WPA2 KRACKS in the Pavement

If you haven't been living under a rock, you may have heard news this week of a vulnerability found in WPA2 that can affect your wireless network security. Here is what you need to know about the latest in cyber attacks.

The WPA2 KRACK exploit takes advantage of fundamental design flaws in the WPA2 protocol. The original design was used to secure wireless networks, but now could theoretically lead to man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKS). When exploited, cyber criminals can steal confidential information like email, credit card numbers, passwords and more.

Who is affected by this cyber attack?

If your network or device supports WiFi then you are most likely affected. Although it’s not obvious to the average user, WPA2 is the most popular and widely used wireless security protocol. If your network or devices are connected to WiFi, then you are most likely vulnerable to the KRACK Exploit.

What is a MITM attack?

In a nutshell, a MITM attack is when a cyber criminal securely relays and possibly alters information shared between two parties who believe they are directly communicating with each other. In this case, between the client machine on the wireless network and the wireless access point.

What exactly is a KRACK?

In a key reinstallation attack, the cyber-criminal tricks a victim into reinstalling an already-in-use key. To guarantee security, a key should only be installed and used once. Unfortunately, this is not guaranteed by the WPA2 protocol. By manipulating cryptographic handshakes, cyber criminals can abuse this weakness.

The WPA2 design flaws are protocol level vulnerabilities and not specific to any one vendor’s implementation. Wireless access points and wireless clients are susceptible. You can find more details on the vulnerabilities at www.krackattacks.com .

What can you do to mitigate the impact this exploit has on your wireless network?

Recommended Actions To Guard Against WPA2 KRACK Attacks

  • Patch all Windows, Linux, Android, iOS and macOS clients with the latest updates from those vendors.
  • Apply any firmware updates for physical devices like wireless access points.

SumnerOne recommends and implements wireless solutions from several vendors and we are working very closely with those vendors to ensure that our client’s networks are safe and secure. For more information about securing your network, give SumnerOne a call. We can get you set up with an assessment and work to understand what it will take to protect your network. 


To stay up-to-date with the latest in cyber security and technology, be sure to tune in to Tech Talk on The Big 550 KTRS (550AM) each Friday afternoon at 4:20. Our IT Experts are live in the studio to help keep end users in the loop on the great world of technology. 



Originally published October 20, 2017, updated August 14, 2018


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