Although it may ultimately prove to be a stopgap measure, the
today announced that a new security solution based on Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) will replace the existing Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) standard.
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The move to WPA is being made to address security concerns about WEP, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance. The group anticipates that WPA will be implemented by Wi-Fi vendors in the first quarter of 2003, with most offering firmware and software updates for their current Wi-Fi products.
Wi-Fi Alliance chairman Dennis Eaton said that stronger standards-based security is needed now. “The Wi-Fi Alliance worked with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 Standards Working Group for Wireless Local Area Networks to deliver a robust wireless LAN security solution meeting the immediate needs of the marketplace,” he said.
Eaton explained that the switch to WPA provides the IEEE 802.11 Task Group I breathing room to complete and finalize the full 802.11i Robust Security Network amendment to the existing wireless LAN standard.
The Wi-Fi Alliance is a nonprofit organization which promotes the 802.11 wireless LAN standard. Apple and more than 180 other companies are members, and more than 450 products have been certified.