Secure Your WiFi Connection to Prevent Online Hacking

Researchers have discovered a flaw in the WPA2 WiFi encryption protocol that could allow hackers to intercept your credit card numbers, passwords and other sensitive information.

Wifi Security

This flaw, know as the 'Krack Attack' exists in the WiFi standard, not specific devices you use every day. This means mobile phones, tablets, laptops, PCs/Macs, just about anything that uses WPA2 WiFi encryption protocol is vulnerable.

How Does It Work?

Attackers locate a vulnerable WPA2 encrypted network and 'clone' it by impersonating the MAC address and changing the WiFi channel. This duplicated network is visible to your devices which they can attempt to access, believing it is your true network. The attacker needs to be within range of your WiFi signal to pull it off.

In normal circumstances, a WPA2 encrypted network requires a unique key to encrypt each block of plain text. The Krack Attack flaw forces certain implementations of WPA2 to reuse the same key combination multiple times.

Linux and Android devices are affected the most because, thanks to a bug in the WPA2 standard, they don't force the client to demand a unique encryption key each time. In some cases, a script can also force a connection to bypass HTTPS, exposing usernames, passwords and other critical data.

How do you Protect Yourself From the Krack Attack?

There are some options available to you and some best practices to follow.

  • Stick to HTTPS sites - These sites use proven end-to-end encryption to protect your sensitive data. HTTPS sites can be identified by a green lock symbol in your browser's address bar.
  • Install the latest security updates for your device - PC users can enable or run Windows Update, while users of other types of devices should run a software update check.
  • Update your router - This is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself. Review your router's documentation to learn how to update it. In many cases, the firmware can be updated easily within the router management interface. If you are unfamiliar with this process, it may be best to contact a professional support technician to help.
  • Update your networking drivers (PCs/Laptops/Macs) - Visit your manufacturers support website to get access to the latest drivers and firmware.
  • Use ethernet - Hardwired network connection are not affected by this flaw. They're faster too!

Protect Yourself from the Krack Attack WiFi Vulnerability

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Your manufacturer may not have released an update to fix this flaw as of the time of this article. If this is the case, check back regularly and install updates as they become available.

For more details about the hack, check this very detailed FAQ from Aruba Networks.

Learn More About the Krack Attack

Watch this video provided via CNET to learn more!

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Robert Valcourt
Oct 17, 2017
By Robert Valcourt

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