I just discovered that a wireless network that I frequently connect to still uses WEP security. How bad is this for me, the end user of the network? What steps should I take to secure my devices, accounts, etc. until such time as the network switches to using WPA?

EDIT: I do not have control over the network's security, I am an end user and I wish to protect myself from the implications of using a network with WEP. I do not care about issues that the access point faces, only the issues that I might personally face as a person who uses the network. I also do not care about theoretical exploits (such as traffic being decryptable) as much as specific things which might be different (such as people being able to steal my login information).

2 Answers 2


WEP might as well be open these days. If you have to use a known insecure network - use a VPN. That's what they're for. Attacker can see you're running nothing but encrypted traffic to a single endpoint, and can infer that you have a VPN, but that introduces an entirely different class of issues, tools, and skills to attempt to compromise.


With WEP, You might get issues such as:

  1. Passive attacks to decrypt traffic: These are based on statistical analysis.

  2. Active attacks to inject new traffic from unauthorized mobile stations: These are based on known plaintext.

  3. Active attacks to decrypt traffic: These are based on tricking the access point.

  4. Dictionary-building attacks: These are possible after analyzing enough traffic on a busy network.

I would recommend that get upgraded to WPA2 immediately rather than waiting for consequences as WEP has been deprecated.

  • Sorry, I should have clarified more in my post. I do not have control over the network, and I care about security issues I might have to face as an end user (for example, if an attacker can decrypt the traffic on the WEP access point, what does that mean in terms of my own information getting compromised?). Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 1:37
  • @JarredAllen Ofcourse ! Your information is going to get compromised. Anyone can change or modify the information you receive. (Integrity issues) . For more details in simple language, please read this wiki page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wired_Equivalent_Privacy#Weak_security Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 1:43
  • Does that also extend to logins on websites using HTTPS? Or is that a second layer of encryption that stops it from working? Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 1:44
  • 1
    @JarredAllen Read the link I sent and put your own efforts. Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 1:47

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