How secure are the WEP, WPA, and WPA2 Wi-Fi Passwords, and what’s the difference between them?

By | May 16, 2017

There is no bigger concern than security; be it about life or data. In fact, modern day people are serious about data protection over everything else. On this context, the doubts like knowing the difference between WEP, WPA, and WPA2 Wi-Fi Passwords has to be there. Below abstracts present the complete detail about each of those, in a detailed fashion.  

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Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)

Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP is the most frequently used Wi-Fi security algorithm over the globe. Initial edition of WEP was not really strong enough when it was released. This was so as the United States restrictions on transfer of numerous cryptographic technologies made the manufacturers confine their devices within 64 bit encryption only. As the constraints were removed, the encryption was increased to 128 bit. Even after the introduction of 256-bit WEP encryption, 128-bit still remains the most prominent executions.

The algorithm has been revised several times, and the key size has been increased as well. However, various security flaws have been detected as well through the course of time. With greater efficacy of computing, it became smoother to use those as per the need. Many attempts have been made to improve the security. At the same time, efforts have been made to support the WEP system. Still, it can be claimed that WEP remains the most susceptible. In fact, the systems those depend on WEP are also demanded to be improved. It is rather claimed that if the security updates are not the best option available, it should be immediately replaced. It is here to mention that the Wi-Fi alliance finally retired WEP in the year 2004.

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

WPA or Wi-Fi Protected Access was the straight alternative of the growing threats to the WEP standard. It was officially accepted in the year 2003, one year before WEP was actually retired. The most prominent WPA configuration is said to be WPA-PSK (Pre-Shared Key).

There are some noteworthy modifications introduced to WPA. Best example for this is the message integrity check. This is basically to find out whether an attacker had absorbed or changed the packets transferred between the access point and client) and the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP).   

WPA also has also implemented public demonstrations to be susceptible to interruption. Moreover, the way how WPA is normally breached is not a straightforward challenge to the WPA algorithm. Anyway, it can be claimed that WPA makes it smooth to connect devices to contemporary access points.    

Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2)

WPA has been officially outdated by WPA2. The most noteworthy modification between WPA and WPA2 was the compulsory usage of AES algorithm and the introduction of CCMP (Counter Cipher Mode with Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol). At present, the basic security threat to the WPA2 system is pretty unclear, which also demands the hacker to be already having the protected Wi-Fi network for having access to certain keys and then carry on the attack against the other devices over the same network. Through the process, the security threats of the fundamental WPA2 concerns are restricted pretty much on commercial networks, and demand minimal or no practical consideration regarding the home network security.

The biggest concern here is that the same challenge that is considered the prime concern in the WPA also stays with the contemporary WPA2-potent execution points. Though entering in to a WPA/WPA2 protected network through this susceptibility demands anywhere in between two to fourteen hours of consistent effort with a high-end device, it is quite a mention-worthy security challenge, and demands the WPS to be disabled. In fact, if possible, the firmware of the entry point needs to be presented to a distribution that doesn’t even meet well with WPS, making the threat to be completely eradicated.

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