Microsoft, Apple fix KRACK Wi-Fi security exploit; Google working on patch

However, all Wi-Fi devices still seem vulnerable to some variant of the weakness that make them ready for data theft from any malevolent attacker within the range.

Researchers on Monday announced that they had found a gaping security hole in WPA2, one of the most popular Wi-Fi communications encryption standards.

While Windows users were dutifully installing October 10th's Patch Tuesday security updates, little did they know they were also installing a fix for the KRACK vulnerability that was not publicly disclosed until today.

Luckily, the WPA2 flaw doesn't affect secure websites, so your personal information should be safe if you limit your internet surfing to these sites. Customers who applied the update, or had automatic updates enabled, would already be protected, it said in a statement emailed to Reuters. Any device that is connected to a Wi-Fi network is at risk for an attack if the hacker is within range of the victim.

Most modern Wi-Fi networks have their traffic encrypted by a protocol known as WPA or WPA-2, which has existed since 2003 and until now has never been broken.

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The vulnerability consists of a weakness in the WPA2 protocol, which is a vital part of every WiFi network because it secures all networks. However, considering the fact that any and all connecting devices must be considered vulnerable, the potential of hackers getting their hands on sensitive data from devices is very true, particularly on public Wi-Fi networks.

Security researchers said the newly discovered flaw was serious because of the ubiquity of Wi-Fi and the difficulty in patching millions of access points.

This attack technique bypasses established network defenses, including encryption, and works against all modern protected WiFi networks.

Finnish security firm F-Secure said experts have always been cautious about Wi-Fi's ability to withstand security challenges of the 21st century. To prevent the attack, users must update affected products as soon as security updates become available.

Moving forward, at the very least you should get ready to update your router's firmware, as it's possible your manufacturer will have a patch in the very near future. Apple, Android and Windows software are all susceptible to some version of the vulnerability, which is not fixed by changing Wi-Fi passwords.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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