1. Background of the Study

In today’s era, everyone wants their necessary data to be handy, portable and accessible from almost every place they visit throughout the day and this is made possible by using wireless networks. Wireless networks, as the name suggests, are those networks that are not connected by any physical means such as Ethernet cables and thus provide the user with great mobility and convenience. Also, it saves one from the expenses on the cables that would be required if wired network is chosen as well as makes it easier for moving the base of the devices from location to another by just moving the machine along with the wireless network card. Wireless local area network (WLAN) has been so widely used in many sectors in the world. It gained popularity due to many reasons, such as installation flexibility, ease of installation, reduced cost-of-ownership,  mobility, and scalability. However, regardless of those benefits, WLAN also have some security threats. This paper begins by introducing the concept of WLAN. The introductory section of this project gives brief information on the WLAN components and its architecture.

  1. Problem Statement

Wireless LAN communications are not private channels. Thus, anyone can access the public domain channel. They are easily susceptible to hackers trying to access sensitive information. Whereas, mischievous person can use a wireless client to insert bogus packets into the wireless LAN with the intent of keeping users from getting access to services. There is also a scenario where there will be a Passive attacks to decrypt traffic based on known plaintext and chosen cipher text attacks. A case where the intruder floods the network with either valid or invalid messages affecting the availability of the network resources. Eavesdropping by the third parties is the most significant threat because the attacker can intercept the transmission over the air from a distance, away from the premise. Another security problem is to inject new traffic from unauthorized mobile stations. Due to the nature of the radio transmission, the WLAN are very vulnerable against denial of service attacks. However, an attacks to decrypt traffic, based on tricking the access point into redirecting wireless traffic to an attacker’s machine is another security issue in wireless LAN.Another attack is modifying the original data before getting to the intended user. Wireless LANs intentionally radiates network traffic into space, This makes it impossible to control who can receive the signals in any wireless LAN installation. Also, since it is a public channel, it is difficult to manage the access and thus the potential is present for users to interfere with each other.

  1. Aim and ObjectivesAim

The aim of this project is to analysethe security mechanisms in wireless local area network in detail.

1.3.2     Objectives of the Study

  • To discuss the variety components of wireless local area network.
  • To discuss the various security protocols being used by wireless LAN.
  • To design a simple but effective wireless network to simulate how the packets move about the network, and to show various security settings of the network.
  • To show the vulnerability of the existing wireless protocols.
  • To make a full research on how encryption and decryption of data works, especially on advance encryption system.(AES)
  • To suggest a better security mechanism and management techniques for a secured
    effective and efficient communication, from the wireless network.
    • Significance of Study

This research endevours the use of effective and secured wireless network, this way, many researchers and students all over the world working endlessly in other make wireless LAN to be secure for public and private use, like homes, schools, airports, business offices, government buildings, military facilities, coffee shops, book stores, as well as many other venues. One of the primary advantages offered by WLAN is its ability to provide connectivity to portable devices, such as wireless laptops and smart phones. However, using wireless network without the knowledge of how its security work is like walking half-naked, therefore, this research bring about the effectiveness and benefit of security in wireless LAN to the people so they can use the wireless LAN safely and secured anywhere.

  1. Scope of Study

The scope of this research is limited to the study of security settings in wireless local area network protocols which are WEP, WPA and WPA2, due to the constraint of time, the research should have go broader to study other wireless network protocols like CHAP, PAP, VPN etc.