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WPA is the new WEP, and by that we mean useless

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 6:07PM EST

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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.


Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.