Researcher breaks Wi-Fi's Most Popular Encryption



Its 2017 and i'm sure most of you use wifi to connect internet. Specially if you are from India then i'm sure you use Jio hotspot to all your devices to connect to internet . Well if you are among those then i have a bad news for you. WPA2 ( Wi-Fi Protected Access  II ) is the security protocol we use to secure our internet connections. But recently a researcher Mathy Vanhoef of imec-DistriNet, KU Leuven found a flaw by which he was able to break this security protocol.

What is the risk ?


You might be asking well thats great that he have found the flaw but how will it affect me ? Well imagine this. You are connect in your home wifi network and chatting with your best friend and your neighbor ( a hacker guy ) looking at conversation. Or may be you are creating an account in your favorite shopping site and your neighbor ( a hacker guy ) see your login credentials. Scary right ?

Details About the attack


The bug, known as "KRACK" for Key Reinstallation Attack, exposes a fundamental flaw in WPA2, a common protocol used in securing most modern wireless networks. Mathy Vanhoef, a computer security academic, who found the flaw, said the weakness lies in the protocol's four-way handshake, which securely allows new devices with a pre-shared password to join the network.

That weakness can, at its worst, allow an attacker to decrypt network traffic from a WPA2-enabled device, hijack connections, and inject content into the traffic stream.

In other words: hackers can eavesdrop on your network traffic.

The bug represents a complete breakdown of the WPA2 protocol, for both personal and enterprise devices -- putting every supported device at risk.

Several researchers, including Vanhoef, have demonstrated valid attacks against the protocol. By far the most notable was in 2011 when a security researcher showed that an attacker could recover the code used in Wi-Fi Protected Setup, a feature that let users authenticate with a one-push button on the router, which could be easily cracked.

The details about the attack can be found in this website : https://www.krackattacks.com/

FAQ ( Taken from Krackattacks  )


Do we now need WPA3?

No, luckily implementations can be patched in a backwards-compatible manner. This means a patched client can still communicate with an unpatched access point, and vice versa. In other words, a patched client or access points sends exactly the same handshake messages as before, and at exactly the same moments in time. However, the security updates will assure a key is only installed once, preventing our attacks. So again, update all your devices once security updates are available.

Should I change my Wi-Fi password?

Changing the password of your Wi-Fi network does not prevent (or mitigate) the attack. So you do not have to update the password of your Wi-Fi network. Instead, you should make sure all your devices are updated, and you should also update the firmware of your router. After updating your router, you can optionally change the Wi-Fi password as an extra precaution.

I'm using WPA2 with only AES. That's also vulnerable?

Yes, that network configuration is also vulnerable. The attack works against both WPA1 and WPA2, against personal and enterprise networks, and against any cipher suite being used (WPA-TKIP, AES-CCMP, and GCMP). So everyone should update their devices to prevent the attack!

Is my device vulnerable?

Probably. Any device that uses Wi-Fi is likely vulnerable. Contact your vendor for more information.

What if there are no security updates for my router?

Our main attack is against the 4-way handshake, and does not exploit access points, but instead targets clients. So it might be that your router does not require security updates. We strongly advise you to contact your vendor for more details. In general though, you can try to mitigate attacks against routers and access points by disabling client functionality (which is for example used in repeater modes) and disabling 802.11r (fast roaming). For ordinary home users, your priority should be updating clients such as laptops and smartphones.