Hackers could get information about your credit card, passwords, photos, and other important stuff if you are connected to a WiFi network with WPA2 security technology. This is according to a recent research which claims that a flaw in the WPA2 encryption protocol will make the WiFi network exposed to “Key Reinstallation Attacks” or “Krack Attacks”. Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Pissens, who discovered the security flaw, at KU Leuven University, says devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher and Linux devices are the most vulnerable.
The hackers make a copy of WPA2 networks, imitate the MAC address, and change the WiFi channel. This means that devices trying to connect to the real network will connect to the fake instead. WPA2 networks usually need a unique key for each block of text but this hack makes it possible to use the same key several times.
As mentioned before, this flaw is even bigger for Android and Linux devices. A WPA2 network allows hackers to clear the encryption key and change it to an “all-zero encryption key”, which is a flaw in the handshake process. The handshake flaw can direct users to the hacked networks, but WiFi passwords or secret keys can be collected during the process.
Hackers can even force the connection of an Android or Linux device to bypass HTTP, which means that they will get access to usernames, passwords, and other data.
This video shows an attack on an Android device where the researcher of this flaw managed to decrypt the device’s transmitted data. This will “not work on a properly configured HTTPS site,” but unfortunately many sites aren’t set up good enough. Other operating systems, such as Windows and MacOS, are not as vulnerable to these types of attacks.
Luckily, you can protect yourself from this. It’s important to not visit sites without a solid HTTPS security. A firmware change would also work to make your router safer. To read more about this, visit Aruba Networks’s FAQ.