[driverloader] Security mode: open

Sebastien Stormacq sebastien.stormacq at sun.com
Wed Aug 18 18:48:15 EDT 2004

Thaks fro the clarification


Marc Boucher wrote:
> On Aug 17, 2004, at 11:19 AM, Sebastien Stormacq wrote:
>> Steve,
>> AFAIK, opne means there is no encryption (WEP or other) on the link
>> So, to answer your question : NO this is not secure.
>> Cheers,
>> Seb
> I am afraid that this is not the correct answer. One should not confuse 
> authentication and encryption.
> On driverloader interfaces, the iwconfig security mode parameter ("open" 
> or "restricted") actually sets the authentication mode to either "open 
> system" or "shared key" respectively (or "automatic" if no keyword is 
> specified). WEP encryption is activated by setting an encryption key, 
> regardless of the authentication mode setting. Therefore encryption can 
> still be active in "open" authentication mode.
> "Shared key" authentication was intended as a way for the access point 
> to verify the identity of the client with a challenge-response scheme 
> based on the WEP key before allowing it to associate. However, it was 
> incorrectly designed and may actually weaken security by exposing the 
> WEP key to potential attack.
> "Open system" authentication basically allows anyone to associate with 
> the access point, but if WEP encryption is on and they don't know the 
> WEP key, such an association would be useless since valid packets cannot 
> be transmitted or received without a proper key.
> So paradoxically, "open system" authentication might in practice be more 
> secure than "shared key" authentication.
> Note however that WEP encryption does protect to some extent but is no 
> longer considered fully secure, regardless of the mode used. For 
> adequate security, use WPA.
> Hoping this clarifies,
> Marc
> -- 
> Marc Boucher
> Linuxant inc.
>> Steve Varadi wrote:
>>> WSecurity mode: open What does it mean exactly?? It is open for 
>>> public? or open i.e. ON??
>>> Is it secure in this mode??
>>>   wlan0     IP address: (DHCP)
>>> wlan0     IEEE 802.11-DS  ESSID:"pwl199"  Nickname:"Hepike"
>>>           Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.437GHz  Access Point: 
>>> 00:80:C8:01:B0:AA            Bit Rate=11Mb/s             RTS thr=1600 
>>> B   Fragment thr=2344 B             Encryption 
>>> key:1111-1111-1122-2222-2222-9999-99   Security mode:open
>>>           Power Management:off
>>>           Link Quality:100/100  Signal level:-29 dBm  Noise 
>>> level:-154 dBm
>>>           Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
>>>           Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0
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