Understanding Key Reinstallation Attacks on Wi-Fi Networks
Despite what you have been led to believe, Wi-Fi networks have flaws that hackers manipulate to track your internet traffic. For the past 14 years, Wi-Fi networks were thought to be secure, but researchers have found a flaw in the modern techniques used for encryption. The researchers say that when a hacker is within range of your Wi-Fi network, they can infect your network and the devices connected to it with viruses that allow them access to your passwords, photos you share on the internet, as well as credit card numbers.
The Krack Attack
Wireless security experts gave the name Krack to fundamental flaw and Android, Microsoft Windows, and iOS software are all at risk of various versions of the vulnerability, and changing your Wi-Fi password does not fix it. The fact that it is present in all wireless networks, Tech companies are working to create Wi-Fi network updates to fix the vulnerability. According to Alan Wood from the University of Surrey’s Center for Cyber Security says that the fundamental flaw seems to affect all Wi-Fi networks, and despite following all the security guidelines, you are at risk of sabotage.
Mathy Vanhoef, a researcher from the prestigious University of Leuven, Belgium, found a way to install a key that encrypts your communication onto the network that gives the hackers access to your data.
Modern Wi-Fi Encryption Techniques
The connection process to a secure wireless network is a four-way handshake process between the device and the wireless router to ensure that nobody outside of your network can intercept the connections and decrypt the traffic. Many of the modern Wi-Fi networks use a WPA or WPA-2 encryption protocol that has been in existence since 2003. The protocol ensures that your data is safe as it travels from your smartphone or computer to the router and it will keep cybercriminals from monitoring and infecting your networks with malicious code.
However, Krack does not affect the connections to secure websites such as those that use https in front of the URL. According to Professor Woodward of the only way to remove the vulnerability is be replacing every router from residential and commercial buildings. However, patching the routers is another solution that researchers are looking to bypassing the fundamental flaw.
The good news, however, is that you can expect new tools that will thwart the attacks from hackers. The hackers always find new tools that will allow them to circumnavigate the latest encryption techniques. The only thing you can do is to follow the developments researchers are making in sealing off this fundamental flaw.