Your Daily Threat Briefing

Flaw in WPA2 protocol lets attackers intercept passwords, e-mails, and other data

A staggering number of devices across the globe are vulnerable to attack due to a WPA2 weakness that was disclosed this week.

This vulnerability allows the hacker to take over the Wi-Fi network and trick the victim into re-entering his Wi-Fi password. The hacker needs to be in close proximity to a Wi-Fi network to execute the attack.

The proof-of-concept exploit is called KRACK, short for Key Reinstallation Attacks. The research has been a closely guarded secret for weeks ahead of a coordinated disclosure on Monday. A website disclosing the vulnerability said it affects the core WPA2 protocol itself and is effective against devices running Android, Linux, and OpenBSD, and to a lesser extent macOS and Windows, as well as MediaTek Linksys, and other types of devices. The site warned that attackers can exploit the flaw to decrypt a wealth of sensitive data that’s normally encrypted by the nearly ubiquitous Wi-Fi encryption protocol.

Currently, no solutions have been offered by any company, but Google and Apple are expected to offer software patches that can fix the issue. The researchers recommend installing these patches as soon as they are available.


Discussion Surrounding Gun Laws Heats Up in the Wake of the Las Vegas Shooting

As is always the case following a tragedy involving weapons in the U.S., the discussion – dare we say argument – about gun laws is heating up again.  Almost immediately following the horrific events of October 1st in Las Vegas Nevada the voices on both sides of the issue began to shout at each other.  

For those that believe tougher gun laws will reduce gun violence, here are some of the ideas being considered or discussed:

  1. Universal background checks as a way to crack down on straw buyers and guns being sold at gun shows.  
  2. Reinstate or extend the 48-hour-waiting period for transfer of purchased handguns.
  3. Mandatory safety locks or locked boxes.
  4. Mandatory registration with certified safety training.
  5. Smart Guns that can only be fired by the registered owner.

When presented with these options, typical responses from the other side of the issue include:

  1. The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifical prohibits the infringement of the rights of citizens to own guns.  Any of these ideas could be seen as an infringement.
  2. The citing of parts of the country that already have many of these suggestions in place, and yet, gun violence does not seem to be reduced.
  3. An insistence that none of the suggested remedies would have, in fact, stopped the tragedies that have occurred in the country.
  4. A belief that if decent and honest citizens are denied the ability to arm themselves, criminals would take advantage of a more vulnerable citizenry.  
  5.  A belief that Smart Guns are not a proven technology, as illustrated by the lack of use by police department around the country.

Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum between these arguments, you can be assured that the discussion will rumble on with outbreaks of heated verbal conflict.