WEP security gets busted yet again

It's no secret that WEP isn't quite the cat's pajamas anymore when it comes to WiFi security, but the aging protocol is still used in a good many networks -- 59% in a recent survey of a large German city -- and has just been hacked beyond repair by a few security analysts. Back in 2001 when WEP was originally hacked, it took around 4 million packets of data to crack a security key. Later hacks have managed to use significantly less packets and hack a system in minutes. However, a recent development by the folks at Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany have managed to extract a 104-bit WEP key in three seconds, using a 1.7GHz Pentium M processor. It takes under a minute to collect the necessary 40,000 - 85,000 packets of data, and the hack could potentially be carried out by a strolling cellphone or PDA user. The obvious move is to switch your network to WPA, but if you've got old school hardware holding you back, there are a few security programs that can foil the attack on WEP -- for now.