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Recent Posts

  • Wireless Security Protocols

    Wireless Security Protocols

    Wireless security has improved over the years, but wireless networks are still susceptible to vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, many users just don’t understand how to lock down a wireless network adequately. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, …
  • Identifying Common Commands

    Identifying Common Commands

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of common commands that you can run on your primary computer or within a virtual machine. The CompTIA Security+ objectives list several command-line …
  • Understanding Access Management Controls

    Understanding Access Management Controls

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a good understanding of identity and access management controls. For example, can you answer this question? Q. Your organization is implementing an SDN. Management wants to …
  • Tax Scams

    Tax Scams

    It’s tax season and you know that means. More tax scams. A neighbor recently reported that she received a phone call from someone stating she was from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The caller (let’s call her the scammer) said my …
  • Risk Assessment Methods

    Risk Assessment Methods

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of risk management processes and concepts. This includes risk assessment methods used by organizations to mitigate risks using different types of security controls. …
  • Comparing Labels and Lattice

    Comparing Labels and Lattice

    Access control ensures that only authenticated and authorized entities can access resources. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of implementing identity and access management controls. This includes an access …
  • Neighbor Spoofing & Vishing

    Neighbor Spoofing & Vishing

    Criminals have increasingly used neighbor spoofing when launching vishing attacks. This apparently became popular in 2018 and has been steadily increasing. Vishing is a a type of phishing attack using phones. Phone spoofing is when a caller changes the number …
  • Encrypting & Decrypting Email

    Encrypting & Decrypting Email

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of the basic concepts of cryptography. This includes ensuring confidentiality of email by encrypting and decrypting email contents. For example, can you answer …
  • Understanding Cryptography Algorithms

    Understanding Cryptography Algorithms

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a good understanding of cryptography algorithms and their basic characteristics. This includes symmetric algorithms like AES, DES, 3DES, RC4, Blowfish/Twofish. For example, can you answer this …
  • HTTPS Transport Encryption

    HTTPS Transport Encryption

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should have a good understanding of basic cryptography concepts. This includes transport encryption methods used with HTTPS. For example, can you answer this question? Q. Network administrators in …
  • Comparing Command-Line Tools

    Comparing Command-Line Tools

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of available software tools to assess the security posture of an organization. This includes using security tools such as protocol analyzers, command-line tools, logs, and audits. …
  • Common Password Attacks

    Common Password Attacks

    If you’re planning to take the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of cryptographic attacks. This includes common password attacks that attempt to discover or bypass passwords used for authentication on systems and networks, and for different types …
  • Web Application Attacks

    Web Application Attacks

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should understand many of the common attacks included web application attacks on servers. For example, can you answer this  question? Q. Looking at logs for an online web …
  • Comparing IPSs and IDSs

    Comparing IPSs and IDSs

    If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of some of the more advanced network security concepts. This includes intrusion detection systems (IDSs) and intrusion prevention systems (IPSs). For example, can you answer this …
  • Is Your Computer Spying On You?

    Is Your Computer Spying On You?

    Is your computer spying on you? If it has a webcam, you may be surprised at easy it is to remotely enable it and have it send pictures. Years ago, I saw a news segment where a reporter showed how …

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Wireless Security Protocols

Posted by on February 13 in Security+ | 0 comments

Wireless security has improved over the years, but wireless networks are still susceptible to vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, many users just don’t understand how to lock down a wireless network adequately. If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 version of the Security+ exam, you should understand how to install and configure wireless security settings.

For example, can you answer this question?

Q. You want to implement the STRONGEST level of security on a wireless network. Which of the following supports this goal?

A. Implementing WPA with TKIP

B. Disabling SSID broadcast

C. Enabling MAC filtering

D. Implementing WPA2 with CCMP

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation are available at the end of this post.

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Wireless Cryptographic Protocols

Wireless Security ProtocolsBecause wireless networks broadcast over the air, anyone who has a wireless transceiver can intercept the transmissions. You can secure wireless networks with several different steps, but the most important step is to implement a strong security protocol, such as Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2). The primary security protocols available for wireless networks includes WPA, WPA2, and TKIP.

WPA

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) was an interim replacement for Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). WEP has known vulnerabilities and should not be used. WPA provided an immediate solution to the weaknesses of WEP without requiring users to upgrade their hardware. Even when WPA replaced WEP, its developers recognized that WPA wasn’t solid enough to last for an extended period. Instead, WPA improved wireless security by giving users an alternative to WEP with existing hardware while the developers worked on creating the stronger WPA2 protocol.

WPA is susceptible to password-cracking attacks, especially when the AP has a weak passphrase. The attacker uses a wireless protocol analyzer to capture the authentication traffic and then uses an offline brute force attack to discover the passphrase. Attackers often use a disassociation attack to force the user to reauthenticate.

WPA2

Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) is the permanent replacement for WPA. WPA2 (also known as IEEE 802.11i) uses stronger cryptography than WPA. The Wi-Fi Alliance requires all devices carrying its WI-FI CERTIFIED logo to meet WPA2 standards, including the use of the Counter Mode with Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP).

Although WPA2 provides significant security improvements over previous wireless encryption techniques, some enterprises need stronger security. Another step you can take is to enable authentication with Enterprise mode.

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If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-501 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must-read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

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TKIP Versus CCMP

Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) is an older encryption protocol used with WPA, and CCMP is a newer encryption protocol used with WPA2. IEEE has deprecated WPA and TKIP due to various security issues, but many wireless networks are still using these older protocols. IEEE recommends using WPA2 with CCMP because it provides significantly more security.

A benefit of TKIP is that it didn’t require new hardware. WEP users could upgrade software and/or firmware and implement WPA with TKIP without the need to replace the hardware. Newer hardware supports WPA2, so the usage of WPA and TKIP is waning. However, you might still see some legacy hardware using WPA and TKIP.

Later implementations of WPA support Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) instead of TKIP. It is a very strong and efficient encryption algorithm. Many applications beyond WPA/WPA2 use AES to provide secure encryption and ensure confidentiality. Several people have been successful at cracking WPA with TKIP, so whenever possible, it’s best to upgrade WPA to WPA2, or at least upgrade TKIP to use AES.

WPA2 supports CCMP, which is based on AES and is much stronger than WPA using TKIP. WPA2 also employs much more secure methods of managing the encryption keys than WPA.

Authentication Protocols

Wireless networks support several different authentication protocols. Many are built on the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), an authentication framework that provides general guidance for authentication methods. IEEE 802.1X servers typically use one of these methods to increase the level of security during the authentication process. Additionally, while they are often used in wireless networks, they can also be used anywhere an 802.1X server is implemented.

A key point to remember for each of the methods is if they support or require certificates. Some methods are EAP, EAP- FAST, PEAP, EAP-TTLS, EAP-TLS, and RADIUS federation.

Note that EAP-Flexible Authentication via Secure Tunneling (EAP-FAST) supports digital certificates, but they are optional. Protected EAP (PEAP) and EAP-Tunneled TLS (EAP-TTLS) require a certificate on the server, but not the clients. EAP-TLS requires certificates on both the servers and the clients. As an introduction, certificates help provide strong authentication and encryption services. However, a Certificate Authority (CA) must issue certificates, so an organization must either purchase certificates from a public CA, or implement a private CA within the network.


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CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

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  • About the exam (including information on the number of questions, test duration, passing score, types of questions and more. Also includes a listing of the exam objectives)
  • 75 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Identity and Access Management (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Network Technologies and Tools (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Comparing Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Common Attacks (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Protecting Against Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Using Risk Management Tools (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Controls to Protect Assets (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography and PKI (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Policies to Mitigate Risks (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
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  • Glossary

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Q. You want to implement the STRONGEST level of security on a wireless network. Which of the following supports this goal?

A. Implementing WPA with TKIP

B. Disabling SSID broadcast

C. Enabling MAC filtering

D. Implementing WPA2 with CCMP

Answer is D. Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) with Counter Mode with Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP) provides the strongest level of security of the given choices.

Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) is an older encryption protocol used with WPA and it isn’t as strong as CCMP.

Disabling service set identifier (SSID) broadcast hides the network from casual users, but attackers can still discover it because the SSID is still included in some packets in plaintext.

Attackers can bypass media access control (MAC) address filtering by spoofing authorized MAC addresses.

See Chapter 4 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on securing network.

CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

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