WiFi vulnerability already patched by Microsoft, Apple, Google still working on it

"If your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected", they said on the www.krackattacks.com website, which they set up to provide technical information about the flaw and methods hackers might use to attack vulnerable devices.

The researcher named Mathy Vanhoef discovered serious vulnerabilities in WPA2, a protocol that secures all modern protected Wi-Fi networks. "Else, you could just use LAN for some time", he says, adding that HTTPS traffic will still be hard to intercept with this kind of an attack. The October security update addresses the vulnerability by changing how Windows verifies wireless group key handshakes. Worse still, sensitive information such as your banking passwords, credit card details as well as photos, chat messages and documents can be intercepted and stolen. This is important because the attack is apparently "exceptionally devastating against Linux and Android 6.0 or higher".

Kuskov explained that in order to decipher traffic, an attacker would simply need to bring his computer within range of the targeted Wi-Fi network and run special software. The threat starts from the Wi-Fi router that you own, and can easily spread to phones, tablets and other computing devices that you may use.

How does the hack work?

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"There is no evidence that the vulnerability has been exploited maliciously, and Wi-Fi Alliance has taken immediate steps to ensure users can continue to count on Wi-Fi to deliver strong security protections", reads a statement published today by a Wi-Fi industry trade group.

It is used to confirm both the user and access point possess the correct credentials such as entering the correct passwords. It's particularly significant given that WPA2 is the most secure protocol generally being used to encrypt WiFi networks, rather than an older security protocol.

On the other hand, Engadget also revealed that Apple Inc. also came up with a fix to prevent the possible KRACK attacks in the latest beta versions of their operating systems, including macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

A severe security flaw has put at risk all data transmitted over Wi-Fi all over the world. Another expert says home users need not be too anxious, as the attack is "quite. complex.to carry out in practice", but that they should update their software whenever an update becomes available.

  • Delia Davidson