By Ubong Kingsley-Udoh
If we have been very circumspect as consumers of the Internet, the vulnerability of WI-FI networks wouldn’t come to us a surprise. WI-FI has always been a vulnerability vector and a huge medium of compromise against end-users and businesses alike. In 2016, Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens of the University of Leuven discovered the flaw (KRACK VULNERABILITIES) that gave hackers easy access to WI-FI networks through the major WPA2 (WI-FI PROTECTED ACCESS) Protocol that most end-users have believed was the most secured.
The technical research posited that the vulnerability is going to affect Android and Linux users the most, but doesn’t rule away from the fact that iOS and Windows are also vulnerable. Pretty much, we are all affected by this. As soon as the vulnerability is set in motion, it can be used to steal passwords, bank card numbers, emails, photos, intercept chat messages to mention but a few. Depending on the intentionality of the attack, hackers can nudge a step higher in their playbook to distort network configurations and manipulate data.
At every given point in time when there’s a security lapse in the technology world, end-users and businesses fixate their gaze on the overtly technical areas while ignoring the fact that a lot of scathes is already done through a lack of awareness and social engineering. End-users fail to do basic things like changing the password on their router from the default “admin/admin,” and this, in turn, reduces a hacking incident to simple theft, just like you not closing the jar of milk when the cats are hovering around.
Additional Encryption: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) is a very good tool to protect your information and data. While there are a lot of bogus VPN services out there, there are some very good ones too that will provide extra levels of encryption to better safeguard your data.
Always Update: With just a click, users can initiate the update process of most of the services on their devices. A simple as this seems, many people don’t do this and would be rather content with procrastinating, for instance, the latest Windows or Avast update. While this isn’t a foolproof measure, it helps to keep the devices up to date in the world of persistent threats.
Use Cellular Service: Just the old-fashion way can do the magic. Cellular & mobile services have improved tremendously over the years and the switch to WI-FI was because of our bandwidth-hungry devices. If you aren’t a huge data consumer, it wouldn’t be a bad idea using mobile data services and it sure is a good way to protect your devices from the vulnerabilities associated with WI-FI of late.
Use Ethernet if Available: These days that routers and its embedded software are undergoing a routine audit to check for KRACK VULNERABILITIES, using the old-fashioned cables if available should be considered an option. There is no perfect method or approach to guarantee 100% protection, but this can help nonetheless.
These steps will help in keeping you protected online, Also, now is the time to update your router’s software and firmware and about any device that can transmit wireless signals such as your mobile hotspot. The devil is still in the details. Stay protected.