Researchers uncover flaw that makes Wi-Fi vulnerable to hacks

Google WiFi Rooter

The security protocol used in all modern Wi-Fi networks is broken, allowing hackers to steal any sensitive information that is not transmitted via wire, researchers have claimed.

Reusing or recycling a nonce allows the attacker to decrypt and forge packets of information within the traffic stream, exposing user activity and data. Unlike in past when older WiFi security protocols have been compromised, there is nothing to replace WPA2. The interesting thing about this is that it affects devices running Android Marshmallow 6.0 or higher.

A new vulnerability in the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol has been detailed.

If you utilize a Wi-Fi network, you are vulnerable to being hacked even when utilizing passwords and encryption, according to researchers in the United Kingdom. For example, a message sent from your phone to a network could be played, or video that your security camera sent to network could be played and all modems are affected.

Bottom line for you: If you've been postponing software updates, stop what you are doing and restart your gadget to install any new security patches.

The WiFi Alliance, a U.S. body which oversees security of devices using the protocol, said the issues should be able to be resolved with "straightforward software updates".

A security researcher has determined that almost every WiFi device in the world - your phone, your computer, your router, and on and on - has a flaw in their security protocol that makes them vulnerable to hackers that could hijack them, track your activities, or worse.

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The vulnerability, known as "Krack" gives hackers access to nearly everything that has been sent over a Wi-Fi network and any device that has used the same network is potentially at risk.

"The easiest way to protect yourself is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)", continued Migliano.

The proof-of-concept exploit is called KRACK (or Key Reinstallation Attacks), according to Ars Technica. This is a major deal because WPA2 is the most secure and popular security protocol that is in general use. For a successful KRACK attack, an attacker needs to trick a victim into reinstalling an already-in-use key, which is achieved by manipulating and replaying cryptographic handshake messages or influencing him by providing wrong info messages.

Prof Woodward said that the only way to fix the flaw would be for internet companies to manually replace or patch every router in people's homes. "Customers who apply the update, or have automatic updates enabled, will be protected", a representative of Microsoft told The Verge.

Fortunately, the attacker would need to be in close proximity to you in order to pull off an attack. The reason this is flaw is "devastating", and "fatal' is because WPA2 is a popular method to authenticate and protect Wi-Fi networks across the enterprise and personal settings". Keys are meant to be unique and aren't re-usable.

Also, update your router.

It appears at this point that any device that uses Wi-Fi could be affected, said Vanhoef: "The weaknesses are in the Wi-Fi standard itself, and not in individual products or implementations".

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