WEP problems with ndis and ath drivers

Gary Corcoran garycor at comcast.net
Tue Mar 23 19:58:08 PST 2004

Sam Leffler wrote:

> It appears your AP requires shared-key authentication to associate when  
> WEP is enabled.  The current code in the tree does not support  
> shared-key authentication (it's actually a bad idea security-wise).

I don't claim to be an "expert" on WiFi, but the project I'm on at
work involves WiFi, so I've had to learn a few things.  One thing I
learned is that you have a choice of "open" or "shared-key" authentication,
and I eventually found out what "open" means.  It is supposedly better
described as "no authentication", because your access point is "open",
or usable without authentication.  This is independent (on at least some
access points) of whether you have WEP turned on.  That is, with WEP on,
you can have either open or shared-key authentication.  On other acess
points, however, it appears that if you have WEP turned on, then it implies
shared-key, rather than the no-authentication "open" mode, which seems
to make sense - if you want security, you don't want just anyone "authenticating".

Hence I'm curious why, if "open" equates to "no" authentication,
you suggest that shared-key authentication is a worse option?
Perhaps it is - I'm just trying to learn a bit more...

BTW, although I've only played with it a bit on FreeBSD and Linux,
thanks for your work on the Atheros drivers, Sam.


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