New WiFi spec adds stronger encryption

A new security specification for wireless networking incorporates the Advanced Encryption Standard, opening the door for certification under the Federal Information Processing Standard.

WiFi Protected Access 2 is a technical specification from the Wi-Fi Alliance based on the recently approved 802.11i standard.

The combination of AES and dynamic key sequencing should help satisfy government concerns about wireless networking, said Frank Hanzlik, managing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

The alliance earlier this month announced the first round of WPA2 certifications. Eight products from six companies were certified.

The alliance expects to announce the first certifications under the WiFi Multimedia specification later this month. WMM is based on the emerging 802.11e standard and provides quality of service, enabling use of media such as voice and video over wireless LANs.

WiFi Protected Access is the successor to the Wired Equivalent Privacy security protocol originally included in WiFi. WPA corrects a flawed encryption system used in WEP. WPA2 adds the AES algorithm.

About the Author

William Jackson is freelance writer and the author of the CyberEye blog.

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