WPA IE format

Bryan Kadzban bryan at kadzban.is-a-geek.net
Wed Jul 16 07:14:18 EDT 2008

Hash: RIPEMD160

Paresh Sawant wrote:
> I think issue out here is there is no "IEEE documented" way to
> propagate WPA (or TSN) IE in air.

Right.  Because WPA is *not* an IEEE standard.  WPA is a Wi-Fi Alliance
standard.  :-)

The Wi-Fi Alliance's WPA2 standard incorporates the IEEE 802.11i
standard, but there is no similar setup for WPA.  (Part of 802.11i is
TSN, but that's only there because the Wi-Fi people started certifying
products to a cut-down pre-802.11i security standard.  My understanding
is that it's not supposed to be used "on its own".)

> Suppose an AP manufacturer goes for this in some proprietary way
> having some other ID and OUI,

Then that manufacturer's AP is not following the Wi-Fi Alliance's
standard, and can't carry the Wi-Fi logo (or at least the WPA logo), or
receive Wi-Fi certification.  This is why using certified products is
such a big deal (at least to me; most people don't seem to care).

Also, if someone did that, then *no* supplicants would be able to
recognize the AP.  It's worse than just wpa_supplicant not working;
nothing would.  The built-in WinXP supplicant, for instance, won't work
(it will likely assume the network is WEP, based on the beacon's privacy
bit -- but that won't work if the AP is expecting some WPA type setup).

> I feel there need to be a standard way to do this, which I fail to
> find anywhere.

The Wi-Fi Alliance's has a specification.  I believe you have to pay
them for it, but it does exist.  www.wi-fi.org
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