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KRACK Wi-Fi Threat: Updating Patches Should Help Fix Your Devices

Everything you need to know about the KRACK Wi-Fi exploit, how to protect devices from hackers. 

Published
Tech News
3 min read
All Wi-Fi devices in the world can be compromised. 
i

Standard Wi-Fi protocols were reported to be in danger after researcher Mathy Vanhoef discovered vulnerabilities that help hackers access personal information by sneaking into your network.

But Vanhoef has indicated that software and hardware companies can minimise the damage of this exploit by rolling out patches for their devices. And luckily, that’s exactly what’s being done right now.

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Sharing its sentiment on the matter, the Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group that represents hundreds of Wi-Fi technology companies, said the issue "could be resolved through a straightforward software update".

The group said in a statement it had advised members to release patches quickly and recommended that consumers quickly install those security updates. The CERT-IN, the Indian team for emergency response has also notified on the matter and asked users in the country to update their devices as and when the patches are available.

Also Read: Your Local Secure WPA2 Wi-Fi Network Has Been Hit With KRACK

Microsoft has already confirmed that the patch to fix the KRACK exploit is on its way to Windows users across the globe. Their latest update not only fixes the usual bugs found on the operating system, but also gives a temporary protection against hackers benefitting from the Wi-Fi security danger.

We have released a security update for Windows. Customers who applied the update, or had automatic updates enabled, would already be protected.
Microsoft Corp 
We have reached out to HP, Asus, Xiaomi and Samsung to check if their update patches for the issue will be rolled out to users anytime soon.

Google has reportedly said that Android phones will get its Wi-Fi fix in the coming weeks, with Pixel devices first in line to get it resolved. Renowned Apple critic has also informed that the company has released patches for iOS and Mac OS betas on Monday evening, which is likely to reach users anytime now.

But we’re concerned as to when and how other mobile brands running on Android plan to get this issue fixed, especially with reports highlighting that over 50% of Android devices can be potentially targeted by hackers right now, as the threat of KRACK is directed at devices running Android 6.0 or more.

So, we’re hopeful that brands understand the urgency here and do their bit at the earliest.

Threat is Real, But Not for All

The high-level use of Wi-Fi for accessing the internet was always bound to catch the eyes of the hackers, and the KRACK development only serves to prove that conclusive right now.

The thought of all Wi-Fi supported devices being in danger (even Linux for god sakes), does cause some concerns, but luckily the situation isn’t as dire for you as it sounds.

Critical issues in the cyber arena have become a common sight these days, especially when you recall the recent WannaCry attack that hit ATMs and financial institutions across the world.

Most of the issues pertaining to KRACK will hit those people who’re heavily reliant on smart devices which puts Internet of Things (IoT) into action. Unlike mobile devices, IoT products like smart camera or a device like Google Home or Alexa only works via Wi-Fi and in order to keep them safe, you’re better served by turning off the network in your area of use.

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What Can You Do To Be Safe

While Vanhoef hasn’t given us a glimmer of hope to feel secure right now, yet basic steps should definitely be put into use, as highlighted by most experts.

If you’re on a laptop, turn off the Wi-Fi router (unless it’s fixed with the latest firmware) and go for the conventional ethernet plug-in instead. As for mobile users, who can’t opt for ethernet, rely on mobile network for as long as you can (at least until mobile brands do the needful and fix the Wi-Fi exploit issue.

(We’ll update the post after hearing back from major mobile, router and laptop brands)

(With additional inputs from Reuters)

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