Newly disclosed Wi-Fi exploit exposes Windows, Android and iOS devices worldwide

Oct 17, 2017, 00:29
Newly disclosed Wi-Fi exploit exposes Windows, Android and iOS devices worldwide

The vulnerability is in the WPA2 (wifi protected access 2) protocol which prevents an attacker from seeing all of your data in plain text.

Earlier today the information security community was in a tizzy because WPA2 had supposedly been cracked open like a coconut on a tropical island. The researchers added that all Wi-Fi devices are affected by the flaw and hackers can intercept data, steal data or even add ransomware code inside the page. The most severe version affects all current Linux distros and all Android devices running 6.0 or higher.

The attack is catastrophically broad in scope, with Vanhoef noting that it "works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks", and that "if your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected".

When a client device (like a laptop or smartphone) wants to join a network, the four-way handshake determines that both the client device and the access point have the correct authentication credentials, and generates a unique encryption key that will be used to encrypt all the traffic exchanged as part of that connection.

"Here we are 16 years later and it appears the seemingly trusted protocol WPA2 is going the same way", commented Mark James, security specialist at ESET.

Microsoft Corp. said in a statement to The Verge that it has released an update to protect Windows installations from the exploit, but the researchers nonetheless argued that the operating system is vulnerable to certain variations of the attack.

The researchers say that in theory, the weakness could be used by hackers within range of a Wi-Fi network to access and read information previously assumed to be encrypted.

A "severe" security flaw with home WiFi networks has been reported that potentially puts anyone using a wireless router at risk of being hacked.

Wi-Fi networks typically use shared keys (usually based on AES encryption) to protect network traffic.

An attack may also be a challenge for hackers execute.

The flaw is so widespread that confirmation from US Homeland Security's Cyber Emergency Unit US-CERT already began warning businesses that the bug existed two months ago was revealed by ZDNet.

All you need to know about the significant attack against the WPA2 protocol. 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. From credit card numbers and private messages to passwords and personal files. Updated devices should be able to continue to communicate with devices that haven't had a patch installed, he said.

Linux's wpa_supplicant v2.6 is also vulnerable to the installation of an all-zero encryption key in the 4-way handshake.

Also, update your router. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the problem.

The researchers said changing Wi-Fi passwords would not fix the problem, and software from technology giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft are all susceptible to some version of the vulnerability - though it can be fixed through software and firmware updates.