Microsoft, Cisco, others team on wireless security

A group of companies, including Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc., is announcing the implementation of a new security protocol for wireless networks. Cisco will implement the draft security standard, called 802.1x, on its Cisco Aironet 350 series of 802.11b-compliant WLAN (wireless local area networking) products, the company said in a statement Monday.

Microsoft, Cisco, and a group of other companies have teamed up on what Cisco is calling the first enterprise authentication and security architecture based on the draft 802.1x and EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) standard, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The new standard is meant to address security holes raised by the popular 802.11b, or Wi-Fi, wireless network standard. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, recently identified weaknesses that could potentially make Wi-Fi networks vulnerable to hackers.

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