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Don't panic: we're not all on KRACK

Paul Brislen, Editor. 18 October 2017, 7:20 am

The discovery of the KRACK security flaw in the world's most widely used wireless security protocol (WPA2) has resulted in an enormous amount of media coverage but security consultants have all said the same thing: don't panic.

The KRACK exploit (short for key Reinstallation Attack) was discovered by computer security expert Mathy Vanhoef and could, in theory, allow attackers to capture or intercept wireless network traffic. At this point there are no reported uses of the exploit in the wild.

Any such attack would need to be undertaken in close proximity to a user's wifi network, making the likelihood of any such attack taking place somewhat slim.

Regardless, technology vendors around the world are working to release patches and updates to counter any potential threat.

Microsoft has already released an update to Windows 10 and Apple has patches in beta testing now, to be included in the next software update due in a few weeks' time.

Google and Samsung have both said they will work quickly to release updates as soon as they can.

The various makers of wifi-related routers are all moving to update their devices' software to block KRACK.

Concern has mounted in various corners of the world around the newly emerging home automation industry's response to the problem, with wifi rapidly becoming the default connection choice for home owners seeking to connect speakers, air conditioning units, fridges and other home appliances. This comes on the back of ongoing commentary around the lack of security standards for the Internet of Things (IoT) that is tipped to grow dramatically over the next few years.


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