We try to stay on top of data theft and hacking news so we can best tell you how to manage and protect your home’s WiFi network. That in mind, hackers love mobile devices because of their vulnerabilities, so it’s important to keep abreast of the latest dangers you might face. And that brings us to KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attacks), one of the latest hacking attempts targeting mobile consumers.
KRACK is especially scary because it’s a vulnerability in the WPA2 encryption, which is a particularly common encryption setting that everyone believes is pretty safe. KRACK is a loophole that peels back some of the WPA2 encryption and allows hackers to spy on the content being exchanged on the network.
That sounds frightening, but fortunately there are some limitations to such spying. Hackers can’t acquire your Wi-Fi password with this particular vulnerability, so your network still has a certain amount of safety.
Typically, hackers can only use KRACK to view content that is not encrypted by any other means. In other words, if the website you are using has HTTPS security, then hackers won’t be able to pierce this layer of protection, and all your data will still be safe. There’s a good reason that Google is starting to push HTTPS as a requirement for websites these days!
So far, there doesn’t appear to be many options to pass along malware with KRACK, which is very good news, although KRACK is still being investigated. There could be more devious ways of using the problem for elaborate attacks.
So, what do you do when a dangerous vulnerability is discovered that could affect your wireless network?
First, update your router and all your mobile devices with the latest OS or firmware, and continue to do so whenever possible. Second, use a physical cable connection when possible to deal with sensitive information. Third, use HTTPS wherever possible, and start avoiding any sites where you pass sensitive info, that don’t have it. Fourth, watch out for new problems like KRACK or the latest Windows 10 vulneratbility that was discovered. Problems will keep coming, so watch out and be prepared.