WI-FI SECURITY: WPA2 easily broken, study says - KMSP-TV

WI-FI SECURITY: WPA2 easily broken, study says

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A group of European computer security researchers have found specific vulnerabilities in WPA2 wireless security -- previously considered one of the strongest wi-fi security protocols.


WEP: "Wired equivalent privacy" was the original wireless security protocol. It is easily hacked and no longer recommended for securing private networks.

WPA: "WiFi protected access" was introduced in 1999 after major security flaws were discovered in WEP.

WPA2: Launched in 2004, with even greater security than WPA, WPA2 uses advanced, government-grade encryption that was previously thought to be bulletproof from even skilled hackers.


The study, published in the International Journal of Information and Computer Security, found WPA2 "might now be breached with relative ease by a malicious attack on a network."

The main vulnerability is the de-authentication step in the wireless setup, in which wi-fi routers must reconnect and re-authenticate devices and share a new security key. The authors say this temporarily "leaves a backdoor open" to hackers.

The authors say restricting wireless access by device – via MAC address – can also be spoofed.


The authors suggest it's "a matter of urgency" that security experts and programmers identify and remove WPA2 vulnerabilities and develop new wireless security protocols to block hackers and malware.


- Set wireless router to the strongest encryption protocol possible

- Restricted device access by MAC address

- Use the most complicated password possible (up to 63 characters available on WPA2)


The published study, "Exposing WPA2 security protocol vulnerabilities," was authored by Achilleas Tsitroulis of Brunel University, UK, Dimitris Lampoudis of the University of Macedonia, Greece and Emmanuel Tsekleves of Lancaster University, UK.

Read the complete study at http://www.inderscience.com/info/inarticle.php?artid=59797

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