In an Ethernet LAN, physical access to an active RJ-45 walljack or hub/switch port lets you see all traffic on the LAN. Similarly, in an 802.11 wireless LAN, possession of the shared key used by WEP lets you see all traffic on the WLAN. Neither medium prevents other stations on the same LAN from seeing the traffic your station sends and receives. WEP uses encryption as a "replacement" for the physical access control inherent in wired LANs, since wireless LAN traffic can be received by any station in proximity to the transmitter. Recent augmentations to WEP, like the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) defined by IEEE 802.11i, do a better job of accomplishing this objective than the original 802.11:1999 WEP standard did.
Dig Deeper on Wireless LAN (WLAN)
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