New flaw in WPA2 protocol leaves Wi-Fi router password vulnerable

A new security flaw in the WPA2 protocol in routers increases the risk of having the Wi-Fi password discovered by hackers. According to researcher Jens Steube, creator of Hashcat password-breaking software, the breach speeds up the work of the hacker, who no longer needs to spy on the network for a long time until he has the perfect opportunity to attack.

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The problem mainly affects users who do not exchange the default Wi-Fi code set by the router manufacturer. Until it is gradually replaced by the WPA3 standard, the WPA2 protocol remains the most used by modern routers to protect the network with password.

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How to set your Wi-Fi router password

The method most used until then to discover Wi-Fi passwords required certain patience of the hacker. You had to be physically positioned to reach the network signal to snoop around waiting for a successful new connection between the victim and the router. The goal is to be able to intercept the pairing codes. Only after this step could the criminal use a password-breaking program like Hashcat to crack the information and reveal the password.

By taking advantage of the new vulnerability, hackers can more easily get the information they need to crack the password. If a direct attack was needed before, now only access the router, even if at a distance. It is no longer necessary to have a user nearby to make a new connection and be intercepted. The second phase of the work, which involves breaking the pairing codes, remains necessary.

Virtually any router is exposed to a failure in the WPA2 protocol

For Steube, the danger is high especially for those who do not change the Wi-Fi password. With the information obtained from the router, specialized software can guess the default password based on public data, such as the model and manufacturer of the device . The more difficult the password customized by the user, the longer it will take to be broken, discouraging hacker action.

How to protect yourself

Virtually all modern routers use the WPA2 standard to generate the Wi-Fi password. The vulnerability affects everyone regardless of the router model. That said, the best way to protect yourself is to change the device password and no longer use the code that is written on the label. Here's how:

Step 1. Type "cmd" in the Start Menu to open the Command Prompt. Type "ipconfig" to get the list of network IPs. Note the numerical sequence listed next to "Default gateway";

Discover the IP of the router

Step 2. Enter the annotated numbers in the address bar of the browser and press "Enter." Then you must enter the default login and password data for the router - the information is different from the Wi-Fi password. The user field is usually configured with "admin" or is left blank. Already the password field can be filled with "admin" or "password". Login changes depending on the model and manufacturer of the router;

Access the router with login and password

Step 3. Find the "Wireless" or "Primary Network" menu of the router;

Access the wireless settings menu of the router

Step 4. Look for the "Pre-shared key" item and change the password in the field to the side. Then save the changes. Experts recommend using long, difficult passwords, longer than 20 characters. An alternative is to use software capable of generating complex numbers automatically, such as LastPass.

Change your Wi-Fi password and save the change

Via Bleeping Computer

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