WPS security flaw may put Anglesey home Wi-Fi networks at risk

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is a computing standard that allows easy establishment of a secure wireless home network. The goal was to allow home users to set up the secure encryption method called WPA2, without any security knowledge, as well as making it easy to add new devices to an existing network without entering long passphrases.

WPS uses an 8 digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) which is often written on a sticker on the router in order to access the wireless network. The WPS PIN is entered into new wireless equipment added to the network.

Up until now it had been thought that the PIN was very secure as the random 8 digit PIN code should have 100 million possible combinations and would take many years of work to discover. T hat is why most modern wireless routers include WPS – and it is enabled by default.

It has now been discovered that hacker only has to guess the first 4 of the 8 digits correctly which will only take a couple of hours. It is then fairly easy to guess the rest of the code.

So an attacker could crack all 8 digits in just a few hours (not years) and the router will then let the attacker access your wireless network – exactly what WPS security was designed to prevent!

WPS has been around for 4 years now so most wireless routers will include it – which means this WPS security flaw could put WiFi routers and access points on Anglesey at risk.

Therefore the best solution now is to disable WPS in your wireless router – you will need to access your router’s configuration pages to disable WPS

Once WPS is disabled, check you are using WPA2 security with a strong password (i.e. 10+ characters with a mix of upper/lower case letters, number and symbols) to ensure that your wireless network is still protected against attackers.

WPA2 itself (with a strong password) continues to be secure – it is only the WPS PIN method that has been exposed as a risk.

If you need assistance in setting up a secure home wireless connection ; contact Anglesey Computer Solutions

This entry was posted in Anglesey, Hardware, Internet, Security, Windows and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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