KRACK, short for Key Reinstallation Attack, is a devastating security vulnerability present in Wi-Fi’s WPA and WPA2 protocols. First discovered in 2016 by two Belgian researchers, it allows cybercriminals to eavesdrop on the unencrypted data transmitted through the Wi-Fi network – even if they do know the password.
The loophole, which affects almost every type of Wi-Fi device, can be leveraged in order to view and steal a user’s sensitive information such as photos, credit card numbers, emails, passwords, chat messages, and so on.
Some networks use the outdated WEP (Wireless Equivalent Privacy) protocol, which can be broken into without too much effort. The WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access II) protocol is more secure and used on the vast majority of Wi-Fi networks, but it can also be compromised by the bad guys with the right tools and know-how.
As far as WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access III) is concerned, the protocol was introduced last year to overcome all the security flaws in the existing Wi-Fi protocols. However, widespread adoption of WPA3 is likely to take a while.
UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is responsible for service and device discovery as well as the configuration of consumer devices and networks. However, a vulnerability in the protocol can be misused by attackers for carrying out malware distribution, account hijacking, and DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks.
According to a recent report by Akamai Technologies, over 400 models of home routers across 73 different manufacturers are susceptible to the UPnP vulnerability – those are some serious numbers right there!
Cyber criminals can use several notorious methods to compromise a WiFi network and listen in on your private conversation or monitor your internet traffic:
In simple terms, a Wi-Fi Pineapple is a device that can be used to execute complicated network attacks. It scans all the SSIDs (Service Set Identifiers) being broadcasted by nearby devices, and then rebroadcasts the SSID pool to trick devices into thinking it is a Wi-Fi access point they connected to in the past.
It can be extremely difficult to protect your device against these kinds of attacks, unless you are using a VPN for Wi-Fi of course – it will protect all your communications using military-grade end-to-end encryption.
One of the biggest risks of using public Wi-Fi networks is man-in-the-middle attacks. It is like eavesdropping and involves malicious actors secretly positioning themselves in the communication between two parties.
Once they are able to control the connection, the perpetrators can intercept your sensitive information and use the findings to their advantage, engaging in illicit activities such as identity theft and financial fraud.
When you connect your device to an unsecured Wi-Fi at a restaurant or coffee shop, make sure you know the correct name. After all, you would want to steer clear from rogue Wi-Fi hotspots set up by hackers.
These networks are designed to mimic legitimate hotspots provided by nearby businesses and once someone connects to them, the bad guys are able to steal sensitive information and even redirect them to an infected website.
Worms and viruses are similar in many ways, but they differ when it comes to one major aspect. For viruses to spread on your device, they first need to be attached to a program. Worms, on the other hand, can do so without the user downloading a malicious file.
If the Wi-Fi network you are connected to has inadequate security, you are putting yourself at the risk of a worm infection that could compromise your private information, or worse, render your device completely useless.
A VPN will secure your online activities through its AES 256-bit encryption.
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Upon connecting to PureVPN, all your data is sent through an encrypted tunnel, which makes it close to impossible to decipher or intercept. Moreover, your IP address is replaced with one from our VPN servers, allowing you to browse with a cloak of anonymity on any Wi-Fi network.
Android users can connect to any Wi-Fi with complete confidence and peace of mind
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PureVPN is compatible with a wide range of routers to secure your home or office network
Use our fail-safe IKS feature to ensure your real online identity remains a secret
PureVPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to secure your Wi-Fi network traffic
Use our service to remain protected against IPv6, WebRTC and DNS leaks at all times
Hide your real IP address with PureVPN and enjoy anonymous web browsing
Sign up to PureVPN, then download the app to your preferred device (mobile, tablet or laptop)
Open the app and hit Connect to establish an encrypted VPN connection
Browse the web with confidence!
In the vast majority of countries, using a VPN is perfectly legal, and even recommended if you are working with important or sensitive information. Many large companies use VPNs to provide an encrypted connection for employees working remotely.
This question still comes up pretty often, though. The reason is that in years past many hackers and other criminals used VPNs, and so using a VPN gained an association with illegal activity. Today, VPNs are used for precisely the same reasons that hackers used them in them past: they provide a secure, anonymous, encrypted connection for all your data.
This said, if you are travelling it is worth checking if the country you are in allows you to use your VPN: it is better to be safe than sorry.