Stronger WLAN security standard approved

IEEE 802.11i gets OK

SAN FRANCISCO - The IEEE 802.11i specification, the latest set of rules to bolster security on wireless LANs, has received final approval, according to a co-author of the standard.

The IEEE 802.11i subcommittee signed off on the standard Thursday, according to a statement from Trapeze Networks Inc. that was attributed to Dan Harkins, a software engineer at the Pleasanton, California, wireless LAN equipment vendor. Harkins was a co-author of several portions of the specification.

The specification adds the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) protocol to 802.11, which forms the basis of Wi-Fi wireless LAN technologies. AES is a stronger form of encryption than is found in the current WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) mechanism and is the security standard for wireless networks that carry U.S. government information.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has said it plans to certify products for 802.11i support beginning in September.