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Massive WPA2 security bug puts all WiFi devices at risk

Posted on Monday, October 16 2017 @ 14:21:43 CEST by

A shockwave went through the Internet as researchers disclosed a severe vulnerability in the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security protocol. WEP has been considered unsafe for well over a decade but until now WPA2 was considered to be safe.

That's no longer the case, this protocol is used by all modern consumer WiFi networks and the implication is that everything send over HTTP connections can easily be intercepted by a nearby third party. Under normal circumstances, data transmitted via encrypted HTTPS connections should be safe.

Some large network equipment makers that focus on corporations and government solutions have already rolled out patches or mitigation techniques, but consumers may be left in the cold as many consumer devices will either not get updated in time or will not receive any updates at all. More details about the issue can be read at ARS Technica.

The proof-of-concept exploit is called KRACK, short for Key Reinstallation Attacks. The research has been a closely guarded secret for weeks ahead of a coordinated disclosure that's scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday, east coast time. An advisory the US CERT recently distributed to about 100 organizations described the research this way:

US-CERT has become aware of several key management vulnerabilities in the 4-way handshake of the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security protocol. The impact of exploiting these vulnerabilities includes decryption, packet replay, TCP connection hijacking, HTTP content injection, and others. Note that as protocol-level issues, most or all correct implementations of the standard will be affected. The CERT/CC and the reporting researcher KU Leuven, will be publicly disclosing these vulnerabilities on 16 October 2017.



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