The USA Computer Emergency Readiness Team released an notice pertaining to vulnerabilities of WPA2 networks on October 16, 2017. This is also referred to as Wi-Fi Protected Access II. This news will affect all companies on perhaps every scale.
Nevertheless, with the ideal education, learning and safety measures, your IT solutions team will help you stay safe from vulnerabilities. IT consulting specialists have discussed these issues thoroughly and have considered carefully the consequences of this Wi-Fi hack.
So let’s dive in.
The USA’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team released an alert concerning vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi Protection Access II ( WPA2).
What is WPA2?
Let’s back up a bit.
There are three main types of wireless network encryptions. These are WEP, WPA and WPA2.
WPA2 was a security method that enhanced wireless networks and provided stronger data protection and greater network access controls.
It guarantees that only authorized users could access their wireless networks.
There are two versions of WPA2: WPA2 Enterprise or WPA2 Personal. WPA2- Enterprise verifies network users through a server, whereas WPA2-Personal protects unauthorized access to the network by using a predetermined password.
All hardware had this kind technology in 2006 and through the years became the standard for encryption. It eventually came to replace the original WPA security method. Throughout it’s time, the technology had one of the most up-to-date security criteria. Ever since, the technology has gotten routine updates.
However, on October 16 the US- CERT issued a notice stating even if you have a WPA2-protected router your device was hackable. Therefore, if you have Wi-Fi protected access, you or your remote business may be in trouble. Security researchers exposed vulnerabilities in WPA2 that could enable hackers to eavesdrop on Wi- Fi traffic going from computer to access point.
What Kind of Attack Is it?
The vulnerability in the WPA2 Wi-Fi procedure makes your computer system vulnerable to Trick Reinstallation Assaults, or KRack for short. A KRack attack disables a Wi-Fi router’s safety as well as makes your details susceptible to whoever is roaming with the same network locations as you are.
The WPA2 protocol exposes your computer to something called a Key Reinstallation Attack, or KRack. These KRack attacks disable your Wi-Fi router’s security and makes user information available to whoever finds themselves in the same network areas as you.
If a hacker wanted to get a hold of user data, they would only need a handful of tools to login. Up to now there has been no serious KRack attacks on Wi-Fi networks but hackers are getting more sophisticated and better trained at spotting these vulnerabilities. Managed IT services organizations have been warning about these attacks for years.
However, smaller businesses with a limited IT team have had to choose between cybersecurity and business continuity in recent months. But just because you ignore a problem doesn’t mean it still isn’t there.
The New KRack
In February of 2020 a big vulnerability was spotted in the Wi-Fi chips of billions of mobile devices, laptops and tablets worldwide.
The vulnerability exists in the encryption key of chips made by the companies Cypress and Broadcom. The chips are found in products made by Apple, Google, Amazon, and Samsung to name a few.
ESET, a Slovak internet security company, dubbed the newer vulnerability “Kr00K”. Kr00k can attacks networks relying on WPA2 connections.
How does WI-FI Work?
Wi-Fi communication works by having clients and their connected access points take turns speaking and listening. Most devices communicate securely over the air using WPA2 and WPA3 standards. The client and AP create a unique key that encrypts the communication. While a device waits for its turn to communicate, it stores the chunks of data in a buffer. When it’s finally the device’s turn to communicate it encrypts and sends the data using the negotiated key.
It can go on like this back and forth until the device decides to disconnect from the network.
Is Your Company Protected?
Now that cyber security experts have exposed these types of vulnerabilities, you might be asking if your company is still secure. Go through your devices and verify that they are properly encrypted and have the right software in place. Private notice of these changes were sent out to vendors. Patches and updates were made available to avoid these attacks but that doesn’t mean you can’t take precaution.
If there is an employee working remotely from home that isn’t using WPA2 or WPA3 protocols while using Wi-Fi, they are putting their data and the company’s at risk. The employee cannot use personal devices while working from home if the security and network of the device is not up to par with compliance standards.
How Can I Maintain My Miami Company IT Solutions Safe?
445 million cyber-attacks have been reported since the beginning of 2020, according to Security Boulevard. Moreover, a report by ZDNet states that there has been a rise in hands-on attacks within the first six months of 2020.
Hands on attacks are cyber-attacks where the cybercriminal is actively seeking out vulnerable systems rather than relying on programs to find them.
The surge of these types of attacks is no doubt caused by a combination of using more sophisticated tools and the sudden rise of remote work brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Upgrading tools and software to secure the best cybersecurity is the best option. Nerds Support, for example, deploys company issued devices that comply with regulations to ensure employees or clients are not vulnerable.
If you feel like using a personal laptop, it’s best to get it vetted by experienced IT professionals. Many businesses across the US have decided to overlook cybersecurity for business continuity and it’s only a matter of type before the cracks start to show.
Carrying out regular backups and periodically checking your network security is up-to-date are small changes that make your work environment a little more secure.
Guest article written by: Felipe Castilla, Nerds Support Inc.