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Decades old mistakes affect almost every Wi-Fi device

Decades old mistakes affect almost every Wi-Fi device


A set The weakness in how Wi-Fi is designed and used in practice reveals almost all of it Wi-Fi enabled device to certain types of attacks. There have been a few of these bugs since the original Wi-Fi standard was released in 1997.

Findings, publicly disclose This week, Mathy Vanhoef, a researcher at Abu Dhabi University in New York, showed that an attacker in a Wi-Fi district on a target network could rip data from the victim and endanger their devices. Although the scale and scope of the exposure are staggering, it would be difficult to carry out many attacks in practice, and not all Wi-Fi devices will be affected by all the flaws.

Vanhoef collectively calls the findings a “Frag Attack” because they are short of “fragmentation and aggregation attacks,” because the errors are largely related to subtle problems with shrinking Wi-Fi and moving data as quickly as possible to transact data in transition. at the other end.

“Fragmentation functionality is typically used to improve the performance of your Wi-Fi network if there is a lot of background noise,” Vanhoef says. The goal is to divide the parts into more manageable parts when receiving data so that they can be reassembled more efficiently when received. But Vanhoef found security vulnerabilities in the process. “You can cause a receiver to reassemble two parts of different packages or store harmful data and combine it with legitimate information,” he says. “Under the right conditions, it can be used to erase data.”

Vanhoef found a vulnerability that allowed an attacker to insert malformed data and become a “middle man” in a network, stealing information by passing data or even controlling other connected devices with additional vulnerabilities. They would not need any special privileges to access the hack.

“These design flaws are a concern. Because they are so widespread, all the Wi-Fi devices I’ve tested were vulnerable, “says Vanhoef.” But on the other hand, they’re unlikely to be exploited. Sometimes I like to say ‘patches before the attacks improve.’

Vanhoef spent nine months working in coordinated outreach with a number of industry security organizations and companies. Microsoft, Samsung, Cisco, Intel, Linksys, Netgear, Eero and many others have already released patches. It’s there full list about safety tips and Vanhoef says more repairs will be sent in the coming weeks.

Regulatory bodies and web security groups include the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Internet Consortium for the Advancement of Internet Security. release tips this week we are asking all Wi-Fi users and network administrators to update their devices when and where patches are available.

Almost all Wi-Fi devices require repairs or some sort of mitigation, especially routers and other network equipment that can be routed to facilitate attacks. These are, in fact, the types of devices, both for consumers and businesses, often those who do not receive or cannot receive updates due to concerns about backward compatibility.

“These findings get to the heart of how Wi-Fi works,” says former Wi-Fi researcher Jim Palmer. examine Frag Attack Outreach. “Some of these findings are really weird, but the attacks are also very complicated, not a little bit. And the victims have to be in the Wi-Fi zone, kind of like a blast radius.”

Palmer says that for Wi-Fi specialists, Frag Attack will join a long mental list of vulnerabilities and flaws that require special consideration in real-world deployments. In recent years, Vanhoef has also discovered two of the other major Wi-Fi exposures that rise to this level: Wi-Fi encryption attacks KRACK and Dragon. Like these findings, Palmer hopes the Frag exposures will be on the devices and hide them for decades.



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