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Wired equivalent privacy 2

(also WEP2, WEP-2)

Wired equivalent privacy 2 definition

Wired equivalent privacy 2 (WEP2) is the second version of an outdated security protocol used for protecting data transmitted over wireless networks, WEP. Wired equivalent privacy 2 was created to address the security issues of WEP, such as a short encryption key. However, WEP2 also had several security flaws and wasn’t widely adopted. Both WEP and WEP2 are now considered obsolete but may still be used in some rare cases.

See also: WPA key, WEP crack

WEP2 history

Wired equivalent privacy (WEP) was introduced in 1997 as one of the first protocols to provide WLANs with security and privacy. WEP2 came into effect in 1999 to solve some of the WEP security challenges. However, even if it improved some of the vulnerabilities of the first version of WEP, it still had many outstanding security issues. Several other versions of WEP came into effect after WEP2: WEP3 in 2000 and WEP4 in 2001.

WEP vs. WEP2

  • WEP used a short encryption key, either 40 or 104 bits in length. This short key made it vulnerable to various cyberattacks (especially brute-force attacks, where attackers try and guess the key by entering many variations).
  • WEP2 had a longer, 128-bit encryption key. Theoretically, the key made it more difficult for hackers to crack the encryption through brute-force attacks, but it still wasn’t secure enough. For example, the protocols of today use 256-bit encryption as standard.

WEP2 security issues

  • Just like WEP, WEP2 uses predictable initialization vectors, making it easier for attackers to crack the encryption.
  • WEP2 relies on the RC4 encryption algorithm with known security flaws.
  • WEP2 uses static encryption keys, making it difficult to update or change keys for security reasons.
  • WEP uses open system authentication, so anyone can connect a device without proper verification.
  • WEP encrypts data but doesn't ensure the integrity of the data. Attackers can modify data packets in transit without detection.