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Major Wi-Fi Security Flaws Affect Billions Worldwide
Users, check with your vendors on the availability of security patches and apply them ASAP (CCSS Level: Grade 12, Words: 355)
Oct 18, 2017 Science & Technology
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Major security flaws just discovered have put billions of Wi-Fi devices at risk worldwide, including almost every Internet user in Singapore.

The Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCERT) on Tuesday (Oct 17) issued an advisory on the "multiple vulnerabilities" affecting a security protocol commonly used by Wi-Fi networks in homes and offices.

SingCERT said its advisory that the WI-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) security protocol, which was developed by the Wi-Fi alliance to enhance the security of these Wi-Fi networks, have multiple vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities may affect the data confidentiality of users' Wi-FI connectivity in their homes and offices.

The flaws affect nearly every device that uses WI-Fi, said SingCERT.

The agency said devices which include routers, smartphones, computers and surveillance cameras, with Wi-Fi connectivity using WPA and WPA2 protocols are potentially vulnerable. Should a successful man-in-the-middle attack take place on affected devices, the attacker can exploit the vulnerabilities to "monitor, inject and/or manipulate user's network traffic," SignCERT cautioned.

Researchers Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens of Belgian university KU Leuven had on Monday disclosed the bug, saying that "if your device supports WI-Fi, it is most likely affected."

Microsoft has released a security update for supported versions of their products, and users are "strongly advised" to patch their systems. Users of other affected devices are advised to check with their respective vendors on the availability of the security patches and apply appropriate patches to resolve these vulnerabilities as soon as possible.

To enhance security, users are encouraged to secure their Wi-Fi networks using a secondary encryption tool such as virtual private networks (VPNs), or consider a supplementary security protocol such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Shell (SSH) to "encrypt and protect data confidential when performing sensitive transactions. " Alternatively, they could use a wired LAN for their Internet connection.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has said the issue "could be resolved through a straightforward software update" and it has advised members to quickly release patches and for users to quickly install them.

On Monday confirmation of the flaws was made by the United States Homeland Security's cyber-emergency unit US-Cert.

What do the experts recommend at the moment?
do not use free Wi-Fi
do not use Android
buy some new devices
check with your vendors on the availability of security patches and apply them ASAP
Where have users of wifi been effected?
Singapore
U.S
worldwide
China
What kind of devices need software updates?
computers and surveillance cameras
everything with Wi-Fi connectivity using WPA and WPA2
routers and smartphones
routers, phones, TVs, rice cookers
What kind of devices need software updates?
computers and surveillance cameras
everything with Wi-Fi connectivity using WPA and WPA2
routers and smartphones
routers, phones, TVs, rice cookers
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a-bi-li-ties

the ways in which someone has a skill or talent


n.能力

ad-vised

urged or encouraged


v.建议

aid

help


n,v.援助

al-li-ance

a union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between countries or organizations


n.联盟

apply

come into affect


v.应用/使用/运用

ap-pro-pri-ate

suitable or right


adj.适当

bil-lion

a very large number, equal to 10^9


No.十亿

com-mon-ly

very often


adv.常用

con-fi-den-ti-a-li-ty

spoken, written, acted on, etc., in strict privacy or secrecy; secret


adj.保密

de-ve-loped

cause something to grow or go into production    


v.研发

dis-co-vered

found, uncovered


v.发现    

e-mer-gen-cy

serious or dangerous situation


n.紧急

en-cryp-tion

encoding


n.加密

flaws

marks, faults, or other imperfection in something


n.缺陷/漏洞

in-clu-ding

containing, having as part of the whole


prep.包含

ma-ni-pu-late

handle or control (a tool, mechanism, etc.), typically in a skillful manner


v.操控

patch

mend or strengthen a hole or weak point in something


v.打补丁

per-form

put on a show


v.演出/表演

pro-ducts

things made for sale


n.产品

pro-tect

keep safe from harm


v.保护

pro-tec-ted

keep safe from harm


v.保护

re-lease

to let go


v.发布

re-leased    

set free, allowed to move


v.放出/发布

re-search

looking for knowledge


v.调研

re-search-er

person who searches for knowledge


n.研究员

re-spect

a feeling of high regard for someone or something for their quality


n.尊重

risk

the chance of something happening


n.风险

rough

having an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level


adj.粗暴

route

a way to get from one place to another


n.路线

se-cu-ri-ty

free from danger, safe


n.安全

sen-si-tive

able to pick up small changes or signals such as smells


adj.敏感/灵敏的

shell

the outer part or covering


n.外壳/贝壳

solve

find an answer

 


v.解决

solved

to find an answer or explanation


v.解决了

stem

the main body or stalk of a plant or shrub, usually rising above ground


n.干茎

suc-cess

getting fame or respect, reaching a goal


n.成功

suc-cess-ful

reaching the wanted result or target


adj.成功

sup-port

help, especially money


v.支持

sur-veil-lance

close observation, especially of a suspected spy or criminal


n.监控

trans-ac-tions

an instance of buying or selling something


n.交易

ven-dors

people selling things, especially in the street


n.供应商    

ver-sion

which kind of a thing


n.版本

vir-tu-al

not real but made by software


adj.虚拟

vul-ne-ra-bi-li-ties

weaknesses or holes in defences


n.漏洞

vul-ner-a-ble

susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm


adj.弱势

world wide

all around the world, everywhere


adj.全世界