Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Engineering (M.S.E.)

Degree Program

School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr Chirag Parikh

Second Advisor

Dr Christian Trefftz

Third Advisor

Dr Nabeeh Kandalaft

Academic Year



The rationale behind the thesis was to design efficient implementations of cryptography algorithms used for Wi-Fi Security as per IEEE 802.11i Wi-Fi Security (WPA2-PSK) standard. The focus was on software implementation of Password-Based Key Derivation Function 2 (PBKDF2) using Keyed-Hash Message Authentication Code (HMAC)-SHA1, which is used for authentication, and, hardware implementation of AES-256 cipher, which is used for data confidentiality.

In this thesis, PBKDF2 based on HMAC-SHA1 was implemented on software using C programming language, and, AES-256 was implemented on hardware using Verilog HDL. The overall implementation was designed and tested on Nexys4 FPGA board. The performance of the implementation was compared with other existing designs. Latency (us) was used as the performance metric for PBKDF2, whereas, throughput (Gb/s), resource utilization (Number of Slices), efficiency (Kb/s per slice) and latency (ns) were used as performance metrics for AES-256. MRF24WG0MA PMOD Wi-Fi module was the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi module which was interfaced with Nexys4 FPGA board for wireless communication.

When the correct security credentials were entered in the implemented system interfaced to the Wi-Fi module, it was successfully authenticated by a 2.4 GHz wireless router (or mobile hotspot) configured to work in WPA2-PSK security mode. Once this system was authenticated, the implemented AES-256 cipher within the system was used to provide a layer of encryption over the data being communicated in the network.

Included in

Engineering Commons