Device manufacturers are rolling out patches to combat the key reinstallation attack (Krack) that was discovered this week.
Found in the WPA2 WiFi encryption standard, the Krack exploit allows attackers to decrypt WiFi packet data in order to spy on web traffic, intercept sensitive data and credentials, and potentially infect users with malware.
Apple and Google will soon release patches for the vulnerability, while Microsoft said it has already issued fixes for Windows 7, 8 and 10. These were pushed out to users last week. Apple has said its patches for iOS and MacOS devices are at the testing phase, and that they will be rolling out in the coming few weeks.
Android devices face a longer waiting period, despite Google promising to issue a patch on November 6th. Google’s own Nexus and Pixel devices are likely to be the only devices that will see the update soon.
Devices from other manufacturers will only see the fix after it has been customised by their manufacturers, such as Samsung and LG. This process could take months, based on previous firmware updates. Furthermore, Samsung will only update modern devices, with older ones not expected to receive any security patches.
According to Matt Burgess, writing on Wired.co.uk, “you shouldn't be too worried about Krack”. However, he also said “you also probably shouldn't use public WiFi for a while”.
He explained that a major target for hackers could be public WiFi since these access points typically aren’t as secure as home or business networks.
It is now up to organisations to update their systems in order to protect users. They should also ensure they are keeping their networks secure by employing mobile device management, which can offer an extra level of defence against malicious attackers, particularly for businesses allowing their employees to use their own devices.