A group of cybersecurity researchers has discovered serious vulnerabilities in the WPA2 encryption protocol which is used to protect Wi-Fi wireless networks. According to The Verge, the program called KRACK allows attackers to intercept all user traffic from the Wi-Fi access point including payment data and other valuable information, while incepting malicious ransomware code into the network.
According to the researcher Mathi Vanhof, the vulnerabilities are contained in the WPA2 standard itself which puts a lot of devices (Android, Linux, Windows, Apple, etc.) in danger. In particular, 41% of devices on Android are subject to an “exceptionally destructive” version of the attack.
The attack, described by the experts, is directed against the authentication protocol called 4-way handshake, used when connecting users to a secure Wi-Fi network and confirming that users and the access point have login information. 4-way handshake also authorises a new encryption key that will be used to encrypt the traffic. The current attack deceives users by reproducing the cryptographic messages of the protocol when reinstalling the key.
Right now, we don’t know if hackers used KRACK vulnerabilities in any way. To avoid a possible attack, experts recommend users to update the software of access points and other devices with Wi-Fi before the developers will release suitable patches.