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Researchers Warn of Wi-Fi Security Flaw Affecting iOS, Android, Linux
Apple’s decision to support MAC Address Randomization across its platforms may provide some degree of protection against a newly-identified Wi-Fi flaw researchers say could let attackers hijack network traffic. iOS, Linux, and Android devices may be vulnerable.
The researchers have identified a fundamental flaw in the design of the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard attackers could exploit to trick access points (Wi-Fi base stations) into leaking information. The researchers do not claim the vulnerability is being actively exploited, but warn that it might enable the interception of network traffic.
The attack exploits an inherent vulnerability in the data containers (network frames) routers rely on to move information across the network and how access points handle devices that enter power-saving mode.
To achieve the attack, miscreants must forcibly disconnect the victim device before it properly connects to the network, spoof the MAC address of the device to connect to the network using the attacker’s credentials, then grab the response. The vulnerability exploits on-device power-save behavior within the Wi-Fi standard to force data to be shared in unencrypted form.
The researchers have published an open source tool called MacStealer to test Wi-Fi networks for the vulnerability.