One-minute WiFi crack puts further pressure on WPA

    Date31 Aug 2009
    9422
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Researchers have come a step closer to breaking open a common WiFi encryption scheme. An attacker can now read and falsify short packets in the common TKIP version of WiFi Protected Access (WPA) encryption in about one minute The hack is not a complete break; it only results in the ability to read and falsify particular short data packets, but cannot retrieve a WPA encryption key. Still, the rapid development of WPA hacks suggests that those paranoid about security ensure that their WiFi networks are using WPA2 with AES encryption rather than WPA with TKIP.

    The current attack comes courtesy of Toshihiro Ohigashi (Hiroshima University) and Masakatu Morii (Kobe University), and it is outlined in a new paper (PDF) of theirs called "A Practical Message Falsification Attack on WPA." It builds on 2008 research from a pair of German students, research that also attacked WPA TKIP systems and could read individual packets, crafted new data for them, then recalculate a legitimate packet checksum.

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