After finding a network, the next step is to authenticate to it. The network in this example is using simple open-system authentication. This greatly simplifies interpreting the trace because open-system authentication requires exchanging only two authentication frames.
First, the station requests authentication with the first frame in the authentication sequence, shown in Figure 16-15. Authentication requests occur only after the station has matched parameters with the network; note that the BSSID now matches the source on the Beacon frames. The first frame specifies authentication algorithm 0 for open system. (Ethereal decodes the field improperly; when highlighted, the data pane clearly shows that the algorithm number is set to 0.) Finally, the status code indicates success because it is too early in the sequence to fail. There is a big time gap between the fourth and fifth frames in the sequence because the driver on the client station was configured to prompt the user to determine which ESS should be joined.
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