If you use Wi-Fi at home, work or in public, your device is vulnerable to the KRACK Wi-Fi flaw. It was recently discovered that Wi-Fi’s WPA2 security protocol has a serious vulnerability that makes it possible for hackers to access sensitive information when devices are connected to a Wi-Fi network. The scary thing is, that’s pretty much all of the time these days.
It’s important to note that this issue is not specific to certain software or devices – it is an issue with the security protocol that can affect all devices that use Wi-Fi. Your phone, your laptop, and all of your IoT devices could be compromised by this devastating KRACK Wi-Fi flaw.
How Does KRACK Work?
KRACK is short for Key Reinstallation AttaCK, and it’s a vulnerability in the security method for wireless networks that was discovered by researcher Mathy Vanhoef.
Before you connect to a Wi-Fi network, your device does a four-way handshake to authenticate the connection. This allows your device to establish an encrypted connection with a router. With the KRACK Wi-Fi flaw, a hacker can interfere with that handshake process, allowing them to decrypt the data you exchange while connected to the network. They don’t even have to be connected to the network to do so.
How to Protect Yourself from the KRACK Wi-Fi Flaw
Install patch updates.
Many companies, like Apple and Microsoft, quickly provided their users with patch updates to protect them from the KRACK Wi-Fi flaw. Check this list to see if your router has a security patch for the vulnerability.
Connect to sites with HTTPS.
When websites use SSL they encrypt information that is entered into their site so hackers can’t access it. You especially want to make sure that sites use HTTPS when you are entering payment or personal information.
Use a virtual private network.
VPNs encrypt your personal information and protect it against being hacked when you’re using public Wi-Fi. Make sure you use a trusted VPN provider. This means you will have to pay for it, but your private information is well worth it.
We, the public, are just hearing about the KRACK Wi-Fi flaw now, but it was discovered in 2016. Vanhoef notified manufacturers months ago, so the issue has been resolved for many users. That being said, make sure you take precautions to make sure your network is secure, and that you are only connecting to networks that you know are secure.