Security researchers unveiled a serious weakness dubbed KRACK (Key Reinstallation AttaCK), found in WPA2, the security standard which protects all modern Wi-Fi networks, and the consequences could be dire.

The vulnerability discovered in WPA2 would allow hackers to break the security model and compromise Wi-Fi traffic between wireless devices and the targeted Wi-Fi network, including information such as passwords, photos, and chat messages. Depending on the network configuration, it’s also possible for hackers to inject ransomware or malware into websites.

This vulnerability impacts a wide range of devices including those running macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux, and OpenBSD.

It’s important to note that the attack cannot be pulled off remotely, at least not right now. The attacker must be within range of the wireless signal between your device and a nearby wireless access point. And more importantly, more sensitive communication made today are likely already protected with SSL encryption which is separate from any encryption added in WPA2. This means really any browser that starts with ‘https://’.

Microsoft has already fixed the problem for customers running supported versions of Windows in a Windows Update released on October 10. Apple claims the vulnerability is patched in a beta version of the current operating systems, but that the fix will go public in the weeks to come. Android and Linux devices are impacted by the worst part of the vulnerabilities, allowing attackers to manipulate websites, but Google has promised a fix for those affected devices in the coming weeks.   

Brian Krebs believes those most at risk from this vulnerability are organizations that have done a poor job at separating their wireless networks from their enterprise, wired networks. Since the attack must be performed within close range it’s not believed that the exploit has been used in the wild, but it’s important that everyone stay up to date with the latest patches and updates to mitigate the issue before an easier to use tool becomes available to hackers to exploit this flaw.


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