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Dependability in Wireless Networks: Can We Rely on WiFi?

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3 Author(s)
Aime, M.D. ; Politecnico di Torino ; Calandriello, G. ; Lioy, Antonio

WiFi - short for "wireless fidelity" - is the commercial name for the 802.11 products that have flooded the corporate wireless local area network (WLAN) market and are becoming rapidly ingrained in our daily lives via public hotspots and digital home networks. Authentication and confidentiality are crucial issues for corporate WiFi use, but privacy and availability tend to dominate pervasive usage. However, because a technology's dependability requirements are proportional to its pervasiveness, newer applications mandate a deeper understanding of how much we can rely on WiFi and its security promises. In this article, we present an overview of WiFi vulnerabilities and investigate their proximate and ultimate origins. The intended goal is to provide a foundation to discuss WiFi dependability and its impact on current and future usage scenarios. Although a wireless network's overall security depends on the network stack to the application layer, this article focuses on specific vulnerabilities at the physical (PHY) and data (MAC) layers of 802.11 networks

Published in:

Security & Privacy, IEEE  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 1 )