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SourceForge Project Recovers Wireless Networks' Master Password

Two weeks ago, we pointed out reports that researchers at AT&T Labs had written code to break the WEP protocol, the encryption technology implemented on 802.11b or WiFi wireless networks. The researchers described their achievement in some detail, but did not publish their code.

Earlier this week came news of the fact that two developers from a small security consulting firm started a SourceForge project called AirSnort. Reportedly, this project has already produced a fairly reliable means of guessing the WEP master password for a network through passive monitoring of encrypted traffic.

No doubt this will give network administrators fits as they try to secure networks that already contain wireless access points. CTDATA has planned to implement an 802.11b network at its Lawrenceville, NJ office, but we will have to consider the limitations of the WEP security model as we do. Perhaps, we will have to install a VPN and require that all 802.11b network traffic pass through it before accessing resources on our wired network.

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