Introduction to LAN’s
A LAN (Local Area Network) is a type of network that offers
connection of different personal devices that exist in a small
area. The devices can be configured to be hardwired or
WEP, WPA, PSK, TKIP and AES are all wireless security
measures that can help protect the transmission of data over
a LAN. The differences between these five security protocols
is that they each provide a different level of security for a
network depending on the needs of the network owner (some
are better for the home, some better for business, etc.). These
security protocols are upgraded versions of each other that
are designed to fix vulnerabilities in the preceding protocol.
WEP – Wireless Equivalent Privacy
A security protocol used
by routers to that protects
data by encrypting packets
sent over the wireless
WEP was used in the
event that unauthorized
users (or hackers) outside
of the wireless LAN
attempted to intercept the
data sent over network.
WEP was created to provide a
level of confidentiality similar
to that of the hard wired
WEP’s are most used in homes
and is still a method of
network protection used by
WPA – Wi-Fi Protected Access
A solution to the flaws of the WEP
security protocol, used by routers.
WPA adds more protection than WEP
(which was the first wireless
protection) by providing more end to
end security (from the internet
access point to the receiver).
WPA was created to make sure that
the encryption key on the data
packets were not changed or
tampered with by unauthorized
users. The most recent version of
WPA is WPA2.
WPA eliminates a hacker’s ability to
change the encryption key without
the network knowing through
integrity checking cryptography that
ensures end to end security. Hashing
is also used to make it difficult to
determine what the algorithm
between the input data and the hash
value of that same data is. Key –
mixing and re-keying increase the
strength of the encryption and
change the key every 10,000 packets.
WPA can be used on home and
TKIP – Temporal Key Integrity Protocol
A security protocol used by
routers that ensures that every
data packet sent over a wireless
LAN has a unique encryption
key, also known as key mixing.
TKIP was created as a solution to
the breaking of WEP which left a
wireless network without a viable
link-layer security. Key mixing
makes the decoding of keys more
difficult and eliminates the WEP
key recovery attacks.
• TKIP prevents hackers or
otherwise unauthorized users
of the network from obtaining
the personal passwords of
authorized network users.
TKIP can be used at home for
upgrading security on a wireless
network. TKIP is not ideal for the
protection of sensitive corporate
and government data
AES – Advanced Encryption Standard
One of the strongest cryptographic
algorithms, sometimes used by the
WPA2 security protocol. AES algorithms
work by rearranging and substituting the
data sent over a network.
AES was created by a division of the U.S.
Commerce Department as a replacement
for the Data Encryption Standard (also
known as DES). It is considered the
standard for encrypting unclassified
government information for decades to
With AES, there is no known attack that
can decrypt without searching through
all 256bit keys, which would take a lot of
time and power. AES substitutes data
using different techniques such as Key
schedule, State, Sbox, and Cipher
Algorithm Pseudocode etc.
AES is used by businesses in which
maximum security is necessary
(government, financial and
telecommunications businesses, etc.).
PSK – Pre Shared Key
A wireless security feature in which a
pre shared key is selected by the
owner of the network and given out
only to individuals they authorize to
connect to the network. PSK is
normally 8-16 characters long and is
saved on the devices of authorized
users for easy access to the network.
PSK was created to protect network
owners from unwanted threats. PSK
also functions to allow home owners
or small business to share
information with coworkers, friends
PSK used where an individual has a
wireless network and only wants
certain authorized users to be able to
access it. The individual creates a
password, and only those who know
or are given the password can gain
access to the wireless network on
PSK can be used on WLAN’s in the
home as well as by small business
Computer A - PC (with ethernet NIC &without wifi NIC)
Computer B - File server
Configuration 1 – The purchase of a wireless NIC for Computer A to create an
Ad Hoc network.
Configuration 2 – A hard-wired connection for all devices using Ethernet
cables and a router.
Configuration 3 – A hard-wired connection between the router and modem,
as well as between Computer A and the router. All other
devices connected wirelessly.