Encrypting SSID with WEP?
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Thread: Encrypting SSID with WEP?

  1. #1
    Junior Member rock_bill's Avatar
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    Arrow ??????

    Can I encrypt the SSID using WEP?

  2. #2
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    A simple one word answer is YES.
    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

    - Albert Einstein

  3. #3
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    You can't encrypt the SSID with WEP.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I think that you are getting confused?

    The SSID is basically your network name or identifier. It is effectively standing information like a user ID.

    WEP is an encryption algorithm for traffic flowing over the network (WPA is stronger ) It is for dynamically encrypting packets, not for static information.

    Obviously you can theoretically encrypt anything with any algorithm, but I don't think that was your question?



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  5. #5
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    Well I too was confused over that...I ran a serach through numerous pagres and went through man ypages and it seems that WEP can be used to encrypt SSID.

    @nihil : what do you mean by Obviously you can theoretically encrypt anything with any algorithm. What do you mean by THEORETICALLY? do you mean that in practical applications, SSID can't be encrypted by WEP?? If yes then why??
    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

    - Albert Einstein

  6. #6
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    I know that the SSID broadcast can be disabled but didn't think that it could be encrypted. If it can, I'd be interested to know how. I just wonder if it depends upon the make of the router? If it is possible with WEP, what about with WPA?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Well, as I understand things, the SSID is not really a security feature in itself.

    I have always seen advice to change it from the default, and not make it obvious. In that respect I think that it is rather similar to your USER ID or Profile on an NTFS system. It gives an attacker something else to guess or find out, but is relatively trivial from a security viewpoint.

    Now, it is quite possible to encrypt a whole drive, operating system included. You have to authenticate yourself to the encryption software and it then decrypts the drive before you can even authenticate yourself to the operating system and any file and applications security measures that you might have installed.

    So, my comment that you could theoretically encrypt the SSID holds good. However, in its normal usage (broadcast) it is not encrypted, so I do not really see what this would achieve, unless you were afraid of physical access/theft.

    As for WEP, this is a weak encryption algorithm at best. All I would say is that IMO it is better than nothing, and would deter casual interception, therefore to use the algorithm to encrypt things it was not designed for would seem to be something of a waste of time? Better to use far better encryption mechanisms for those?

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  8. #8
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    Debunking the Myth of SSID hiding (PDF!) - that should answer any and all questions

  9. #9
    Some Assembly Required ShagDevil's Avatar
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    Not to be a ***** here but, here's my input.
    I think encrypting the SSID is pointless. Your focus should not be on the SSID, moreso it should on whats travelling between your router and whatever is connected to it.
    Encrypting the SSID won't stop anyone from sniffing out your wireless traffic.
    The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his - George Patton

  10. #10
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    There is no way to hide your SSID. You can disable SSID broadcast (although that breaks some devices), but that still won't hide it as a passive observer will still be able to see probe requests and responses, thus see what the SSID is.

    WEP, WPA etc, do not encrypt
    - SSIDs
    - Mac addresses
    - Various other metadata (timestamps maybe)

    They only encrypt the normal ethernet data. This includes IP headers of course so they can't see your IPs.

    Mark

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