Next week at the PacSec Conference in Tokyo, security researcher Erik Tews is expected to put on quite a show. Tews will be showcasing what he describes as the first practical attack on the widely used WPA Wi-Fi security protocol. Tews’ attack, discovered during testing performed with his co-researcher Martin Beck, tricks the router into sending him a large amount of data and combined with a “mathematical breakthrough,” Tews is able to break WPA much faster than any previously tested method. In fact, it reportedly takes between 12 and 15 minutes to execute. The attacker is then able to access data passed from the router to the laptop and even transmit data to a client computer connected to the router. Tews will be publishing his work in an upcoming academic journal and parts of his code have already been implemented in his partner Beck’s publicly available Wi-Fi encryption hacking tool. Great. So it looks like WPA is well on its way to becoming the new WEP – perfect for keeping your neighbor’s 12-year old daughter off your network but pretty useless beyond that.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than a decade, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.