Wi-Fi security bug could leave just about everyone vulnerable

Wi-Fi security bug could leave just about everyone vulnerable

Just yesterday, we told our readers that a vulnerability has been detected in WiFi encryption protocol, WPA2, due to which hackers can hack into a WiFi network and sniff the internet traffic extracting important information. If an attacker is in range, he can use key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs) to exploit the weakness in the WPA2 protocol. Customers who apply the update, or have automatic updates enabled, will be protected. However, Ars Technica reports that Android and Linux users are more vulnerable to severe attacks than Windows or iOS users. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a part of the Department of Homeland Security, confirmed the WPA2 vulnerability for Wi-Fi networks, after Mathy Vanhoef, security expert at Belgian university KU Leuven, discovered the flaw in wireless security. "The weaknesses are in the Wi-Fi standard itself, and not in individual products or implementations".

While Windows users were dutifully installing October 10th's Patch Tuesday security updates, little did they know they were also installing a fix for the KRACK vulnerability that was not publicly disclosed until today.

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Make sure all your devices are updated and update the firmware of your router. This means all devices that use Wi-Fi networks need updating to protect against attack.

The hacker would have to be within Wi-Fi range to carry out any of those exploits.

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The group says the problem can be resolved through straightforward software updates. Google says it'll do so in the coming weeks. "If the victim is very close to the real network, the script may fail because the victim will always directly communicate with the real network, even if the victim is (forced) on a different Wi-Fi channel than this network", says the krackattacks blog.

Finally, consider browsing the Web with an extension or browser add-on like HTTPS Everywhere, which forces any site that supports https:// connections to encrypt your communications with the Web site - regardless of whether this is the default for that site. "Users can expect all their Wi-Fi devices, whether patched or unpatched, to continue working well together". While changing the password of your Wi-Fi network does not prevent or mitigate the attack, it's never a bad idea to change the Wi-Fi password, Vanhoef said.

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