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WPA 2 security protocol may have been cracked

By midian182 ยท 25 replies
Oct 16, 2017
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  1. Security researchers may have discovered severe vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol that protects the majority of Wi-Fi connections around the world. If the encryption really has been cracked, it could allow hackers within wireless range of a network to eavesdrop on traffic, perform malicious injection, and more.

    Read the follow up story: Wi-Fi weakness KRACK disclosed, affecting nearly every connected device

    The proof-of-concept attack is called KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attacks). It’s thought that the site Krackattacks.com will disclose the vulnerabilities at 8AM EST / 5AM PST / 2PM CEST / 5:30PM IST on Monday. The flaws will also be the subject of a talk titled Key Reinstallation Attacks: Forcing Nonce Reuse in WPA2, which is set to take place at the Conference on Computer and Communication Security on November 1 and will be presented by security researchers including Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens.

    The Krack attacks website still isn’t live, but according to its source code: "This website presents the Key Reinstallation Attack (KRACK). It breaks the WPA2 protocol by forcing nonce reuse in encryption algorithms used by Wi-Fi."

    The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has issued the following warning

    US-CERT has become aware of several key management vulnerabilities in the 4-way handshake of the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security protocol. The impact of exploiting these vulnerabilities includes decryption, packet replay, TCP connection hijacking, HTTP content injection, and others. Note that as protocol-level issues, most or all correct implementations of the standard will be affected. The CERT/CC and the reporting researcher KU Leuven, will be publicly disclosing these vulnerabilities on 16 October 2017.

    Ars Technica goes into more detail: “it [the attack] works by exploiting a four-way handshake that's used to establish a key for encrypting traffic. During the third step, the key can be resent multiple times. When it's resent in certain ways, a cryptographic nonce can be reused in a way that completely undermines the encryption.”

    The researchers also suggested in a 2016 paper that the random number generator used to create 802.11 group keys is flawed by design and can be predicted.

    Major wireless vendors may already be working on patches, but how long they'll take to roll out is unclear. Some devices, such as certain IoT products, may never get patched. If you’re particularly concerned, using a (reliable) VPN is recommended.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    Scary indeed. edit: My bad I did not read the whole article. I was in bed past midnight tired but opened my tabs in my ipad. So yeah at first I thought it was a way to bypass wpa2 and go in the router. After reading the website source, its more of a eavesdropping without having in the same network which is critical and severe in nature. please dont shoot me!
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  3. hkhan1989

    hkhan1989 TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +24

    MAC address filtering can be bypassed very easily, it won't protect you from this.
    Seraphim401, Reehahs, Kibaruk and 2 others like this.
  4. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +301

    I rely on ancient CAT5 through my house. Was actually thinking of getting wireless on black Friday because all the relatives complain that they have to use their data when they come over for Christmas, but this may have changed my mind.
    Reehahs and jobeard like this.
  5. David Matthews

    David Matthews TS Maniac Posts: 228   +45

    True, MAC address filtering only allows certain devices but even then, MAC addresses can be easily spoofed. This WPA2 attack works if you're not connected to the Wi-Fi network
    Reehahs likes this.
  6. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Guru Posts: 346   +346

    No wireless. Really?
    What year are you living in?

    Just have a wireless access point during the holidays. Problem solved.
  7. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,641   +410

    Chances are that you are going to be hacked with this exploit are rather low.
    p51d007, Lionvibez and namesrejected like this.
  8. Jickfoo

    Jickfoo TS Rookie

    While its true that you can manually set a logical MAC address, knowing what to set it to is the trick. If a company keeps their client information private, MAC address filtering can be very effective. It should never be the only layer of security but don't dismiss it as useless. The more crap a hacker needs to go through, the more attractive a softer target becomes. :)
    p51d007 likes this.
  9. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,719   +1,135

    You can scan it without even being in the network, you can easily look for live connections and that's all you need.
    Seraphim401 likes this.
  10. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,584   +441

    As an owner of a Kali compatible chipset this is intriguing.
  11. No wireless in my place either. It's wired, it works so WTF
    namesrejected likes this.
  12. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,076   +1,248

    This is pretty large news right here. Yikes.
  13. Wizwill

    Wizwill TS Enthusiast Posts: 97   +45

  14. Wizwill

    Wizwill TS Enthusiast Posts: 97   +45

    What an ignorant comment! I HOPE it was satire. The vulnerability extends to one's entire network and would most likely be actively exploited by hackers when the 'bait ball' of visitors was expected (over the holidays) and utilized to attack the entire network to which an unprotected Wi-Fi device was connected. NO video or streaming music until this is patched.

    BTW, why isn't this given a higher priority on Tech Spot's 'splash page' than some older video card?
    jobeard likes this.
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,559   +1,441

    Reading the info from the website, there's a note:
    • Note that our attacks do not recover the password of the Wi-Fi network. They also do not recover (any parts of) the fresh encryption key that is negotiated during the 4-way handshake.
    So, WiFi login is not being compromised, but rather the encrypted WiFi traffic is no longer secure.

    Also, Android 6.0 and above also contains this vulnerability. This makes it trivial to intercept and manipulate traffic sent by these Linux and Android devices. Note that currently 41% of Android devices are vulnerable to this exceptionally devastating variant of our attack.

    With our novel attack technique, it is now trivial to exploit implementations that only accept encrypted retransmissions of message 3 of the 4-way handshake. In particular this means that attacking macOS and OpenBSD is significantly easier than discussed in the paper.
    Reehahs likes this.
  16. Jickfoo

    Jickfoo TS Rookie

    Pre-hack ? In encrypted tunnels ? How ?

  17. Wizwill

    Wizwill TS Enthusiast Posts: 97   +45

    Does the quoted title 'TS Ambassador refer to an apologist from Tech spot or the hacker community?
  18. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,559   +1,441

    The following Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) identifiers were assigned to track which products are affected by specific instantiations of our key reinstallation attack:

    • CVE-2017-13077: Reinstallation of the pairwise encryption key (PTK-TK) in the 4-way handshake.
    • CVE-2017-13078: Reinstallation of the group key (GTK) in the 4-way handshake.
    • CVE-2017-13079: Reinstallation of the integrity group key (IGTK) in the 4-way handshake.
    • CVE-2017-13080: Reinstallation of the group key (GTK) in the group key handshake.
    • CVE-2017-13081: Reinstallation of the integrity group key (IGTK) in the group key handshake.
    • CVE-2017-13082: Accepting a retransmitted Fast BSS Transition (FT) Reassociation Request and reinstalling the pairwise encryption key (PTK-TK) while processing it.
    • CVE-2017-13084: Reinstallation of the STK key in the PeerKey handshake.
    • CVE-2017-13086: reinstallation of the Tunneled Direct-Link Setup (TDLS) PeerKey (TPK) key in the TDLS handshake.
    • CVE-2017-13087: reinstallation of the group key (GTK) when processing a Wireless Network Management (WNM) Sleep Mode Response frame.
    • CVE-2017-13088: reinstallation of the integrity group key (IGTK) when processing a Wireless Network Management (WNM) Sleep Mode Response frame.
    CVEs are in the database maintained by Mitre.org and you can search that site here:
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  19. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,559   +1,441

    It's related to the Techspot labels used to classify members by membership age and post counts - - aka meaningless :grin:
  20. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +301

    How is it an ignorant comment? I simply said my house has no wifi, and after reading about the exploit I have decided to not get wifi for the holiday guest.

    EDIT : Sorry, I saw you quoted me, but I failed to see the other quote. Im assuming you were referring to the other post and not mine.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  21. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +301

    Nope, they can use their data for all I care. Its the holidays anyways and should be spent with family, not facebook. For now im keeping everything I have on a wired connection.
    jobeard and cliffordcooley like this.
  22. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,559   +1,441

    You're BOTH correct and neither are ignorant IMO.
    1. a LAN network w/o wifi is immune to this issue
    2. Lan networks which include WiFi compromise all connections (not the router(s) or logins).
    namesrejected likes this.
  23. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,559   +1,441

    You've reached a different conclusion that I -- The four way handshake of WPA2 is the infection vector so networks without a WiFi service are immune IMO. MAC addressing is not the issue at all as that is related to DHCP and how Lan addresses are created.
  24. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Guru Posts: 311   +94

  25. Kris95

    Kris95 TS Member

    My router's firmware hasn't been updated since 2015 but it does support OpenWRT. I assume this will be fixed in that so maybe I should switch to it.
  26. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,427   +594

    I use Asus merlin firmware on my Netgear router he should have this patched soon.

    But to be honest I'm not worried about getting hit by this attack.

    And the only android device on my network is a Blackberry Keyone all other machines run Windows so I feel safe.

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