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Key distribution and renewing in wireless local area networks is a crucial issue to guarantee that unauthorized users are prevented from accessing the network. In this paper, the authors propose a technique for allowing an automatic bootstrap and periodic renewing of the network key by exploiting physical layer security principles, that is, the inherent differences among transmission channels. The proposed technique is based on scrambling of groups of consecutive packets and does not need the use of an initial authentication nor automatic repeat request protocols. They present a modification of the scrambling circuits included in the IEEE 802.11g standard which allows for suitable error propagation at the unauthorized receiver, thus achieving physical layer security.
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