Security researchers recently found a HUGE security flaw that affects nearly every WiFi network.
The WPA2 security protocol that’s used to secure most WiFi networks has a big problem. The issue is called KRACK – which stands for key installation attacks. The problem is with the actual WiFi standard itself, not any particular routers, systems, or software. It can be used against any modern WiFi network, it doesn’t matter if you’re using Android, Linux, Apple, Windows, or any other system and can be used to steal your most sensitive information. Later versions of Linux and Android are especially vulnerable. The Krack Attacks site gives a long, detailed explanation of how it all works. So, go ahead and click here if you want the highly-technical explanation.
If you’re more interested in what you need to do, keep reading.
If you’re a Windows user, Microsoft has already issued an update for all supported versions of Windows. So, if you aren’t set for automatic updates, run your updates now. If you’re using a Linux system, make sure to head to the site for your particular flavor and apply the necessary updates.
Apple has patched the problem in developer and beta version of the OS for its devices and will be rolling out a fix to the general public ASAP. So keep your eye out for updates.
Google says it expects to have patches for Android devices in the next few weeks.
Many router makers have also issued patches. You can go to the website for your particular model to check if they’ve issued an update.
If you’re running Windows XP, Vista, or haven’t updated Windows 8 to 8.1, you are particularly vulnerable. I’d suggest staying offline.
What can you do to protect yourself? If your operating system or router hasn’t received a security update, you could use a wired connection. If you have a paid VPN at home, you might consider using it until you can get patched.
If there hasn’t been a patch issued for your router, you’ll be safer burning up your data minutes for your phone instead of using WiFi.
I’d also steer clear of public networks. They’re never completely safe, but now it could be downright dangerous. I’ll keep you updated as the situation changes.
Bottom line: If you’re using Windows 10, 8.1, or 7 you’re covered as long as you have automatic updates turned on or have applied the latest updates.