Keeping our critical data out of the hands of criminals seems to be nearly impossible these days. It doesn't help matters when the likes of Equifax is breached, leading to over 145 million Americans' Social Security numbers and other sensitive data being stolen.
Now, we've just learned about a flaw with Wi-Fi security that is putting more of your data at risk. What's worse is every gadget that you own is affected.
Wi-Fi security flaw is putting your data at risk
Security researcher Mathy Vanhoef recently discovered a serious weakness in WPA2. It's the protocol that secures all modern protected Wi-Fi networks.
He found that an attacker within range of you would be able to exploit the weakness using key re-installation attacks (KRACKS). The scammer can basically read all information sent over Wi-Fi that has been assumed to be safely encrypted. Credit card numbers, passwords, emails, pictures and more can all potentially be stolen.
For the moment, this is just a proof-of-concept attack, meaning it hasn't been implemented in the wild yet. If it goes live, the attacker can not only steal your information but can also inject and manipulate data. The cybercriminal could inject malware or ransomware into otherwise safe websites.
How to stay protected from these attacks
Vanhoef said, "The weaknesses are in the Wi-Fi standard itself, and not in individual products or implementations. Therefore, any correct implementation of WPA2 is likely affected. To prevent the attack, users must update affected products as soon as security updates become available.
"Note that if your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected. During our initial research, we discovered ourselves that Android, Linux, Apple, Windows, OpenBSD, MediaTek, Linksys, and others, are all affected by some variant of the attacks."
What this is saying is that the most important thing that you must do is update each and every one of your gadgets with security updates as soon as they are available. Some people don't do this regularly, fearing the update might cause their gadget to run differently.
We can't think like that any longer, with attacks like this potentially coming in the near future it's essential to keep your devices up to date. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
If you're experiencing slow Wi-Fi at home, you need to check for thieves and bandwidth bandits
Internet problems? The issue could be with your service provider or maybe your router is running slow and a simple reboot could fix it. Or, it might be something a bit more devious. Someone could be stealing your internet, taking valuable bandwidth and leaving your gadgets almost nonfunctional.