Wi-Fi group updates security system

WPA 2 takes in tougher encryption tech

Broken CD with wrench

The Wi-Fi Alliance formally began issuing WPA 2 certificates yesterday, as eight products received the right to use the organisation's second-generation wireless security brand.

WPA 2 is derived from 802.11i, the wireless security standard finally ratified by the IEEE in July. WPA 2 essentially mandates the use of the AES encryption standard, thus far only offered by some vendors as an option alongside WPA's Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP).

WPA essentially provided components of 802.11i that didn't require hardware acceleration.

Among the first WPA 2 certified products comes Intel's newly released ProWireless 2915ABG tri-mode adaptor for Centrino-based systems. Kit from Broadcom, Atheros, Netgear, Cisco, Realtek and Instant802 are also on the list.

The WFA will next introduce its Wireless Mulitmedia (WMM) marque, which is expected to begin issuing certification for later this month. A subset of the 802.11e quality of service standard, WMM essentially provides wireless traffic a range of priorities, depending on the kind of data they contain. Time-dependent information, like video or audio, for example, will get priority over, say, email traffic.

The 802.11e specification also includes technology dubbed Wi-Fi Scheduled Media (WSM), which dedicates bandwidth segments to specific data types. ®

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