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Cisco 350 ACU - 128-bit WEP & SSID broadcast disabled at the AP

 
 
Peter
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      04-22-2005
Can anyone confirm this?

I have several laptops using the Cisco 350 PCMCIA or mini-PCI adapter.

The ACU is the latest version 6.4 from the Cisco website.

I have profiles pre-configured, with the SSID, the encryption key,
etc. So if the AP is available, the ACU supplicant should just find
it.

With "64-bit" WEP, the ACU finds the access point even if its SSID is
disabled.

With "128-bit" WEP, it doesn't find it.

If I use the Windows XP (SP2) supplicant instead of the Cisco ACU,
that finds the AP OK but it doesn't appear to support the 128-bit
mode; I cannot find the config for the key length anywhere.

I know that 128-bit WEP is barely more secure than 64-bit WEP but it's
an interesting problem.

This is the same setup on which I never got WPA/PSK working, with XP
or even with the Funk Odyssey client.

The AP is a Draytek 2900.


Peter.
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Uli Link
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      04-22-2005

>
> With "64-bit" WEP, the ACU finds the access point even if its SSID is
> disabled.
>
> With "128-bit" WEP, it doesn't find it.



Are you absolutely sure, both sides support WEP 104?
AFAIR Cisco sold even the early 350 cards (without encryption "350" and
with 40bit only as "351"). Only the 352 cards do 104 bit WEP.

> If I use the Windows XP (SP2) supplicant instead of the Cisco ACU,
> that finds the AP OK but it doesn't appear to support the 128-bit
> mode; I cannot find the config for the key length anywhere.


If you setup a 104bit key on a 40bit only card usually the entered key
is simply truncated. With the result, the it doesn't match.


> The AP is a Draytek 2900.


How dow you enter the WEP Keys? The only reliable way is entering the
WEP key in hex digits. Some http interfaces interpret some characters
like "?" or "!" or ":" so the used key is different from what you think
you have entered.

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Uli

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Peter
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      04-22-2005

Uli Link <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
>>
>> With "64-bit" WEP, the ACU finds the access point even if its SSID is
>> disabled.
>>
>> With "128-bit" WEP, it doesn't find it.

>
>
>Are you absolutely sure, both sides support WEP 104?
>AFAIR Cisco sold even the early 350 cards (without encryption "350" and
>with 40bit only as "351"). Only the 352 cards do 104 bit WEP.


Yes, the PCMCIA card is an AIR-LMC352. The mini-PCI version looks like
an AIR-MPI-350-U58H004.

Presumably, if the adapter didn't support the longer WEP mode, the ACU
would not offer it?

When the ACU is set to 128-bit WEP (104 if you like ) the wifi
connection is picked up the moment I enable SSID broadcast on the
Draytek router.

Afterwards, it continues to work fine. But if the client is powered
down/up it won't reconnect unless the AP is visible.

>> If I use the Windows XP (SP2) supplicant instead of the Cisco ACU,
>> that finds the AP OK but it doesn't appear to support the 128-bit
>> mode; I cannot find the config for the key length anywhere.

>
>If you setup a 104bit key on a 40bit only card usually the entered key
>is simply truncated. With the result, the it doesn't match.


The router does however have explicit support for 64 or 128 bits, so
if I set the router to 128 bit WEP it shouldn't work with a 64/WEP
card, and it reliably doesn't.

>> The AP is a Draytek 2900.

>
>How dow you enter the WEP Keys? The only reliable way is entering the
>WEP key in hex digits. Some http interfaces interpret some characters
>like "?" or "!" or ":" so the used key is different from what you think
>you have entered.


For testing, I am using short alpha words.


Peter.
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Uli Link
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      04-22-2005

> When the ACU is set to 128-bit WEP (104 if you like ) the wifi
> connection is picked up the moment I enable SSID broadcast on the
> Draytek router.
>
> Afterwards, it continues to work fine. But if the client is powered
> down/up it won't reconnect unless the AP is visible.


The Aironet cards work reliable with *disabled SSID broadcast* against
Intermec 2101, Avaya AP-3,4,5,6, ORiNOCO AP-500,AP-1000, AP-2000, Proxim
AP-3 through 8 and even Symbol 4131, and all Aironet APs back 'till 1998.
There is no single installation I had man hands on, that's broadcasting
the SSID.

What's the authentication mode with WEP? Choose "open". The often
recommended "shared key" compromises the WEP key and is therefore more
insecure. The WiFi compatible mode is "open".

An AP that doesn't work with a Aironet 350 card isn't WIFI compatible.
It is one of the reference cards. Period.

Stop wasting more time and simply buy working APs.


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Peter
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      04-22-2005

Uli Link <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>What's the authentication mode with WEP? Choose "open". The often
>recommended "shared key" compromises the WEP key and is therefore more
>insecure. The WiFi compatible mode is "open".


It's Open.

>An AP that doesn't work with a Aironet 350 card isn't WIFI compatible.
>It is one of the reference cards. Period.
>
>Stop wasting more time and simply buy working APs.


Very true - the Cisco APs that regularly appear on Ebay do fetch good
prices


Peter.
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