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Privacy and authentication for wireless local area networks

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2 Author(s)
A. Aziz ; Sun Microsyst. Comput. Corp., Mountain View, CA, USA ; W. Diffie

Wireless networks are being driven by the need for providing network access to mobile or nomadic computing devices. Although the need for wireless access to a network is evident, new problems are inherent in the wireless medium itself. Specifically, the wireless medium introduces new opportunities for eavesdropping on wireless data communications. Anyone with an appropriate wireless receiver can eavesdrop, and this kind of eavesdropping is virtually undetectable. Furthermore, since the wireless medium cannot be contained by the usual physical constraints of walls and doors, active intrusions through the wireless medium are also made easier. In order to prevent this unauthorized access to the network, the authors present the design of a secure communication protocol that provides for both the privacy of wireless data communications and the authenticity of communicating parties. The placement of the protocol in the overall protocol stack and issues relevant to wireless links and mobile computing devices are discussed. They also present proof of the security of the protocol using the logic of authentication formalism developed by Burrows, Abadi, and Needham (1990).<>

Published in:

IEEE Personal Communications  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 1 )