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Why your Wi-Fi network is probably vulnerable to a hacker

Why your Wi-Fi network is probably vulnerable to a hacker

This newly discovered weakness in the Wi-Fi security protocol puts almost every connected device at risk.

Security researchers said the newly discovered flaw was serious because of the ubiquity of Wi-Fi and the difficulty in patching millions of access points. However, all Wi-Fi devices still seem vulnerable to some variant of the weakness that make them ready for data theft from any malevolent attacker within the range.

As Gizmodo wrote, hackers need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as you to exploit this WPA2 flaw. This could involve passwords, credit card numbers, photos and messages sent over a network to be stolen, or cyber attacks to be inserted into the traffic. Microsoft says that it released a security fix on October 10, so anyone on the latest version of Windows 10 will be protected.

Indeed, many companies are now developing security patches, which you should immediately download as soon as they're available.

From reading the advisory on this flaw, it appears that the most recent versions of Windows and Apple's iOS are either not vulnerable to this flaw or are only exposed in very specific circumstances.

In the meantime, avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.

Moving forward, at the very least you should get ready to update your router's firmware, as it's possible your manufacturer will have a patch in the very near future.

Google has also "promised a fix for affected devices 'in the coming weeks, '" The Verge added. That means your phone, your computer, and even your Wi-Fi light bulbs.

The group says the problem can be resolved through straightforward software updates.

Attackers can exploit the flaw in WPA2 - the name for the encryption protocol - "to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted", said a blog post by KU Leuven researchers.

Finally, consider browsing the Web with an extension or browser add-on like HTTPS Everywhere, which forces any site that supports https:// connections to encrypt your communications with the Web site - regardless of whether this is the default for that site. The hacker can manipulate that process to gain access to sensitive information.

According to Vanhoef, the vulnerabilities can be patched, but a simple password change would not secure the system.

4. Disable Wi-Fi on your devices and turn off your router.


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