What is the KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability, and should you be concerned?

KRACK stands for Key Reinstallation AttaCK, and is a security flaw discovered in the Wi-Fi encryption protocols WPA and WPA2, used in almost all modern-day devices . This includes your laptop, cell phone and tablet. (Most desktop computers do not have wireless capability).

The KRACK vulnerability exists when your device first makes it’s connection to a secured Wi-Fi access point.  Step one is for your device and the access point to exchange authentication information, also known as a ‘handshake’.  By exploiting this vulnerability in WPA and WPA2, this process can be manipulated to allow a third party to obtain the encryption key.  With that, they can execute a ‘Man-in-the-middle’ based attack, and therefore view your data traffic.

Device manufacturers are racing to release patches to fix this security vulnerability.  Among those which are still vulnerable: Apple, Android and Linux devices.  A couple of points below:

  • An attacker needs to be in-range of your device and wireless access point to exploit this vulnerability. For a typical wireless router, this is a little more than 100 ft.
  • If you are using a Windows PC running Windows 7 or newer, and your PC is up-to-date on patches, you are already protected.  Microsoft released a security fix on October 10th. If you are a MoseSys managed customer, with our Patch Doctor system you can be assured that your computers have the latest patches and updates.
  • If you are using an Apple or Android device, stay tuned for patches that will be issued soon.  You may consider not connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots, or possibly using only cellphone network data in the meantime.
  • If your network utilizes a Sonicwall firewall appliance, no changes are necessary.  Sonicwall units are not vulnerable to the KRACK exploit.
  • If you are using a third party wireless router, consider contacting the router manufacturer to see if they’ve released a new firmware update that fixes the KRACK exploit.  Consider doing the same if you are using your cable provider’s router.
  • Make sure your anti-virus, anti-malware, and software firewalls are patched and up-to-date.  For MoseSys customers, this is another area in which you can rest easy, knowing it’s taken care of.
  • ALWAYS practice discretion when using a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Do not transmit sensitive information , and try to use websites that use the HTTPS protocol (Or show the little padlock symbol in the address bar).

For more information, see PCWorld’s FAQ:

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3233308/security/krack-wi-fi-security-flaw-faq-tips.html#toc-5

Why you NEED a hardware firewall.

In your car, the firewall is a sheet of metal between the cabin and the engine which prevents engine fires from reaching you.

In computer networking, the firewall is just as important, a barrier to keep destructive forces away from your office network.

 

The network firewall performs the following functions:

Intrusion prevention

Your office network is under constant attack.  Malware and bot nets across the globe are slowly, but surely probing every machine connected online to find vulnerable points to attack.  A hardware firewall acts like a gate-keeper, blocking known patterns of malicious intent and hacking.

Packet filtering/inspection

Much like security at the airport, the firewall is constantly inspecting data moving across your network, watching for certain patterns and characteristics of malicious code, suspicious behavior, identifying the good traffic, and blocking the bad.  This includes traffic from the outside trying to gain entry, but also internal traffic trying to get out.

Gateway Anti-Virus and anti-spyware protection

Hardware firewalls compare known virus and spyware signatures against what they observe traveling through your network, with the ability to stop a large number of threats before they can even get to company equipment.

Several methods are employed by unscrupulous individuals to gain access to, or control of your computer equipment.  Many of these can be mitigated in full or partially by a hardware firewall.  Among them are:

-Unauthorized Remote login

-Application backdoors

-Operating system bugs/security flaws

-Denial of Service attacks

-E-mail bombs

-Macros

-Ransomware

In today’s environment, if your business employs a computer network, a hardware firewall is a must.  Please ask a MoseSys team member today how you can add this essential piece of protection to your network.

941-234-0687

support@mosesys.com