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Home and corporate Wi-Fi networks — and all the data, photos and messages transmitted across them — could be vulnerable to hackers, according to a computer security researcher in Belgium.
The vulnerability is in WPA2, the main protocol that protects Wi-Fi networks. Hackers can use a technique known as key reinstallation attacks, or Krack for short, to intercept information sent over networks that users thought were encrypted, the researcher says.
“Nobody has ever found this vulnerability,” said Matthew Green, assistant professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University. “It’s pretty serious.”
Who does this affect?
WPA2 is the “industry standard” and has been heavily relied upon as the “best level of protection for your information,” said Emma Garrison-Alexander, vice dean for cybersecurity and information assurance in the graduate school at the University of Maryland University College.
Mathy Vanhoef, the researcher who discovered the protocol vulnerability, said on his website that any device that uses Wi-Fi is probably vulnerable. That means a router, a phone, a laptop, a smart TV or even a Wi-Fi enabled refrigerator that uses WPA2 protocol could be susceptible.
Vanhoef said the attack works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks, and that his team found during its research that systems powered by Android, Apple, Windows, Linux and others were all affected by “some variant” of the attacks.
Are some operating systems more susceptible than others?
Vanhoef said on his site that the key reinstallation attack was “exceptionally devastating” against Linux and Android 6.0 or higher.
What’s the worst-case scenario?
A hacker could exploit this vulnerability in a Wi-Fi network and use it to capture the content of victims’ emails, browsing data to see what websites they visit, credit card information from online purchases, or photos and videos sent to friends.
“Any data information sharing that’s depending on that protocol for security” could be exposed, Garrison-Alexander said.
Should I be freaking out?
Yes and no.
While the security implications are grave, researchers believe attackers must be physically proximate to their victims, and extremely skilled in hacking. That makes attacks against individuals less likely, at least for now, than attacks against corporate targets, which transmit large amounts of payment information, experts said.
What should users do to protect themselves?
Cybersecurity researchers advise that users download a patch, or fix, from their device and router manufacturers as soon as they are available.
Microsoft Corp. said in a statement that the company released security updates last week and that users who have Windows Updates enabled and applied the security updates are automatically protected.
An Apple spokesman confirmed that the fix for the vulnerability is already patched into some devices that run beta versions of all of the company’s operating systems, including Mac OS, iOS, Watch and TV. A software update will be coming in a few weeks to patch the rest.
Google said in a statement that it is aware of the issue and will be patching any affected devices in the coming weeks. The company said Android partners have also been notified and will be issuing patches “as quickly as possible.”
Websites protected by HTTPS and encrypted email features could offer users an additional layer of protection, said Avi Rubin, professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University and technical director of the university’s information security institute.
Concerned users could also avoid password-less file-sharing and avoid performing sensitive transactions on devices that connect to many Wi-Fi networks or have many unencrypted apps.
Instead of relying on Yelp and other sites that have proven to be biased and 'bought' to pick the best restaurant for eating out, follow the top chefs on social media and note down the restaurants they visit.
Google top chefs and follow.
Same principle applies for other 'disciplines' - like inflatables!!!!! Follow basement lunatics!!!!!
Bad guys can compromise your computer in just two ways:
Trick you into clicking a link that installs malware.
Exploit hole in your system that's left open because you failed to update - the moment fresh update was available. Updates are 'messages' to the bad guys that system vulnerability is being patched - through new update. Sooner you update the safer you are. Enable automatic update feature.
Research says when wife makes more than the husbando, the husbando is more than likely to 'establish' his masculinity by sporting a beard.
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia poses for a photograph with her husband Miso Navara, left, physio and trainer Jozef Ivanko, second left, and her coach Matej Liptak, right, after beating Angelique Kerber of Germany in their women's singles final match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
You can still get updates for Windows XP - even though Microsoft is not supporting it.
Bernie has an old PC that he has loaded up Windows XP. How can he get the service pack updates from online? Leo says you can get them directly from Microsoft. You can get right up to April 2015. After that, Microsoft killed Windows XP development. So you can't get any more patches after that date.
But make sure you back up your registry before making any changes, so if you mess up, you can fix it.
Steps to protect yourself since Microsoft has stopped supporting XP:
1. Stop using XP as an administrator. Use it as a limited user instead. Add an account as an administrator and then demote your existing account to limited user. This will stop over 90% of all the exploits out there. 2. Stop using Internet Explorer. Go with Google Chrome. It's free and far more secure. 3. Don't click on links in email. 4. Only get your software from original vendors. 5. Keep your anti virus software up to date. 6. Stop using Java 7. Use a password vault like LastPass 8. Turn on second factor authentication
If you discard food after expiration date, you may be throwing away money too.
Best by dates generally tell you when your food is at its highest quality and peak taste. They don’t necessarily say all that much about safety, but because they’re there so people listen to them and end up throwing away tons of food for no reason at all.
If you live your life by expiration dates, not only are you wasting your money, but you’re also contributing to the massive food waste problem we’re currently facing.
The amount of records and paperwork you should keep is actually more limited than you might think. Here is advice from Money Adviser (a publication of Consumer Reports) on what to keep and for how long, and what to get rid of...
Keep this paperwork
Tax returns, keep forever
Tax return documentation, for seven years
Real estate records, forever
Last pay stub of a job if you leave that job
Last pay stub of the year until you reconcile it with your W-2
All mortgage payment checks (statements), until mortgage is paid off
All student loan payments, until loan is paid off
Car loan payment stubs, until the car is paid off
Cancelled checks, for 7 years
Bank deposit slips, until you reconcile your statements
Bank statements, until a calendar year; store with tax returns if they will be used to prove deductions
Home improvement records, ownership period plus 7 years
Investment records, shred monthly and quarterly statements as new ones arrive; hold on to annual statements until you sell the investments