A billion Wi-Fi devices suffer from a newly discovered security flaw | HT Tech

A billion Wi-Fi devices suffer from a newly discovered security flaw

| Updated on: Feb 28 2020, 10:34 IST
Wifi logo on a MacBook.
Wifi logo on a MacBook. (Pixabay)

The latest cause of concern in the world of technology is a security vulnerability that can possibly let miscreants spy on traffic sent over Wi-Fi.

A host of devices have been affected by the vulnerability including Xiaomi Redmi 3S, Apple MacBook Air Retina 13-inch 2018, Amazon Kindle 8th gen, Amazon Echo 2nd gen and Apple iPad mini 2.

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Other devices that have been affected by the security breach include Raspberry Pi 3, iPhone 6, 6S, 8 and XR as well as Google's Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 6S and Samsung Galaxy's S4 GT-I9505 and S8.

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The flaw which was discovered by cyber security firm ESET has been named as Kr00k. This flaw basically disarms the encryption used by a password-protected Wi-Fi network, allowing hackers to see activity on the network.

According to a research titled "Kr00k - cve-2019-15126 serious vulnerability deep inside your Wi-Fi encryption", the devices that are affected house Broadcom and Cypress made Wi-Fi chips.

The major issue here is that most of the popular devices whether it be from Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi and Amazon do use these chips.

However, what may seem like a slight respite is the fact that brands have rolled out security updates in order to fix this issue. Users should ensure that they update their device to the latest firmware and software.

Also read: Warning: This destructive botnet can spread to nearby WiFi networks

"We also worked with the Industry Consortium for Advancement of Security on the Internet (ICASI) to ensure that all potentially affected parties - including affected device manufacturers using the vulnerable chips, as well as any other possibly affected chip manufacturers - were aware of Kr00k," said the research paper.

In the worst case, a significant amount of data of the person whose device has been affected will get exposed, including the websites he or she visits and the messages that the person is sending.

But this may not be as big a threat as a good amount of private communication on Wi-Fi network should be safe due to the encryption that websites use.

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First Published Date: 28 Feb, 10:33 IST