Technology Advisor Blog

WPA2 Wireless Security Vulnerability - What You Need to Know

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 10/17/17 8:47 AM

security_lock.jpgA new wireless security vulnerability related to WPA2 encryption puts almost every WIFI device at risk for hijacking and eavesdropping.  This was the major headline yesterday and we've been busy updating security on our managed clients.  

Here's a great recap from our Senior Technology Advisor, Frits Riep, regarding what you need to know:

I wanted to update you on the latest information on this WIFI vulnerability and the history of the work done by security researchers and the industry to notify vendors of the risk and the information to date on the vendors responses. The bug, dubbed "KRACK" -- which stands for Key Reinstallation Attack -- is at heart a fundamental flaw in the way WIFI Protected Access II (WPA2) operates.

  • Note that the vulnerability was discovered by security researchers prior to the public disclosure..
  • US-CERT has known of the bug for some time and informed vendors ahead of the public disclosure to give them time to prepare patches and prevent the vulnerability from being exploited in the wild
  • Public disclosure was at 8am EST, yesterday, Oct 17th.
  • Ekaru’s go-to enterprise WIFIprovider, Ubiquiti, has already created a patch, notified Ekaru through our partner relationship, and Ekaru started deploying the patch to all of our managed services customers immediately.
  • Please note, that at this time, Apple, Android phones, and most consumer WIFI equipment is currently vulnerable, so take appropriate precautions to upgrade or replace vulnerable devices.
  • The only good news in this is that there are no known attacks on end-users so far, and that to be hacked the attacker must have equipment within WIFI range of the vulnerable devices.
  • You may want to consider turning WIFI off on your mobile devices when in public locations and avoid WIFI hotspots until the vulnerabilities are patched.

 Overview articles:

Technical article on the vulnerability (highly technical article:

 As always, make sure your systems patches are fully up to date, and not just PC’s and servers these days!

If you have concerns, please email support@ekaru.com, or call our main number 978-692-4200.  Please share this post with colleagues and friends.

 

Tags: Wireless Network, WPA2, cybersecurity

What is my Wireless Security Key?

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 1/2/13 10:27 AM

Did Santa bring you a new Kindle Fire, iPad Mini, or Microsoft Surface for Christmas?  If so, probably one of the first things you wanted to do was connect to your home wireless network.  To connect, you'll be asked for a "key", which is a code that lets you in (and keeps others out).  The common dilemma is that users have set up a wireless network a LONG time ago, recorded the key, and stored it in a "safe place", only to be stumped when you look for it again.  The problem is that after you program the key into your laptop or other portable devices, your system "remembers" it, so you end up forgetting. 

Wireless Network IconDon't worry!  They key is easy to retrieve.  If you have a laptop connected to your wireless network, select the wireless icon in the lower right hand portion of the screen.  "Left click" on your mouse to view the wireless networks.  (Right-clicking allows you to "troubleshoot problems" and "Open Network and Sharing Center").  

Wireless Network PropertiesAfter you select the wireless networks icon, you'll see a list of all the wireless networks nearby, including the one you are connected to (in this case, the list is blanked out for privacy and only the first one is showing.)  "Right Click" on your network and select "Properties" to view the properties of your network, including the wireless key.


Wireless Key Show CharactersIn the "Properties" window, under the "Security" tab, you'll see the "Network Security Key" listed, with characters hidden.  To see the actual key, check the box to "show characters", and you'll have your key!

So if the encryption key that you wrote down two years ago is in a "safe place" somewhere, rest-assured you'll also find it stored electronically here.  No need to rummage through all your files!

Tags: Encryption, Security, Wireless Network, Key

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