TECH

Major Wi-Fi security Breach

At about 7AM Monday Eastern Time, the team of researcher revealed details of a new exploit called KRACK that takes advantage of vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi security to let attackers eavesdrop on traffic between computers and wireless access points. Almost all of the Wi-Fi Network with WPA 2 standard could be hacked which is been used in most of the homes and offices. An attacker within range of a victim can exploit these weaknesses using proof-of-concept exploit called Key Reinstallation Attacks (KRACKs).

This exploits can break through the sensitive information such as banking information, emails, and photos and so on. KRACKs can even inject malware and modify the sensitive data. The US government has warned everyone by revealing the details of the breach. This attack is likely to affect the entire world and not just the specific country.

The team of researchers led by MathyVanhoef said that the exploit is at the protocol level and can exploits vulnerabilities like decryption, packet replay, TCP connection hijacking, and HTTP content injection. However, the team are still unclear on how the user could avoid the attack, they suggest to secure your network and install security updates as soon as they become available. Researcher indicated that in case of this exploit, changing the Wi-Fi password or its strength does not prevent the attack and Wi-Fi connection is always open to the hackers.  About 41% of all android devices are vulnerable to these variant of attacks because of the presence of wpa_supplicant in the android and Linux devices.

The attack is against the 4-wayhandshake of the WPA-2 security protocol when the client wants to join the Wi-Fi Network. The handshake also confirm the possession of correct credential with both client and access point and to encrypt all the subsequent traffic. All the network that uses the WPA protocol, even in the enterprise network or the network that uses the AES protocol are now not considered to be secure as before.

In key reinstallation, attack is achieved by manipulating and replaying the handshake message so the security key that is used only once is reinstalled as the result, nonce and the replay counter is reset to initial value. As the result, the adversaries can easily decrypt the packets sent by the clients. This causes the WPA-2 to reuse the keystream while encrypting the packets. In the other hand, the attack can even inject or forge the packets if the victim uses WPA-TKIP or GCMP encryption protocol, instead of AES-CCMP.

The research paper behind the attack is titled Key Reinstallation Attacks: Forcing Nonce Reuse in WPA2 and will be presented at the Computer and Communications Security (CCS) conference on Wednesday 1 November 2017.

Microsoft says that it has already fixed this problem in the supported version of Windows and have asked the user to turn on the automatic update to receive the patch and ensure the device is protected. Google in other hand seriously need to consider as 41% of the  android devices are vulnerable. Although Google has promised that it will release the security patch in the coming week, Google Pixel devices will be the first one to receive the patch while other devices are likely to be behind due to the fragmentation nature of the android.

 

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