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11. Wireless Packet Analysis > Wireless Security

Wireless Security

The biggest concern when deploying and administering a wireless network is the security of the data transmitted across it. With data flying through the air, free for the taking by anyone who knows how, it’s crucial that data be encrypted. Otherwise, anyone with Wireshark and an AirPcap card can see it.

Note

When another layer of encryption, such as SSL or SSH, is used, traffic will still be encrypted at that layer, and the user’s communication will still be unreadable by a person with a packet sniffer.

The original preferred method for securing data transmitted over wireless networks was in accordance with the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) standard. WEP was mildly successful for years until several weaknesses were uncovered in its encryption key management. To improve security, new standards were created. These include the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA2 standards. Although WPA and its more secure revision WPA2 are still fallible, they are considered more secure than WEP.


  

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