If you’re running a wireless network with multiple devices connected to it – as most businesses do these days – then you need to pay attention to this news: A recently-discovered flaw in a common network security protocol might allow hackers to access all devices connected to that network. In fact, due to the increasing use of voice-activated technology, they might even be listening to you!
The flaw affects WPA2 systems, commonly used to protect wireless networks. While any devices on the network could be affected, experts say that certain versions of Linux and devices running Android 6.0 or higher are most at risk.
WPA2 systems use an encryption model known as a “four way handshake”. Once a user inputs the correct password to access the network, the system then generates a new encryption key to encrypt future traffic coming and going from the device. Hackers are able to force their way into the network by manipulating the cryptographic handshake process, known as a key reinstallation attack (KRACK).
That sounds a bit scary, and it is, but the hacker is subject to one weakness. He or she must be physically located within that WiFi signal’s range. You might assume that this is an unlikely scenario, but it becomes more plausible in densely populated areas. And, if your business handles a lot of sensitive customer data, hackers are likely to figure this out. Contrary to common belief, not all hackers are recluses hiding out in Mom’s basement!
So, while there’s no need to panic over this security hole, it is yet another reason to secure all of your devices. Changing your WiFi password won’t help in this case, because a hacker can just bypass that. Just make sure to update all device software when prompted. Microsoft has already released a patch to address this issue, and all Android devices updated on or after November 6 of this year will be protected.
As for Apple devices, the company has said they are working on a solution, and will be releasing it soon.
Remember that security is always a multi-step process. For more information on securing both your network and each device connected to it, give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH.