A vulnerability in the WiFi WPA2 security protocol which was discovered several months ago was made public earlier today.  The vulnerability named KRACK impacts the underlying WiFi WPA2 security protocol itself so all devices that interact with a WiFi network are potentially vulnerable.  This includes mobile phones, laptops and IoT devices (e.g., Alexa, Nest, etc).  To exploit the vulnerability a 3rd party would need to be within range of the wireless network to which a device is connected.  If exploited the vulnerability would allow a 3rd party to intercept and read traffic originating from a device and potentially inject malicious code into that traffic.  However, the 3rd party would NOT be able to read or inject code into any traffic that was sent over an encrypted session such as a HTTPS secured website or a VPN connection.  Furthermore, though the vulnerability has been made public, the code in which to exploit it has not been made public so there is little risk of widespread attacks.

Vendors were alerted of this vulnerability when it was first discovered in August and some have already released patches.  Apple and Microsoft devices are much less likely to be exploited due to the way in which they implement the WPA2 protocol.  Both have also issued statements that they have already patched the issue within their respective Operating Systems.  Google has acknowledged its aware of the issue but will not have a patch for its Android OS for several weeks.  Tier1Net is currently working with its WiFi vendor partners to obtain and deploy patches to Wireless Access Points as they become available.

In the meantime, Tier1Net recommends avoiding public WiFi hotspots unless your respective device is running the latest version of its Operating System with all appropriate security patches installed.  For a full list of vendors and their patch release dates please see: http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/228519

For more information or assistance please contact Tier1Net Support at 781-935-8050 or at HELP@TIER1NET.NET.