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A method to safely distribute an encryption key(WEP key) to authorized person/system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015675D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Mar-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

Publishing Venue



Disclosed herein is a method to safely deliver an encryption key(WEP key) to authorized user/system. Due to the nature of the wireless LAN, any client system within the range of an Access Point(AP) is capable of receiving the radio signal. If the data are transmitted in plain text, this client system can capture all the data, including possible secret information. Therefore it is important to transmit encrypted data over the wireless LAN and let only the authorized client system understand the contents of it. IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standard has defined Wired Equivalent Privacy(WEP) to accomplish this. All the data transmitted over the wireless LAN can be encrypted with a WEP key and only the client systems and the APs who know the WEP key can correctly decrypt the data. Network security is in jeopardy when WEP key is known to an unauthorized personnel. Therefore it is extremely important to safely deliver the WEP key only to the authorized client system(user). It is unsafe to simply send the key in plain text even over wired LAN. Currently the client systems(PCs) or the wireless LAN cards are physically brought into network administrator's hands to store the WEP key. This job is very time consuming and painful for network administrators to perform. With this invention, network administrator can safely deliver the WEP key to the authorized user/system. It can be accomplished by encrypting the key with the following information prior to sending it to the user.