Impenetrable WPA2 is vulnerable to man in the middle attacks. What do you need to know?
A security measure involved in most modern Wi-Fi devices, including computers, phones and routers has been broken. This vulnerability effects almost every wireless enabled device.
This bug, known as “KRACK” for Key Reinstallation Attack, exposes a flaw in WPA2, in which it securely allows new devices to join a network with a pre-shared password. This basically gives an attacker a key to access any WPA2 network without a password, and once they’re in, they can see all that networks traffic.
To be clear, this vulnerability is more about implementation than it is about the technology itself. It allows an attacker to reuse a passkey and then run the traffic through a pass-through scenario. Just like an open Wi-Fi signal, your device would not notify you that you are using a different connection.
Currently there has not been reports of an attack in the wild and manufactures have already begun patching this vulnerability. To protect yourself, make sure that all of your Windows devices are up to date and if available, download the newest firmware for your networking equipment.
While the attack vector is new, the risk is not. When using a wireless connection, especially new connections, you are always at risk of your data being compromised. When connecting to Wi-Fi, it is hard to know, who or what kind of data is being harvested for advertising or malicious activity. If you find yourself using different Wi-Fi connections, such as in airports or hotels, you should look into using a Virtual Private Network. There are a couple of different options for a VPN depending on your situation. If you are looking to only protect yourself on Wi-Fi, the best fit may be a personal VPN like one on this top 10 list. If you wish to access your home network or corporate network from elsewhere, it is best to have a dedicated device to perform this function such as SonicWALL SRA or SMA. Contact us for more information, and read here for SonicWALL’s response to this vulnerability.
The equipment that is going to lag behind in patching for this vulnerability is Android. Google typically releases security updates quickly, but Samsung, Motorola, and HTC are slow to roll out their version of the patches. In this vulnerability, both the client and the host need to be patched, and the manufactures version of Android is the weakest link. If you are using a phone that is not an Apple or Google Pixel you should be concerned. When connecting, you should turn off automatic Wi-Fi connection until your device receives a security update. You can also run a VPN or an internet anonymizer. I have used Private Internet Access when traveling and it is very easy to use.
WPA2 is still a strong security measure for Wi-Fi and will be repaired. This serves as a good reminder that no technology is 100% secure and can be exploited. Stay educated, stay alert, and continue to ask questions especially when it comes to security.
Bennett Office Technologies has a maintenance window that runs from Wednesday 10pm until 5am Thursday each week. Please remember to leave your machine on so our processes can run. Patching is important and we make it simple. Just leave your machine on and we will take care of the rest. If you have any questions regarding how to say safe when using Wi-Fi or how to patch your devices, contact us for more information.