• OK I hven't gone all the way through the CWNA book yet, I have experience but I came across something and have been thinking "Why didn't I know this?"

    So here is the question?

    Is RSNA-TKIP the same as WPA2 with TKIP.

    Yes I will RTFM but I think I should know this.

    From a quick scan I think RSN RSNA refers to the 802.1i side whereas WPA and WPA2 refer to the Wi-Fi Alliance side.

    If I am wrong it won't be the first tim today!

  • By (Deleted User)

    Pete, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers!

    Pat yourself on the back that you recognize that you may not know the answer to this question. No ask yourself, or anyone else for that matter, how many IT guys are out there "on the job" who have no idea what this question even means?

  • Damn

    I was hoping for an answer your gona make me RTFM

    I know you are

  • By (Deleted User)

    I'm still reading the book and admittedly have no clue yet but now I'm going to go and look.

    Thanks guys!

  • RSNA = association that use a 4-way handshake i.e. WPA or WPA2. WPA uses TKIP(RC 4 algorithm) encryption and WPA2 uses CCMP(AES algorithm). I have seen vendors put WPA2 with TKIP as an encryption but really this is WPA is my understanding. This may be done to prevent configurations errors or simplify it, I don't know. Take a look at the association request and possibly response and you will see a difference between WPA and WPA2 in the information elements. Except it won't say WPA or WPA2. That is important. Wi-Fi and IEEE are in fact different certification bodies and do have some different terminology to describe the same things. Wi-Fi WPA2 is 802.11i-2004 but so is WPA since WPA2 must be compatible with WPA. An RSNA as mentioned only needs to have a higher encryption than WEP such as TKIP or AES. I'm not referring to the Cipher only the implementation. Clear as mud?

  • Yeah its a shame there isnt a Janet and John version for the people who want to know.

    Is it deliberatly this confusing as the people who make this up dont even undestand it!!!

  • Don't forget WPA=pre-standard where WPA2=post standard. If you look at the packet dump for both they look the same, just the encryption protocol is different. So in this case a RSN is what the 802.11i standard defines as must have CCMP but optionally can support TKIP. WPA vs WPA2 just defines what is in the standard vs what is pre-standard in a similar way as we had pre-standard 802.11n stuff.

  • From Wikipedia (
    The WPA protocol implements the majority of the IEEE 802.11i standard. The Wi-Fi Alliance intended WPA as an intermediate measure to take the place of WEP pending the preparation of 802.11i. Specifically, the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), was brought into WPA. TKIP could be implemented on pre-WPA wireless network interface cards that began shipping as far back as 1999 through firmware upgrades. Because the changes required fewer modifications on the client than on the wireless access points (APs), most pre-2003 APs could not be upgraded to support WPA with TKIP. Researchers have since discovered a flaw in TKIP that relied on older weaknesses to retrieve the keystream from short packets to use for re-injection and spoofing.[2]

    The later WPA2 certification mark indicates compliance with the full IEEE 802.11i standard. This advanced protocol will not work with some older network cards.

  • Thats all clear now its just placing RSN in my brain with all the othr accronyms, I'm well versed in the WEP, WPA, WPA2 with or without TKIP etc but just had not heard it referred to as RSN. Again knowledge gaps, each slowly getting filled with little gems.

    Many thanks

  • Some of this follows a differernt set of dimensions. Security is set on your router and defines the protection level used to encrypt data between your computer and your routers, in this case a router. The better security you put into use, the more difficult it is for an attacker or a hacker to use your network. The strange, I once heard a hacker say "I'm not a hacker, I just use your own weaknesses to my advantage". Because an attacker always tends to break into the least secured network, my advice is simple: Make sure your network has better (or the same) protection as your neighbour! From worse to best, these are the security levels used for wireless networks:
    If a network shows RSNA-CCMP, that's virtual the same, don't quote me, to WPA2-CCMP. So RSNA-TKIP > RSNA-CCMP, If required, change the wireless security on your router.

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