Security in Wireless Networks
Due to the nature of wireless communications, everyone with a wireless device present within the area covered by the network will be able to participate in the network and use shared services, hence the need for security. The most commonly used standard today is WEP (Wireless Equivalent Privacy), which adds RSA RC4-based encryption to the communication, and prevents people without the correct key from gaining access the network. The key itself is not encrypted, and it is, therefore, possible to 'pick the lock'. WEP should be seen only as a basic level of security. A WEP key is normally 40, 64 or 128 bits in length. New standards being deployed significantly increase security, such as the WPA (WiFi Protected Access) standard, which takes care of some shortcomings in the WEP standard, including the addition of an encrypted key.