Belgian researchers have discovered a major weakness in the security protocol WPA2 – used to protect the vast majority of Wi-Fi connections.

Mathy Vanhoef, a security expert at KU Leuven University in Belgium, discovered the flaw and published details to highlight the problems. ‘Attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted,’ he said. ‘This can be used to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and so on.’

Depending on the network configuration, it is also possible to inject and manipulate data. Any attackers may well be able to inject ransomware or other malware into websites.

Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre is looking into the matter. ‘Research has been published into potential global weaknesses to Wi-Fii systems. The attacker would have to be physically close to the target and the potential weaknesses would not not compromise connections to secure websites, such as Wi-Fi safety, device management and browser security.

www.the guardian/technews.co.uk (17th October 18)

If you have a device that uses public Wi-Fi, you are at a higher risk. Shopping centres, airports, hotels, public transport, coffee shops, and restaurants all see hundreds of people connecting to the same Wi-Fi access points. It is a prime hunting ground for anyone trying to intercept personal information.

The advice is to avoid public Wi-Fi at the moment whilst vendors work on patches to allow all devices to be updated. Hackers will develop software quickly to take advantage of any vulnerabilities. Therefore updating all devices is a must.

If you have any questions about the state of the security of your devices, or indeed if you have any concerns in general, please call and talk to one of our team. We will be happy to advise and help in any way we can. (adecsmaple – 024 7699 5930)