Researchers have disclosed a serious weakness in the WPA2 protocol that allows attackers within range of vulnerable device or access point to intercept passwords, e-mails, and other data presumed to be encrypted, and in some cases, to inject ransomware or other malicious content into a website a client is visiting.
If you've ever struggled to pair your phone with a Bluetooth speaker or set up a wireless printer, you know that it's often easier to connect to a server halfway around the world than to a gadget across the room. That's a problem as we increasingly use our phones to pay for stuff, unlock doors, and control everything from televisions to thermostats. No one wants to wait for coffee because the cash register can't detect their phone, or shiver in the cold because their watch is trying to connect to their neighbor's door lock instead of their own.
The WiFi Alliance has announced that the WPA3 security protocol will be released later this year, a move intended to provide more secure WiFi networking following the KRACK security flaw uncovered in autumn last year.
It will be the first upgrade to the WiFi Protected Access (WPA) protocol since 2006, and the WPA3 update had been planned for some time before KRACK made it a matter of urgency.
The old showbiz adage continues to hold true (even in Wi-Fi testing): you can't please everyone. Shortly after our last round of mesh Wi-Fi testing, in which a six-pack of Plume devices surprised the field, e-mails arrived from both the Google Wifi and AmpliFi HD teams. The results weren't representative of their devices, they said, and perhaps I placed the devices badly. Both companies suggested placing an access point (AP) downstairs instead of all three APs being upstairs.
There's a new Wi-Fi standard in town, and it takes speed to another level. 802.11ad Wi-Fi is rated for data throughput up to 4,600Mbps, or four times faster than the current speed champ 802.11ac. That's much faster than standard gigabit Ethernet and most home broadband speeds, although—as any Wi-Fi user knows—there's a big difference between theoretical speed and what's possible in practice. Still, want to stream high-bitrate 4K, HDR films over Wi-Fi? That won't be a problem with 802.11ad. Even the best triple-layer UHD Blu-rays top out at 128Mbps bitrates.
Security researchers have devised a way of discovering passwords and other sensitive data by observing how bodily movements interfere with Wi-Fi signals.
The researchers from Shanghai Jaio Tong University, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and the University of South Florida, found that they could find out private information by analysing the radio signal from a malicious Wi-Fi router.
Researchers in a team from Shanghai, Boston and Tampa recently published an temptingly titled paper about password stealing.
Dubbed When CSI Meets Public Wi-Fi: Inferring Your Mobile Phone Password via Wi-Fi Signals, the paper makes you think of Crime Scene Investigation, but that’s just a handy collision of acronyms.
In a perfect example of how public wireless networks can be dangerous for privacy and security, an Israeli hacker showed that he could have taken over the free Wi-Fi network of an entire city.
On his way home from work one day, Amihai Neiderman, the head of research at Israeli cybersecurity firm Equus Technologies, spotted a wireless hotspot that he hadn't seen before. What made it unusual was that it was in an area with no buildings.
When wireless routers first went mainstream they felt like magic. Connecting your laptop to the internet without a cable? Amazing. As time marched on, routers became more impressive, getting longer range and faster speeds. Nowadays, there are many affordable routers on the market, and many consumers are happy with them.
One of the many revelations from the Snowden files was that Canada's spy agency has been tracking people as they connect to WiFi in different public locations. And if Canada is doing it, you can be pretty sure the NSA and GCHQ are doing the same, since neither is known for being backward in using whatever means it can to snoop on huge numbers of people. Of course, you'd expect spy agencies to be up to these kinds of tricks, and you might also be unsurprised to learn that shops are also tracking you using your WiFi connection.