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Are the terms AES CCM and AES CCMP are equivalent, or is there any technical differences between the two?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I don't have my Real 802.11 Security book present, so my answer is based only on what I could glean from the CCMP and CCM page on Wikipedia.

As stated there, CCM is only a mode of operation providing authenticated encryption (using CTR-mode for encryption and CBC-MAC for authentication), whereas CCMP is a protocol which utilizes the CCM-mode of operation. More precisely: the CCMP protocol provides additional specification on how the CCM-mode of operation shall be used (as designed for the 802.11 WLAN standard). For example, it details which parts of the (wireless) data packet should be covered by the MAC and so on. This is naturally not specified in CCM, since it is supposed to be a generic mode of operation which (in theory) could be used in a host of different scenarios and protocols (although I think it's only found in the 802.11 standard today).

Furthermore, it also provides access control in conjunction with layer management, something which is not part of the CCM-mode specification (because it is not a protocol).

In short: they are not equivalent, CCMP is one way (out of many) of utilizing the CCM-mode of operation in a concrete protocol.

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