspects

“ Deriving unauthorized entree to person else ‘s web is an offense and people have to take duty for their actions. Some people might reason that taking a joy-ride in person else ‘s auto is non an offense either, ”

( )

The Computer Misuse Act 1990 states the followers:

1 Unauthorized entree to computing machine stuff

( 1 ) A individual is guilty of an offense ifi??

( a ) He causes a computing machine to execute any map with purpose to procure entree to any plan or informations held in any computing machine ;

( B ) The entree he intends to procure is unauthorized ; and

( degree Celsius ) He knows at the clip when he causes the computing machine to execute the map that that is the instance.

( hypertext transfer protocol: // )

This act protects users from people trying to illicitly derive entree to your web ; other Acts of the Apostless which are in topographic point to forestall onslaughts are the Communications Act 2003 ( c. 21 ) which states:

125 Dishonestly obtaining electronic communications services

( 1 ) A individual whoi??

( a ) Dishonestly obtains an electronic communications service, and

( B ) Does so with purpose to avoid payment of a charge applicable to the proviso of that service,

( hypertext transfer protocol: // # pt2-ch1-pb20-l1g125 )

Unauthorized entree to someonei??s radio web without permission is illegal and covered under the computing machine abuse act and besides the Communications Act as shown above. The first reported instance of this go oning within the United Kingdom involved a adult male called Gregory Straszkiewicz he was reported as looking leery whilst sitting in his auto on a laptop. After farther probes were carried out and it was found that he was utilizing wireless equipment to steal cyberspace. i??Mr Straszkiewicz was fined i??500 and sentenced to 12 months ‘ conditional discharge for commandeering a radio broadband connectioni?? [ 5 ] .


As engineering progresss so with the choping community this is why the populace demand to be advised of the security issues affecting their personal informations. Equally far as WEP goes it will be a bequest type of encoding and I predict that for many old ages to come it will go on to be implemented without cognizing the hazards involved. In the hope that by composing this research paper with will promote people to upgrade their encoding to WPA which offers a scope of benefits including enhanced informations privateness, robust cardinal direction, informations origin hallmark and informations unity protection [ 6 ] . Every Wi-Fi certified merchandise after August 2003 has to back up WPA or they will lose their enfranchisement. Besides WPA is frontward compatible with the 802.11i security specification presently being developed


[ 1 ] hypertext transfer protocol: //

[ 2 ] hypertext transfer protocol: //

[ 3 ] hypertext transfer protocol: //

[ 4 ] hypertext transfer protocol: //www.xn —

[ 5 ] hypertext transfer protocol: //

[ 6 ] hypertext transfer protocol: //www.xn —

hypertext transfer protocol: // # 8

hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Authentication )

hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Figure 1.1 )

hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Figure 2.1/2 ) # 802.11-1997_.28802.11_legacy.29 ( Table 1.1 )

hypertext transfer protocol: // % 28802.11b % 2Cg_WLAN % 29.svg ( Graph 1.1 channels/ frequences ) ( unfastened beginning maps )

hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Air-Jack ) ( BBC News quotation mark )

hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Computer misuse Act )

hypertext transfer protocol: // # pt2-ch1-pb20-l1g125 ( Communications Act )

hypertext transfer protocol: //

hypertext transfer protocol: //

hypertext transfer protocol: //

IEEE-SA Standards Board. Wireless LAN Medium Access Control ( MAC ) and Physical Layer ( PHY ) Speci_cations. Communications Magazine, IEEE, 2007.

Cite this page

Brief History Of Wep Computer Science Essay. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

Are You on a Short Deadline? Let a Professional Expert Help You