All Wi-Fi at Risk from Krack Attack

Bad news for WiFi users: A security expert has found that all WiFi networks are vulnerable to hacking thanks to a weakness in the wireless security protocol WPA2.

The vulnerabilities are exploited using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs) that target Wi-Fi clients like laptops, smartphones, and smart home devices - any device that connects to a router using Wi-Fi, really. Customers who have Windows Update enabled and who applied the latest security updates are protected automatically.

What that means is the vulnerability potentially impacts a wide range of devices including those running operating systems from Android, Apple, Linux, OpenBSD and Windows. On Sunday, researchers prepared for the revelation of high-severity vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi Protected Access II protocol, which make it possible for attackers to get the Wi-Fi traffic transient within computers and the WiFi access points.

Finnish security firm F-Secure said experts have always been cautious about Wi-Fi's ability to withstand security challenges of the 21st century.

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The only way to safeguard from KRACK is to update the affected products as soon as upgrades become available.

Below are the key things to know about the security vulnerability.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group which sets standards for wireless connections, said computer users should not panic. The Consumerist, which notes that "basically every device on earth" is affected, says users should also install security updates on any connected devices as soon as prompted.

As Gizmodo wrote, hackers need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as you to exploit this WPA2 flaw. "If the victim is very close to the real network, the script may fail because the victim will always directly communicate with the real network, even if the victim is (forced) on a different Wi-Fi channel than this network", says the krackattacks blog.

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For users, the best they can do for the moment is to wait for the router manufacturers and ISPs to come up with an effective patch in the form of firmware updates to remedy the situation.

This padlock will appear on all HTTPS sites. The hacker can manipulate that process to gain access to sensitive information.

Your password-protected Wi-Fi connection could be vulnerable to trespassing.

4. Disable Wi-Fi on your devices and turn off your router.

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