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802.11 Security Infrastructure

This tutorial describes the internal workings of 802.11 and how it provides for both MAC-layer access control and encryption mechanisms, which are known collectively as wired equivalent privacy (WEP), with the objective of providing wireless LANs with security equivalent to that of their wired counterparts. This tutorial also describes how the access control and the ESSID (also known as a WLAN service area ID) is programmed into each access point and is required knowledge in order for a wireless client to associate with an access point. In addition, there is provision for a table of MAC addresses called an access control list (ACL) to be included in the access point, restricting access to clients whose MAC addresses are on the list.