Exclusive - New Pre-SP2 Patch Adds WiFi-WPA Standard

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Microsoft has released a new patch for Windows XP which will also be included in the upcoming ServicePack 2.

This time, the patch won't fix any bugs, but it will add the new WiFi Standard "WPA" to Microsoft's latest desktop OS.
Here now a statement of the release article - thanks to Bink: Microsoft today announced the availability of a free1 Microsoft® Windows® XP download to support Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), a new standards-based wireless network security solution from the Wi-Fi Alliance. The new solution is intended to be a replacement for the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) standard and offers more-robust methods of data encryption and network authentication. The result is a new level of protection for customers taking advantage of the wireless features in Windows XP.

"Customers tell us the wireless experience with Windows XP represents a huge leap forward in terms of ease of use. Yet, even with these enhancements, many IT managers are hesitant to enable wireless connectivity in their organizations due to security concerns," said Jawad Khaki, corporate vice president of Windows Networking and Communications Technologies at Microsoft. "With standards-based Wi-Fi Protected Access, customers can have more confidence their data will be safer and more secure."

Wi-Fi Protected Access increases security on two fronts: data encryption and user authentication. To improve data encryption, Wi-Fi Protected Access resolves existing cryptographic weaknesses and introduces a method to generate and distribute encryption keys automatically. Each bit of data is now encrypted with a unique encryption key, greatly improving security. The solution also introduces an integrity check on the data so an attacker cannot modify packets of information being communicated. And to improve enterprise-level user authentication, Wi-Fi Protected Access authenticates every user on the network while keeping those users from joining rogue networks.

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