A week in wireless #1: KRACK

Mathy Vanhoef, https://www.krackattacks.com/
Image: Mathy Vanhoef

The news that has a lot of networking people worried right now, is that of the KRACK attack. Why is this such a big deal? Until now, we’ve believed our wireless networks were secure and protected, using the WPA2 encryption standard.

Earlier standards for wireless security had their problems: for example, it’s quite easy for a hacker to recover the password you use to secure your WiFi when using WEP for protection. This video needs just 4.5 minutes to explain how. It’s successor, WPA, also had flaws. Until now, WPA2 was believed to be secure. This new attack changes that…

WPA2 is not as easily exploited as earlier standards: hackers will not be able to retrieve your password, but they may break in to your communication, stealing or manipuling your sensitive information. Wired explains how this works.

You too, are likely to be vulnerable. So what can you do? Not much right now, unfortunately. Wait for the manufacturer of your router, phone, tablet or smart fridge to issue an update, and make sure to install it as soon as you can!

If you’re looking for a little more info: this video has an in-depth explananation of how the KRACK attack works. Or you could check the paper by Mathy Vanhoef, the Belgian researcher to discover this vulnerability.

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