Wireless and Hardware Hacking

Junior (College 3rd year) ・IT & Technology ・MLA ・2 Sources

Hacking and security breaches are not new terms in the world as every day; there is news of new ways hackers are using to access networks and data from users. Hackers have become more intelligent, and they are using some of the methods people would never have expected such as wireless and hardware hacking. According to Alex Most wireless connection in the world use the WPA2 Protocol for security. But according to the recent study by Belgian researchers, the protocol can be easily broken putting the risk on users around the world (Alex, 2017). Wireless connection is common among the people, and when hackers use the vulnerability, they will maliciously attack the network making the data people have vulnerable.

The author explains that a hacker who knows the vulnerability will easily inject malware and ransomware on the network. Vanhoef was the Belgian researcher who discovered the vulnerability in the protocol, and he termed the weakness “Krack.” Various countries such as the United States and Britain have given their statements on the issue cautioning its users of the security threat that will pose. Alex also indicates that the best part is that SSH communication and VPNs will not be affected. For home networks, it will be difficult to provide security since most of the wireless routers are infrequently updated meaning they can be manipulated to communicate with other insecure routers.

In her article, Newman states that the Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 has been around since 2014 and it was responsible for encrypting traffic in the network. Being vulnerable to cryptographic attacks will affect many people and organizations who have been depending on this protocol. The flaw identified in WPA2 would allow a hacker to steal or read data and allow the attacker to manipulate the data that is sent to the network maliciously. To prevent this from happening, she advises that people need to update their devices especially those that support WIFI which includes most of the phones, computers and other hardware devices including printers, routers, and IoT devices. She further explained how the vulnerability takes place. The weakness is in the ‘Four-way handshake’ that is used in the WPA2 protocol. In the procedure, the user will attempt to join a network by trying to match the credentials. If the user knows the password or had used the network before, they will be allowed to join. A new encryption key is generated in the third step of the ‘four-way handshake’ which is using to protect the session of the user. For the hacker, they will fiddle with the third step enabling them to retrieve the cryptographic key which they will use join the network. Getting of new devices or changing of passwords would also not help as the same protocol is still used in most of the electronic devices produced today (Newman, 2017).

Hacking is evolving to top-notch level, and with hackers using wireless hacking and hardware devices to attack and access data, then a lot of people will be affected. The vulnerability in WPA2 protocol needs to be fixed and prevent users from getting attacked. Considering that most of the home and organizations have employed to use WIFI in their services, sensitive data is shared through the network which raises a concern. In both their articles, Alex and Newman explain the vulnerability and how the outcomes will be catastrophic. More secure methods also need to be developed to prevent hackers from manipulating them and accessing data from users.


Alex Hern. (2017). “'All WIFI networks' are vulnerable to hacking, security expert discovers.” The guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/16/wpa2-wifi-security-vulnerable-hacking-us-government-warns

Newman Lily Hay. (2017). “The 'Secure' Wi-Fi Standard Has a Huge, Dangerous Flaw.” Wired. https://www.wired.com/story/krack-wi-fi-wpa2-vulnerability/

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