Extensible Authentication Protocol, or EAP, is an authentication framework frequently used in wireless networks and point-to-point connections. It is defined in RFC 3748, which made RFC 2284 obsolete, and is updated by RFC 5247.
EAP is an authentication framework for providing the transport and usage of keying material and parameters generated by EAP methods. There are many methods defined by RFCs and a number of vendor specific methods and new proposals exist. EAP is not a wire protocol; instead it only defines message formats. Each protocol that uses EAP defines a way to encapsulate EAP messages within that protocol’s messages.
EAP is in wide use. For example, in IEEE 802.11 (WiFi) the WPA and WPA2 standards have adopted IEEE 802.1X with one hundred EAP Types as the official authentication mechanisms.
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