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The KRACK Attack - What You Should Know

Protect yourself! Update your devices!
WiFi Hotspot

Contributor: Greg Maron
IT Consulting

You may have already heard, but a recent hack of the WiFi standard “WPA2” has made news in a big way. You can read the Forbes and Newsweek articles, but a hack by the name of KRACK was found to be able to subvert the encryption of WPA2-enabled wireless networks. This puts nearly all wireless communication at risk of being snooped on. There are a number of factors involved here, but the key takeaway is that your WiFi-enabled devices (Laptops, tablets, and mobile phones) are going to need an update from the operating system vendor and any wireless equipment that you maintain will need a security firmware update soon to ensure that your corporate network is not at risk.

The many vendors of wireless access points and routers will be releasing security patches soon to eliminate this vulnerability and your IT Dept or IT Service Provider should be closely monitoring the availability of updates for your make/model of wireless equipment. If your equipment is older or does not have an up-to-date support subscription, it may be time to considering replacing that equipment with new models that offer better performance and security features.

Here are some steps that we suggest that you and your staff take in securing your devices, both business and personal.

  1. Avoid public WiFi hotspots for a while. Give those places some time to understand the severity of this attack and patch their equipment.
  2. Make sure that all of your Windows, Linux, Apple, Android, or other mobile devices are up to date before getting on the coffee shop or airport WiFi.
  3. If you must use a Wireless network before a patch for one of your devices is made available, stick to HTTPS (SSL enabled) websites or use your corporate VPN. Those have another layer of encryption that is not affected by the vulnerability in WPA2 encryption.
  4. At your home, call your Internet Service Provider or contact the maker of your Wireless Router for an update.
  5. Don’t ever join an unknown wireless network just to see if you can get on the internet. You never know what is on that network and whatever action you are taking it not worth the security risk.

Hutchinson & Bloodgood Consulting Group offers a wide range of IT Management, IT Risk Assurance, and Cyber Security services to our clients and would love to assist you with any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

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