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Your wireless network is no longer secure

Oct 16, 2017
Your wireless network is no longer secure

A recently discovered vulnerability could allow attackers to access data you or your staff use while connected to your wireless network.  This is a major vulnerability as it affects anyone using the wireless encryption protocol WPA2, which is the most common used wireless security protocol.

An attacker would be able to easily intercept data transmitted between a laptop or mobile device to your wireless access point allowing them to get information such as login details to websites, emails or even inject malware such as ransomware into websites tricking the users to become infected.

The vulnerability labeled “KRACK is an acronym for Key Reinstallation Attack. According to KU Leuven’s Mathy Vanhoef, the researcher who discovered the vulnerability. Vanhoef’s findings were reported by tech site Ars Technica early Monday morning.

Here’s how and why the process and hack can happen, as described on Vanhoef’s website: When a device joins a protected Wi-Fi network, a process known as a four-way handshake takes place. This handshake ensures that the client and access point both have the correct login credentials for the network, and generates a new encryption key for protecting web traffic. That encryption key is installed during step three of the four-way handshake, but the access point will sometimes resend the same key if it believes that message may have been lost or dropped. Vanhoef’s research finds that attackers can essentially force the access point to install the same encryption key, which the intruder can then use to attack the encryption protocol and decrypt data.

How to protect your business from KRACK

Many IT companies have already released fix’s and patches/updates to combat this vulnerability. To protect your business from this, you need to apply fix’s and updates where possible to reduce your risk.  This includes:

  • Check to see if your wireless access point has an update/firmware which will protect you against this and perform the update. If your wireless access point does not have this update then its recommended to turn off your wireless. Or you can replace your wireless access points with a better model, we recommend Unifi.
  • Make sure all your computers and devices have the latest Microsoft Windows updates installed. Microsoft customers who have enabled Windows Update and applied security updates from Oct. 10 are automatically protected
  • Dont have your wireless network bleeding into your LAN, wireless should be on its own VLAN. This means having your wireless network isolated from any servers on your local network. If wireless users need to access the server then they should connect via VPN

How Onsite Helper is protecting its clients

Onsite Helper clients who are subscribed to Managed Services will have their computers automatically updated to protect against this vulnerability.

We also have a Managed Wireless package where we monitor and maintain a client’s wireless network. From our cloud controller we will be rolling out this update throughout the day. You may notice the wireless go offline for half a minute as the access point gets rebooted once the firmware is installed.

If your business isn’t on our Managed Services or Managed Wireless products and your keen to find out more, please email enquiries@onsitehelper.com or call 03 9999 3106

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