Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Security Blahs

Normally I don't post about these sort of things, but this little alert that crossed my laptop early today was enough for me to make an exception:

'All wifi networks' are vulnerable to hacking, security expert discovers

Yes, I realize that not everybody agrees with The Guardian's political slant, but they to a fairly good job of explaining why people should be concerned without trying to translate the actual methodology behind how the team accomplished cracking the encryption.

The long and the short of it is that if you use the WPA2 encryption for WiFi, which used to be the safest of the widely available WiFi encryption methods, your data stream is now vulnerable. And the biggest problem is that there is no widely available replacement for WPA2, as was the case when the WEP encryption was cracked.

So the best I can tell you right now is to use a wired connection as much as possible when conducting online purchasing/transactions, and keep an eye open for updates to your router's firmware. I'm sure that we'll be seeing something fairly soon from both networking companies and your online device's manufacturers.

EtA: Microsoft released a security update on October 10th that protects Windows 10 devices from this hack. CNet covered this in a post.

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