Wi-Fi is a league of standards created by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Wi-Fi gives the ability to connect a network without any physical connection or cable. This makes Wi-Fi a very practical, easy, and popular solution for LAN or WAN network connections. Wireless connection ability creates some security problems for the Wi-Fi. In order to prevent security issues, Wi-Fi Alliance created the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) protocol. We will look in this tutorial on how to use WPS to protect our wireless network.
There different type of implementation of WPS. Each of them has some advantages and disadvantages.
- Push Button
- Near Field Communication
Push Button because of its security level. We will look at them in detail below.
During the connection to the wireless network. Router or Access Point will as eight-digit PIN to enter. But the router or access point will only check the first four-digit. This is another security flaw which gives attackers the brute force ability. Also, some of the routers or access points do not use some time out after the wrong PIN which will give a lot of time to the Attacker.
Push-button is a physical button located on the modem. In order to implement this, we will first try to connect to the Wi-Fi. After that, we will press the WPS button in order to give access to the Wi-Fi. This will made the last connection tried computer available to connect.
Linksys WPS Button
Asus WPS Button
Zyxel WPS Button
Near Field Communication
Near field, communication is another way to connect Wi-Fi. But the router/AP and wireless client should have NFS support. Maybe in the future, this type of authentication will gain more popularity.
This is the most hard way to authenticate. Some security tokens will be transferred to the router/AP from the wireless client with USB. This is already deprecated.
WPS Support For Devices and Operating Systems
Android version 4.0 named
Ice Cream and later versions support WPS without a problem. We can connect WPS enabled wireless with the following steps. Tap the WPS button on the modem then on the Android device open the Wireless list and click to the wireless name which may require PIN or nothing according to the configuration.
iOS and MacOSX do not support the WPS natively. Because of some security vulnerabilities, Apple does not provide support for both operating systems.
From Windows Vista all versions of Windows operating systems like Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 supports WPS.
Modern Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Mint, SUSE supports WPS.
Medium and enterprise-level printers support the WPS connection perfectly. HP, Canon are some of them.
As we know there are 4 different ways to use WPS the PIN is the vulnerable way to use WPS. PIN methods use some digits which can be guessed by the attacker remotely by using a brute force attack. There is 11.000 possible PIN where it can be brute-forced by a remote wireless attacker. The better way is using Push-Button in order to enable WPS for a short time where during this time the nearby devices can connect without a password, PIN, or passphrase.