As Wikipedia says, WEP, Wired Equivalent Privacy, is part of the IEEE 802.11 standard (ratified in September 1999), and is a scheme used to secure wireless networks (WiFi). Because a wireless network broadcasts messages using radio, it is particularly susceptible to eavesdropping; WEP was designed to provide comparable confidentiality to a traditional wired network, hence the name. However, several serious weaknesses were identified by cryptographers, and WEP was superseded by Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) in 2003, and then by the full IEEE 802.11i standard (also known as WPA2) in 2004. Despite the inherent weaknesses, WEP provides a bare minimal level of security that can deter casual snooping.
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