The technology used in WLAN for transmitting and receiving information through air can be infrared or radio frequency. Because of this feature it is called as flexible data communications systems. First WLAN standard was 802.11 implemented in 1997. The technology used in it is radio technology frequency in which it is operated is 2.4GHz and has 1 to 2 Mbps maximum throughput. In late 1999, IEEE 802.11b standard was introduced which is currently largely used and deployed. It also operates in the same frequency i.e.2.4 GHz. Compare to 802.11 standard maximum speed increases to 11 Mbps.
In many sectors like private or public organization Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) are widely using. This is due to many advantages like mobility, scalability, flexible for installation and low cost. But there are some securities threats, the person who is using the WLAN have to be aware of it. Some of the security threats that occur in WLAN are denial of service, Eavesdropping and spoofing.
This is due to usage of radio waves in the wireless networks. Because of this radio waves network can be hacked. In my project I am doing research on various threats that occur in WLAN and how they are occurring. I am also doing research on WEP [Wired Equivalent Privacy], which is wireless networking encryption standard. I am going to do research on some standards for improve the WLAN security. The standards are IEEE 802.1x. It consists of three sections Extensible Authentication Protocol [EAP], 802.1x itself and point-to-point protocol [PPP]. 802.11i is a standard proposed newly for encryption and key distribution. The 802.1x is included in the 802.11i standard. This standard plays key role in improving the security of WLAN network.
Two improved encryption algorithm are provided by the 802.11i to replace the WEP. They are Temporal Key Integrity Protocol [TKIP] and CBC-MAC protocol [CCMP]. There are some practical solutions for WLAN security. I am doing research on how to implement the practical solutions to minimize the attacks. There are some practical solutions like changing default SSID, utilize VPN, placement of access point etc. I am also doing research on the tools to protect WLAN. Security threats in WLAN can be minimized by some products like AirDefense, Isomair wireless sentry, Wireless Security Auditor (WSA).
The main aim of my Quality of Service in Wireless LAN Using OPNET MODELER project is to research about the security issues in WLAN and the solutions for that security issues.
OBJECTIVES OF MY PROJECT:
- To research about components of WLAN.
- Research about access points.
- Research about client adapters.
- To do research about architecture of WLAN
- Research about independent WLAN.
- Research about infrastructure WLAN.
- Research about microcells and roaming.
- To do research about security threats in WLAN.
- To do research about denial of services.
- To do research about spoofing and session hijacking.
- Research about eavesdropping.
- To do research about WEP.
- To know how WEP works.
- To know weakness of WEP.
- To know practical solutions for securing WLAN.
- To do research on new standards to improve the WLAN security.
- To research on 802.1x standard.
- To research on 802.11i standard.
- To do research on tools for protecting WLAN.
I will do the required research on the WLAN security models and the corresponding threats. To improve the research I would like to simulate the security models required for WALN using OPNET. Security of the WLAN is evaluated in terms of the quality of services and the simulation procedure followed is given as below
Due to some advantages WLAN offers radio waves. Due to the usage of the radio waves in the network so that it can easily hacked. Due to this attackers the resource are used by the unauthorized persons. There are some attacks like DOS attacks, spoofing and hijacking, eavesdropping…Etc, which may causes the resources of the network make unavailable. Mainly WEP standard is used to overcome the security threats. Standard encryption for wireless networks is WEP. The information which is transmitted over the air is encrypted by the WEP; by doing like this the receivers who are having the correct encryption key they only can decrypt the data. But there are some disadvantages in WEP standard like no forgery protection, initialization vector reuse and no protection against replays. There are some new standard then WEP to increase the security of the WLAN. The new standards are 802.1x and 802.11i. The standard 802.1x was designed for wired networks. This standard is as well element of 802.11i. EAP [Extensible Authentication Protocol], point-to-point protocol [PPP] are part of 802.1x. PPP is emerged to transport the IP traffic in the point-to-point networks. EAP protocol is to design to overcome the limitations PPP. It is a General authentication protocol that is defined by IETF [Internet Engineering Task Force] standards. For several authentication mechanisms it provides general frame work and it is an authentication protocol. The standard 802.11i is in still development process. However TKIP or CCMP protocols are used for 802.11i equipments. There are some practical solutions to secure the WLAN even with WEP flaws. Tools like airdefense, wireless security auditor [WSA] are used to protect the WLAN from threats.
Research is a logical study of topic substance for the reason of accumulation to knowledge. Research can be called as re-search, it implies that the topic is already acknowledged but for some reasons we need to study again.
Research methodology is a wider phrase. It has three main elements.
- The research is guide by the abstract perspective and logical enquiry.
- Data collection tools and techniques.
- Data analysis methods.
Research methods consist of research techniques and tools. Collecting data in practical aspects and the way the collected information is monitored is referred as research techniques. The instruments which are used for data collection and analysis are called as tools. It includes dairies, maps, schedules etc. there are two basic research methods where many researchers use they are qualitative research and quantitative research.
Quantitative, the word comes from quantity. In this research the data involves in the form of the data. Survey is mostly used to conduct the quantitative research. Generally questionnaire is used in surveys.
Qualitative research aim is to expand our understanding about something. In my project I am using qualitative research methodology. Qualitative research is a scientific research. In general it investigates that
- Search for answers to questions.
- Predefined procedures are used to answer the questions.
THE BASIC DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS:
Quantitative and qualitative research methods are mainly differs in:
- Analytical objects.
- Flexibility built into study design
- Data collection instruments they use.
Why I am not using the quantitative research method?
My dissertation topic involves a very in depth study of topic area. The main reasons for not going to quantitative method is, If I go through surveys on this topic may not receive specific responses, don’t get the full concept what I need. In my dissertation the research questions are used are:
- What are the security issues in WLAN?
- How they affect the WLAN?
- Are any solutions for the threats?
- Any new standards are implemented to secure it?
- Some practical solutions to secure WLAN?
- Any tools to protect WLAN from security issues?
By data collecting through the journals, electronic sources, IEEE papers and textbooks I am trying to achieve goal of project. This all can be done through the qualitative research method.