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Extensible Authentication Protocol

Overview#

Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), is an authentication framework frequently used in Wireless Networks and point-to-point Communication

Extensible Authentication Protocol is defined in RFC 3748, which made RFC 2284 obsolete, and is updated by RFC 5247.

Extensible Authentication Protocol is an Authentication Method framework for providing the transport and usage of Key Management and parameters generated by Extensible Authentication Protocol methods. There are many Authentication Methods defined by various RFCs and a number of vendor specific Authentication Methods and new proposals exist.

Extensible Authentication Protocol can support multiple Authentication Methods without having to pre-negotiate a particular one. Extensible Authentication Protocol When implemented within Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), does not select a specific Authentication Method at the PPP Link Control Phase, but rather postpones this until the Authentication Phase which allows the authenticator to request more information before determining a specific Authentication Method.

EAP is not a wire protocol, it only defines message formats. Each protocol that uses EAP defines a way to encapsulate EAP messages within that protocol's messages.

Extensible Authentication Protocol is in wide use. For example, in IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) the WPA and WPA2 standards have adopted IEEE 802.1X with one hundred EAP Types as the official Authentication mechanisms.

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