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Guide to Securing Legacy IEEE 802.11 Wireless Networks



Karen A. Scarfone, Derrick Dicoi, Matt Sexton, Cyrus Tibbs


The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to organizations in securing their legacy Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 wireless local area networks (WLAN) that cannot use IEEE 802.11i. The document provides an overview of legacy IEEE 802.11 WLAN standards, components, and architectural models. It discusses the basics of WLAN security and examines the security capabilities provided by legacy IEEE 802.11 standards. The document also discusses threats and vulnerabilities involving legacy IEEE 802.11 WLANs, explains common countermeasures, and makes recommendations for their use. [Supersedes SP 800-48 (November 2002):]
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-48 Rev 1
Report Number
800-48 Rev 1


IEEE 802.11, network security, wireless local area network, wireless networking


Scarfone, K. , Dicoi, D. , Sexton, M. and Tibbs, C. (2008), Guide to Securing Legacy IEEE 802.11 Wireless Networks, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created July 25, 2008, Updated November 10, 2018