Security researchers Erik Tews and Martin Beck say they’ve developed a way to partially crack the WPA encryption standard used to protect data on many wireless networks – and they claim it only takes 12 to 15 minutes. Details will be discussed at the sixth annual PacSec conference in Tokyo next week, which reportedly involve a “mathematical breakthrough” rather than a dictionary attack.
Tews is no stranger to cracking Wi-Fi encryption. Last year, he broke the WEP encryption standard and ironically enough suggested a switch to WPA. The new method described by the researchers only compromises data sent from a router to a laptop, not the other way around, but could well mark the downfall of WPA as a reliable Wi-Fi security measure. The more recent WPA2 encryption scheme is not vulnerable to the attack, though not all wireless devices support it yet.