TechSpot

Wi-Fi Protected Setup design flaw leaves routers open to attack

By Jos
Dec 29, 2011
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  1. Design flaws in the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) standard used by most modern routers could make it easier to retrieve a wireless network's password through brute force and leave it…

    Read the whole story
     
  2. This is what happens when you make security easy.

    It ceases to be secure.
     
  3. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,110   +45

    What online is even actually secure? If someone wants to badly enough, they'll get into what they want with the right know-how. Some saying along the lines of, a lock and key keeps an honest man honest.
     
  4. "What online is even actually secure? If someone wants to badly enough, they'll get into what they want with the right know-how. Some saying along the lines of, a lock and key keeps an honest man honest."

    TLS Web Client Certificate Authentication with a 4096-bit RSA private key, burned into a smartcard if that's your thing, is the most secure yet still practical (supported by all major operating systems and browsers) method I can think of off the top of my head.

    Some sites do this, like StartCom, or the Verisign Identity Protection Authentication Service.

    Every popular webserver can be configured to do this, including IIS. Apache can even do it on a per-file or per-directory basis.

    I'm using it for my WordPress Blogs (the Administration panels).
     
  5. supertech

    supertech TS Member Posts: 83   +10

    I've installed thousands of routers over the years and have never trusted WPS and have always turned it off exactly for security reasons. I'm glad I did this.
     
  6. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,283   +157

    Packet sniffing FTW! :)
     
  7. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Guru Posts: 467   +85

    well lets look at this realisticly:

    1. locate wifi thats vunerable.
    2. Knock on house door and say you are from usa wi-fi protection and they will be fined if the network isnt secured right away, offer to do it for 10$ on the spot.
    3. enter house with owners blessing, login to router with netbook.
    4. Setup security properly if its not right and save password on netbook.
    5. profit.

    That took all of 30minutes vs hours of brute force..

    Of course if you are going to spend hours anyways you can just break into the house and login to the router and get the pwd too.

    I get that this is something somone might do for a company but for a home user this is pretty super low risk.
     
  8. @lipe123:

    You don't really believe that your scenario is even remotely plausible, do you? Seriously?

    Nobody that I know - heck, nobody in my *neighborhood* would be gullible enough to fall for your "let me into your home and onto your computer or you will be fined $10" line. No, let me take that back - I would happily let you into my house to screw around on my network. While you are busy, I'll be on the phone to the police. Voila, one less ***** criminal off the streets.

    I get that you're trying to say that social engineering is usually the quickest way (by far) to get a password. But the article clearly states that this vulnerability would only take 2-4 hours to successfully exploit, and a huge percentage of routers would never know they were being attacked. Getting a password that quickly without being detected trumps your "knock on house door" method any day of the week.

    @supertech:

    I'm with you, and other posters.
     


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