Wi-Fi hikes security by adding to WPA2 requirements

Vendors will need to support a cell-to-Wi-Fi handoff standard and a tunneled authentication system

The Wi-Fi Alliance has expanded its WPA2 certification program to include a tool for secure handoffs between Wi-Fi and 3G networks, as well as an authentication system that uses multiple secured tunnels.

WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) is the most advanced security standard for Wi-Fi. The WPA2 certification program already included five other EAP (extensible authentication protocol) methods.

The Wi-Fi Alliance tests routers, access points and client devices for interoperability using certain protocols and certifies them with its logo.

The newly added protocols, EAP-AKA (Authentication and Key Agreement) and EAP-FAST (Flexible Authentication via Secure Tunneling), are designed to better secure enterprise Wi-Fi LANs.

EAP-AKA was developed by the 3GPP (Third-Generation Partnership Project), the main standards body for 3G networks, and has been in use for a few years on both UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) and CDMA2000 (Code-Division Multiple Access) networks.

It allows for the handoff of calls between cellular and Wi-Fi networks using a single user identifier.

As more mobile phones are equipped with Wi-Fi and more laptops and netbooks gain cellular data capability, having a standard way to shift calls from paid carrier networks to free Wi-Fi could be valuable, especially in enterprises that have rolled out Wi-Fi across their offices.

Cisco Systems created EAP-FAST several years ago as a replacement for its LEAP (Lightweight EAP), which was found to be vulnerable to certain types of attacks.

Those included "dictionary" attacks, so-called because they generate a series of likely guesses at the network's decryption key or passphrase. EAP-FAST is now an open international standard.

For the next 90 days, support for the two newly added EAP types will be optional in WPA2-certified products, said Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

After that, WPA2 certification will require support for all seven EAP types, except in certain special cases.

Any product that gets a firmware upgrade after the grace period will have to be re-certified under the new requirements, Figueroa said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags wirelessWi-Fiwireless securitywpa2

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?