A group of hackers has found a way to violate the security of one of the strongest authentication protocols to date: WPA2 . We explain what this discovery brings.
Even though you did not know, you are using the WPA2 protocol. Yes, every time you connect a new device to your home Wi-Fi network or connect to a friend's Wi-Fi from your phone, you're using the famous WPA2 protocol. Without a doubt, it is one of the most efficient wireless security enhancements. To this day
Something I've been taught in my career is: " There's nothing completely secure if you're connected to the Internet ." Based on this premise, it can be said that "it took a long time" to find a vulnerability to the most commonly used key trading system to date. It has been a group of hackers who have encountered this vulnerability and which significantly affects the Android terminals.
What is WPA2?
What is WPA2?
Let's start by talking about the basis of the news: WPA2. Its acronym comes from Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 . And as its name suggests, it's a protocol focused on ensuring the security of your wireless networks. An evolution of WPA also hacked.
The WPA2 protocol is responsible for negotiating the access of a device to a router . By exchanging some keys, currently protected by AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), a device is allowed to access the network or not. Making use of a four-time confirmation ensures secure communication between the device and the router. This is where they found the vulnerability, in the exchange of messages or [handshake".
What is KRACK?
It is very briefly the method by which they have been able to violate the WiFi security protocol more used. Intercepting messages and forcing the device to reinstall a fake key.
The WPA2 protocol acknowledges 4 times of the mutual credentials between the device and the router . A credential can simply be the WiFi password. Through what is known as & # 39; handshake & # 39; (we will refer to the 4-way confirmation as handshake in the rest of the article), the message is intercepted, copied, and forwarded to the actual device.
The vulnerability is that WPA2 does not check if handshake is installed only once
It is true that this handshake is designed to be used only once, but the fault is that WPA2 does not guarantee 100% of this is used like that . Then, without having to decrypt the handshake and route it through the router to a device, you can have the "key" that opens the packets sent between the two parties.
This especially affects Android devices whose WPA2 key management engine lets you install completely blank credentials . This makes the device that intercepts messages, is able to act as a man in the middle and can read all messages.
Forcing handshake retransmission is how you can decipher the packets
KRACK takes advantage of 4 step verification of WPA2 intercepting packets to be discarded or delayed. In this way, the credentials are rechecked, the fake credentials are re-installed on the victim's device and the communication between the WiFi and the device is retransmitted. That is, when the attacker can decrypt the packet. For with this mechanism, the attack is continually obtained.
What is a man in the middle?
Wait Manuel, you said something about " Man-in-the-Middle ", what is it? This is a type of attack that is done where the attacker is placed in the middle of the victim's communication with another device. It is very common for the smell of packets, in part what is done with KRACK, or to go through an access point (a router) and to do phishing.
What does this vulnerability affect in my daily life?
Currently the tool used by hackers is not open to everyone and I doubt it spreads. They have already reported this vulnerability, and hackers reported that with a simple patch on both WPA2 and devices compliant with this protocol solves the problem.
We will not need WPA3, but a simple patch on routers and devices
Even so, the KRACK discoverer says that we will soon update our router and our terminals whenever possible. We are talking about the fact that the encryption system that up to now was the most robust of all has been violated. It does not matter what type of encryption you have in the message, because KRACK does not need to know the encryption, only the key that is forwarded when a specific packet is lost.
No, no one will steal your data, but update when you can
As we said before, the KRACK tool is not open to the public. It will be presented at a computer security convention later, but until then the vulnerability should be impaired. Also, if they wanted to steal information, they would have to be around you, where both have access to the same Wi-Fi network. In short, the only site where this type of attack is likely to be a public WiFi network.
Although I tell you, there are many other ways to steal information without the victim's noticing. And if it has not happened to you, you are unlikely to pass. As this tool, when released, the vulnerability will be more than resolved.
Now we have to wait for routers and our devices to fix this problem. According to the hacker, any WPA2 compliant device, even though it has AES as a cipher, is vulnerable to this attack. So this will affect the massive upgrade of all devices.