Wireless - Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is a security protocol and security certification program developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to secure Wi-Fi computer networks. It was created in response to the weaknesses found in the previously used Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) system. WPA provides stronger encryption and better user authentication than WEP.

There are several versions of WPA:

  1. WPA (WPA1): Introduced in 2003, this was the original version of WPA. It used Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) for encryption, which was a significant improvement over WEP but eventually found to have its own vulnerabilities.

  2. WPA2: Launched in 2004, WPA2 is an enhanced version of WPA and is currently the most widely used. WPA2 mandates the use of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) protocol, which is significantly more secure than TKIP.

  3. WPA3: Introduced in 2018, WPA3 is the latest version and offers improved security features. It provides stronger encryption through the use of the Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) protocol, which replaces the Pre-Shared Key (PSK) in WPA2, making it harder for hackers to perform brute force attacks. WPA3 also includes features that improve security for devices with no or limited display interface, enhances privacy in open networks through individualized data encryption, and offers greater protection against certain types of attacks like KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attacks).

All three versions use a 4-way handshake to initiate secure communications, however each version has enhanced this process with improved security aspects.

Each version of WPA aims to provide secure wireless network connections by protecting against unauthorized access and ensuring the confidentiality of the data transmitted over the network. Users are recommended to use the latest version available for enhanced security.