Non-binary Authentication : Supplicant

University essay from KTH/Kommunikationssystem, CoS


There are a number of authentication methods for wireless local area networks. The IEEE 802.1x standard is one such method. This standard specifies a port-based access control protocol. There are three entities involved: a supplicant (a device that wishes to have network access and perhaps other services), an Access Point (AP) or other port to which access is to be controlled, and an Authentication Server (AS). The goal of this project was to design, implement, and evaluate a prototype of a non-binary alternative to IEEE 802.1x authentication. This report focuses on the supplicant. Specifically it describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of a supplicant program to test and stress the authenticator, in order to evaluate a non-binary authentication process.

Following, a brief introduction is given to the problem that is to be solved, a number of existing IEEE 802.1x supplicants are described and compared. Following this, a number of potential non-binary authentication processes are analyzed. The ability of a supplicant to send and receive packets before and after authentication is also examined. Based upon our implementation and evaluation of a supplicant and an emulation of the non-binary authentication process, we conclude that non-binary authentication is both feasible and valuable. Furthermore, the thesis evaluates why and how non-binary authentication is valuable from the viewpoint of a supplicant. Additional future work is suggested at the end of this thesis.

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