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Weird WEP bug strikes Centrino 2 Wi-Fi

Zero in on the source

The Wi-Fi Link 5000 chip that's part of Intel's newly launched Centrino 2 platform doesn't appear to like security keys that comprise a stack of zeros.

That's the conclusion drawn by writer Frank Ohlhorst, who's been testing a pair of Centrino laptops and found they wouldn't talk to access points from different vendors whenever he set the base-stations to use 64-bit or 128-bit WEP security and keys containing nothing but zeros in hex.

Now, you could argue that no one should be using WEP, and certainly not with a 'guessable' key like '0000000000', but there it is. If you set up your access point that way, your Centrino 2 notebook won't be able to use it.

That's a bug in anyone's book, even if, as Frank admits, it's "very, very minor". And Centrino 2's barely out the door.

It's not a glitch that manifests itself with WPA or with non-zero WEP keys, of whatever key length. It's got nothing to do with the OS - the access points work with older laptops running a range of operating systems, and with kit like the Wii and the iPod Touch.

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