It’s not the first time you have heard this advice but “KRACK” is bad for you and anyone using WiFi. This new vulnerability called KRACK has been released and is affecting the WPA2 Wi-Fi encryption protocol. This vulnerability affects any WiFi network utilizing the WPA2 protocol for encryption, regardless of operating system, which is a lot of people and businesses. This vulnerability, when exploited, allows attackers to decrypt and read WiFi traffic between devices and wireless access points, in some cases even modifying WiFi traffic to inject malware or other malicious software. This means that an attacker, within WiFi range of your device, could potentially intercept credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, or any other data communicated over a wireless network that is presumed to be encrypted. Clearly not something to take lightly.
What’s the impact and who is at risk? Well, basically any device that utilizes WiFi networking is vulnerable, regardless of operating system. This includes Windows, MacOS, Android and Linux computers as well as any WiFi access point. So, if you are at a coffee shop, look to the left, look to the right, and realize that both parties are impacted.
So, what next you ask? Well this vulnerability and exploit can be mitigated by installing Operating System security patches that resolve the vulnerability. Clients that are patched will still be able to connect to un-patched access-points, and vice-versa. Microsoft is ahead of the game and has already released a patch for this vulnerability for all Windows computers while patches to the Linux OS kernel are in process, as are fixes for the Android mobile operating system.
This is just another example of how important it is for businesses and consumers to keep all their systems up to date with the latest security patches from your operating system vendor.
For now, you should continue to use WPA2 as it still offers strong encryption. Additionally, ensure that you are only sharing sensitive data via websites with HTTPS enabled, and disable your WiFi connection when it is not in use.
Stay Safe, Stay Secure.