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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 09, @05:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the wireless-infidelity dept.

New Vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi Security Revealed:

[Mathy] Vanhoef, who is affiliated with KU Leuven and New York University Abu Dhabi, found three vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi security protocol. He also identified several programming errors in devices with Wi-Fi connections. For the study, he tested 75 devices, including smartphones, laptops, and smart devices. All devices that were tested were vulnerable to at least one of the discovered flaws.

The weaknesses found in the Wi-Fi security protocols are very difficult to exploit, which may explain why they remained under the radar for a long time: Vanhoef found them in the current WPA3 protocol, but also in all previous security protocols, dating back to 1997.

[...] The programming errors that Vanhoef found in Wi-Fi devices are especially problematic for smart appliances and computers that have not been updated in a long time because it is easier to abuse them in these cases.

[...] There is no immediate cause for concern. “It’s impossible to tell if these flaws have already been abused. It seems rather unlikely because they went unnoticed for so long.” Over the past nine months, Vanhoef worked closely with many major IT companies, including Google and Microsoft, to fix the weaknesses. This happened via the Wi-Fi Alliance, an association of IT companies that jointly own and control the Wi-Fi trademark. Yesterday, they launched the necessary updates to fix the flaws.

[...] Visit fragattacks.com for more information about the discovered weaknesses.

He has created a website fragattacks.com which goes into considerable detail outlining the various flaws that were discovered. There are also links to tools that he has made available including a bootable live image. There is also a 6m30s video demonstration available on YouTube.


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  • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Thursday June 10, @04:25PM

    by RamiK (1813) on Thursday June 10, @04:25PM (#1143924)

    I dont believe that ssid scanning or any reception AT ALL happens when you turn on airplane mode.

    Read up on TSG22_R3_USE_12 (p.30): https://www.gsma.com/newsroom/wp-content/uploads/TS.22_v5.0.pdf [gsma.com]

    So the wifi is on even in airplane mode and Passpoint authentication is performed automatically using the U/SIM credentials - thus identifying the phone and opening it up for any backdoors.

    For the mobile part there's only circumstantial evidences. e.g. The SIM7000 simcom doc (p.51) [simcom.ee] specifies 3 modes: Minimum functionality, Full functionality and Flight mode with their associate separate AT serial codes. So, there's clearly a physical distinction between turning it off and entering flight mode. And that's an arduino shield module rather than a full baseband so it doesn't even have the excuse of having to keep running...

    Regardless, just open up an old smartphone and multimeter the antenna against the common ground between modes and you'll see it doesn't power off.

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