We all love free WiFi. Whether it is from our favorite store, coffee shop or gym. After all, who wants to use their mobile data when they don’t have to? As convenient as these hotspots are, they do come with multiple security concerns you are probably not aware of.
Did you know that all of these networks are open and can make you susceptible to a cyber attack? You may think that the likelihood of a hacker choosing to perform malicious activities at the same place you are at is rare, but it is more common than you think.
Public WiFi is every hackers goldmine. With the ability to steal confidential and personal information from unsuspecting users of the wireless network, these hackers have ‘successfully’ caused a lot of harm. As time goes on and technology evolves, hackers are becoming more and more skilled with how to carry out these harmful tasks and are keeping cyber security professionals on their toes.
This is exactly what’s been happening with the latest WiFi threat called KRACKS (Key Reinstallation AttaCKs)
KRACKS represents a group made up of multiple vulnerabilities that allow hackers to obtain and transmit data across a WiFi network if successfully implemented. The threat that these attacks pose include: obtaining sensitive personal information that is shared over the WiFi network and accessing personal information such as credit card numbers stored on your device. Hackers take this information and use it to commit identity fraud. Attackers have also made false web pages mimicking a legitimate one and encourage you to download malware onto your device without your knowledge.
This type of attack was found by a security researcher at Belgian University KU Leuven named Mathy Vanhoef. He discovered that there was a type of attack targeting a WiFi’s WPA2 encryption protocol. Hackers have recently discovered that there are some weaknesses in WPA2 and have used this to their advantage. They exploit these weaknesses through the use of KRACKS.
How do you protect yourself from becoming a victim?
While there is no guarantee that anybody is 100% safe on a public WiFi network, ensuring that your devices software is up to date can help. When you keep your device current on its software, it is equipped with the latest firewall patches that help prevent attacks such as KRACKS. You can also follow some of these general tips via our blog on how to better protect yourself on public WiFi.