Security analysis and authentication improvement for IEEE 802.11i specification

Xinyu Xing*, Elhadi Shakshuki, Darcy Benoit, Tarek Sheltami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


The IEEE 802.11i amendment has been finalized to address the security issues in wireless local area networks. A prodigious amount of research has demonstrated that the IEEE 802.11i specification is sufficient to prevent unauthorized access and use. In this paper, we analyze the IEEE 802.11i wireless networking amendment with respect to data confidentiality, integrity, mutual authentication and availability. Our analysis indicates that a number of serious threats have still not been addressed by the 802.11i amendment. This includes DoS attacks, insider attacks, offline guessing attacks, etc. Furthermore, configuring security features on a commercial Wi-Fi network is moderately-to-very difficult. Towards this end, this paper proposes an improved authentication mechanism which adopts asymmetric cryptography and thus accomplishes link-layer frame protection. Through our further analysis and discussion, we conclude that the proposed mechanism not only prevents potential security threats but also accomplishes autonomic security configuration without human intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2008 IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference, GLOBECOM 2008
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event2008 IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference, GLOBECOM 2008 - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Nov 30 2008Dec 4 2008

Publication series

NameGLOBECOM - IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference


Other2008 IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference, GLOBECOM 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA


  • Asymmetric cryptography
  • IEEE 802.11i
  • WEP
  • WLANs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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