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Cracking Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), Part 2

Article Description

Concluding his two-part series, Seth Fogie describes in detail how WPA-PSK can be cracked.

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The point of this pair of articles was to provide you with an understanding of how WPA-PSK can be cracked. To do this, we first examined why WPA was created; its variations; how it's used; the algorithms and key technologies included with WPA; and finally how WPA-PSK, combined with a weak password, can expose a wireless network to attackers.

As we've learned, cracking the password is no simple matter. Due to the WPA design, an attacker must have an insider's understanding of how the packets are created and how their data is used to secure a WPA-PSK network (or a tool that does this for the attacker). Our example provided a test using a previously known password. To successfully crack a random network, an attacker must have a large dictionary file, a powerful computer, and a little luck in order to obtain the password. Fortunately, this isn't as easy as it sounds.