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developerWorks: Securing Transmissions, Part 2

Aug 21, 2003, 07:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Roman Vichr, Vivek Malhotra)

"In the previous installment of this series, we looked in particular at security for 802.11 networks. However, as we illustrated in that article, a secure network doesn't necessarily guarantee secure applications. In this article, we'll examine how to better lock down wireless applications, with a focus on cryptography. We'll start by examining applications that run on WAP networks, and their particular security concerns. WAP gateways are commonly used to mediate between the general Internet and both wireless LANs (such as 802.11 networks) and wireless WANs (such as cell phone networks). We'll then take a quick look at the more free-form P2P networks and see what security problems are there. Finally, we'll present a code example that shows how your J2ME applications can encrypt data to improve security in any network.

"The Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) can be used with both WWAN services (CDPD, CDMA, GSM, etc.) and WLAN services (802.11). WAP is a specification for a set of communication protocols designed to allow and standardize ways for wireless devices to get information from networks and display it in their browsers. Using WAP, you can communicate with any operating system, including Palm OS, Symbian OS, Windows CE, and JavaOS. WAP helps to define servers, called gateways, that mediate between wired and wireless networks, and provide value-added services to wireless networks. However, these gateways and the initial releases of WAP proved to be a security liability, as you'll see..."

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