What is TKIP? – Temporal Key Integrity Protocol

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What is TKIP? – Temporal Key Integrity Protocol
TKIP stands for Temporal Key Integrity Protocol which is used as a security procedure in wireless networking standards. IEEE 802 group and WIFI alliance are the programmers of this security program which is their answer to the WEP (Wired Equivalent Frequency) problems without further replacing the legacy hardware. There has been a wide security issues with WEP that left many WIFI networks unguarded as there were no reliable security measures for deployed hardware. As a result these companies came up with a solution to meet the growing demands of the problem.

The WIFI alliance group came up with a WIFI protected access other wise known as WPA. This program has a TKIP security protocol.  IEEE came up with a final model of TKIP branded as IEEE 802.1 11i-2004 launched on July 23 of 2004 which has marked the end of the TKIP because old and previous designs have been written off by the new ones. On the other hand, WIFI alliance team modified their WPA which has taken its concept from the IEEE and later on came up with the WPA2.

The TKIP – WPA applications makes use of 3 security functions to meet the problems encountered by WEP networks. These functions are key mixing function, sequence counter and the 64 bit message integrity check known as Michael.
1. Key mixing function – This application is being implemented by the TKIP where it joins 2 important elements in keying functions; root key and the initialization vector prior to making a transfer to RC4 initialization.  WEP on the other hand just connected in the initializing vector and the root key then have it linked RC4. This connection invited the majority of WEP key security issues.

Key mixing improves the difficulty keys being decoded by providing an attacker with significantly little data, encrypted by just a single key. The WEP recovery attack has been eliminated by this feature as well.

2. Sequence Counter – WPA makes use of this application to guard the system against replay attacks. Therefore packets that are being transmitted outside of the order will be automatically discarded at the point of access.

3.   MICHAEL (64bit integrity check) – To ensure confidentiality, a security check has been implemented by the WPA. No messages are sent without encrypted. This puts a stop to bogus packets from being received.

TKIP’s design works like a covering around the WEP to house existing hardware so that upgrades can be made possible.  These security features prevents the attack from various attackers that has become rampant in WEP systems.

TKIP is defenseless to a key stream recovery attack. This type of attack makes an attacker transfer maximum of 15 packets. However, with the new TKIP specific attacks, it will not show the Pair wise Master Key or Temporal keys. This has been released through a paper that details the attack method by Martin Beck and Erik Tews on November 8 of 2008.

The attack is actually an augmentation chop-chop attack. The WEP makes use of a cryptographically insecure check sum system otherwise known as the CRC32. The attacker can actually guess the specific packet bytes, the point of access will then verify if the guess work is right. If it was right, the attacker gets the chance to access packet bytes.  However with the new Beck-Tews TKIP specific attacks, it makes the attacker wait for 60 seconds after the right guess then it continues the attack.

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