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Crack WEP With a Single Packet

Received this in the email today at work. If there is any doubt that WEP is okay to use on your WiFi network, here’s your best reason not to. If someone can sniff a packet, you’re pwn3d. WEP is now basically as insecure as running entirely unencrypted. So do yourlself a favor: run your WiFi access point with WPA :)

The Final Nail in WEP’s Coffin (Warning: PDF Link)

Bittau, A.   Handley, M.   Lackey, J.
University College London;

This paper appears in: Security and Privacy, 2006 IEEE Symposium on Publication Date: 21-24 May 2006 On page(s): 386- 400


The 802.11 encryption standard Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is still widely used today despite the numerous discussions on its insecurity. In this paper, we present a novel vulnerability which allows an attacker to send arbitrary data on a WEP network after having eavesdropped a
single data packet. Furthermore, we present techniques for real-time decryption of data packets, which may be used under common circumstances. Vendor produced mitigation techniques which cause frequent WEP re-keying prevent traditional attacks, whereas our attack remains effective
even in such scenarios.

We implemented a fully automatic version of this attack which demonstrates its practicality and feasibility in real networks. As even rapidly re-keyed networks can be quickly compromised, we believe WEP must now be abandoned rather than patched yet again.

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