A protocol adding security to wireless LANs based on the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard, an OSI Data Link layer technology that can be turned “off” and “on.” WEP was developed to give wireless networks the same level of privacy protection as a wired network.
WEP is formulated on a security notion called RC4, using a combination of system-generated values and secret user keys. The first implementations of WEP supported only 40-bit encryption and had a key length of 40 bits and 24 additional bits of system-generated data, resulting in a 64-bit total. Since WEP’s inception, computer scientists have determined that 40-bit WEP encryption is too weak, and product vendors today use 128-bit encryption (having key lengths of 104 bits) or higher. Wireless network devices use WEP keys to encrypt the data stream for communications over the wire.
About, Inc. WEP. [Online, 2002.] About, Inc. Website. http:// compnetworking.about.com/cs/wirelesssecurity/g/bldef_wep.htm.