Security Analysis In Wireless Local Area Network

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Security Analysis In Wireless Local Area Network


The Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) security is an important topic especially in the corporate networks. This project provides an analysis of a different security technologies for WLANs, which include WEP, WAP, WAP2, VPN and 802.1x. Based on the analysis provided for the proposals for the security settings in WLANs. With advancement in technology, coupled with increasing price and performance advantages, wireless accessibility is being deployed increasingly in public environments and offices. This paper will discusses the security threats and the variety of risks associated with wireless networks, and also outlines a number of best practices for deploying wireless networks in a corporate organization and home environments. Finally, a set of security tips is provided for end-users surfing the Internet using public wireless networks. Wireless local area networks (WLAN) are beginning to play a much larger role in corporate network environments and are already popular for home networking applications. This increase in accessibility has eventually created large security holes for the hackers and the thieves to abuse, but has finally being addressed by stronger security mechanisms such as advanced encryption algorithms and efficient authentication processes. However, these security methods often hamper network performance which is being negligible to the engineers and users.

Table of Contents

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Figures

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Problem Statement
  • 1.3 Aim and Objectives
  • 1.4 Significance of Study
  • 1.5 Scope of Study
  • 1.6 Methodology

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Wireless Local Area Network
  • 2.2 Type of Wireless Network
  • 2.3 Challenges in Setting up Wireless LAN
  • 2.4 Wireless Networking Standards
  • 2.5 Security Threats of WLAN
  • 2.6 Review of some Related Literatures
  • 2.7 Risks and Vulnerabilities of Wireless LANs
  • 2.8 Intrusion Methods Used By Hackers
  • 2.9 Definition of Term
  • 2.10 Discussion And Analysis On The Proposed Wlan Security Protocol (WPA2)
  • 2.11 WPA2 Features and Benefits
  • 2.12 Protection from Network Attacks with WPA2
  • 2.13 Enterprise Mode Components for a Secure Environment
  • 2.14 How WPA2 Authentication Works
  • 2.15 How WPA2 Encryption with AES Works
  • 2.16 Analysis on AES Encryption

Chapter Three:


  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Software Tool for the Hacking
  • 3.3 Steps for WPA Successful Hacking
  • 3.4 Simulation Instance To Show That Wpa2 Is Better.
  • 3.5 AES Encryption Method
  • 3.6 Wpa2 Algorithm.
  • 3.7 How Is User Access Controlled After Authentication
  • 3.8 Steps and Tools for WPA2 Deployment

Chapter Four:

Analysis and Discussion of Results

  • 4.1 Introduction

Chapter Five:

Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • References

List of Figures

  • Fig.2.1. Wireless Local Area Network
  • Fig. 2.2. Ad-hoc Mode.
  • Fig. 2.3 Infrastructure Mode.
  • Fig. 2.4. Extended Service Set (ESS).
  • Fig. 2.5. A common wireless LAN security risks (Pierre, 2001)
  • Fig.2.6. Enterprise Mode Components
  • Fig. 3.1 wireless access point.
  • Fig. 3.2 Some APs scanned within the range, with some indicating key as their encryption
  • Fig.3.3 Sample packets capture from the network for analysis.
  • Fig.3.4 Converting sample capture (Log file) to “* .cap” format for WPA decryption
  • Fig.3.5 Lunchingaircrack-ng and calling the .cap file from it for decryption.
  • Fig.3.6 WLan configured with WPA
  • Fig.3.7 simulation with WPA2 configured.
  • Fig.3.8 sample of plaintext and the cipher key
  • Fig.3.9 how a message got encrypted.
  • Fig.3.10. how are message got decrypted
  • Fig. 3.11. stages of AES encryption.
  • Fig.3.12. length of keys and the number of rounds.
  • Fig.3.13 AES rounds description.
  • Fig. 3.14 SubBytes calculation
  • Fig. 3.15 Shiftrow phase
  • Fig.3.16 Mixcolumn calculation
  • Fig.3.17 phase of Addroundkey.
  • Fig. 4.1 result of generated passkey.
  • Fig.4.2 result showing the packet transmission parameters between nodes, in WPA.
  • Fig.4.3 showing packet transmission parameters between nodes, in WPA2 configuration
  • Fig.4.4 Result showing the packet transmission parameters between nodes, in WPA.
  • Fig.4.5 showing packet transmission parameters between nodes, in WPA2 configuration

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

In today’s era, everyone wants their necessary data to be handy, portable and accessible from almost every place they visit throughout the day and this is made possible by using wireless networks. Wireless networks, as the name suggests, are those networks that are not connected by any physical means such as Ethernet cables and thus provide the user with great mobility and convenience. Also, it saves one from the expenses on the cables that would be required if wired network is chosen as well as makes it easier for moving the base of the devices from location to another by just moving the machine along with the wireless network card. Wireless local area network (WLAN) has been so widely used in many sectors in the world. It gained popularity due to many reasons, such as installation flexibility, ease of installation, reduced cost-of-ownership, mobility, and scalability. However, regardless of those benefits, WLAN also have some security threats. This paper begins by introducing the concept of WLAN. The introductory section of this project gives brief information on the WLAN components and its architecture.

1.2 Problem Statement

Wireless LAN communications are not private channels. Thus, anyone can access the public domain channel. They are easily susceptible to hackers trying to access sensitive information. Whereas, mischievous person can use a wireless client to insert bogus packets into the wireless LAN with the intent of keeping users from getting access to services. There is also a scenario where there will be a Passive attacks to decrypt traffic based on known plaintext and chosen cipher text attacks. A case where the intruder floods the network with either valid or invalid messages affecting the availability of the network resources. Eavesdropping by the third parties is the most significant threat because the attacker can intercept the transmission over the air from a distance, away from the premise. Another security problem is to inject new traffic from unauthorized mobile stations. Due to the nature of the radio transmission, the WLAN are very vulnerable against denial of service attacks. However, an attacks to decrypt traffic, based on tricking the access point into redirecting wireless traffic to an attacker’s machine is another security issue in wireless LAN.Another attack is modifying the original data before getting to the intended user. Wireless LANs intentionally radiates network traffic into space, This makes it impossible to control who can receive the signals in any wireless LAN installation. Also, since it is a public channel, it is difficult to manage the access and thus the potential is present for users to interfere with each other.

1.3 Aim and Objectives

1.3.1 Aim

The aim of this project is to analysethe security mechanisms in wireless local area network in detail.

1.3.2 Objectives of the Study
  1. To discuss the variety components of wireless local area network.
  2. To discuss the various security protocols being used by wireless LAN.
  3. To design a simple but effective wireless network to simulate how the packets move about the network, and to show various security settings of the network.
  4. To show the vulnerability of the existing wireless protocols.
  5. To make a full research on how encryption and decryption of data works, especially on advance encryption system.(AES)
  6. To suggest a better security mechanism and management techniques for a secured effective and efficient communication, from the wireless network.

1.4 Significance of Study

This research endevours the use of effective and secured wireless network, this way, many researchers and students all over the world working endlessly in other make wireless LAN to be secure for public and private use, like homes, schools, airports, business offices, government buildings, military facilities, coffee shops, book stores, as well as many other venues. One of the primary advantages offered by WLAN is its ability to provide connectivity to portable devices, such as wireless laptops and smart phones. However, using wireless network without the knowledge of how its security work is like walking half-naked, therefore, this research bring about the effectiveness and benefit of security in wireless LAN to the people so they can use the wireless LAN safely and secured anywhere.

1.5 Scope of Study

The scope of this research is limited to the study of security settings in wireless local area network protocols which are WEP, WPA and WPA2, due to the constraint of time, the research should have go broader to study other wireless network protocols like CHAP, PAP, VPN etc.

1.6 Methodology

  1. This research endeavor the use of an efficient, effective, and secure wireless communication in an organization network:
  2. Implementing and simulating of wireless LAN protocols using packet tracer to show the security settings of the existing and the suggested wireless security mechanisms/protocol.
  3. Showing the vulnerability/weakness of the existing wireless protocols by hacking it with some simple software in other to generate its pass phrase. By:
    • Using a laptop to which CommView for WiFi is installed to access services at the AP within wireless coverage range and capture all the packets receive and sent in that particular AP.
    • Using Aircrack-ng software tool to analyze the data collected from the AP and perform some technical steps so as to generate the phassphrase configured in the AP.
    • A better up design and security mechanism have been suggested for enhancement of the wireless network security which suite other wireless installations.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

Our objective in this research is to analyze wireless LAN security, based on the analysis, we proposed a solution which when applied to wireless local area networks in an organization, and other individual could have wireless secured communication channel for its end users. In this work we have shown that a certain wireless LAN lacks security setting, and/or the one in place can be break through by network hackers usually using some set of simple software tools. This problem can be faced not only by that wireless LAN, but even those wireless network deployment that have been configured with the basic IEEE802.11wireless security settings such as the use of WEP, SSID, MAC Address and the likes as there are one hundred and one war driving tools freely available for cracking such encryption techniques which are widely in use. In conclusion, we have successfully analyzed the wireless LAN security, by connecting our laptop to access services at different vantage points on the network, where we have captured live signal for analysis. Based on the analysis carried out, we noticed that the WLAN security is in two forms as; security at application level and that at network level. We were able to decrypt the security at the network level based on the packet capture on the network, which indicates that the wirelessLAN is vulnerable to attack. Based on this our findings, we have proposed the use ofWPA2 which is an enhance security mechanism with no known decryption tool. A simulated instance of this security mechanism has also been provided.

5.2 Recommendation

This research intended to use opnet has its simulating tool because of its enhancement in result analysis, it was later discovered that the security protocols discussed in this work was not included in the wireless node attribute, which makes it not possible to use the software, but it is recommended for any student who wish to continue this research and perform simulation with Wlan to check for the latest version of the opnet before looking for alternatives.

Security Analysis In Wireless Local Area Network

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Security Analysis In Wireless Local Area Network


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