WPA3 Set to Secure Public Wi-Fi Networks in 2018

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WPA3 will also eliminate the possiblity of brute-force dictionary attacks.

He noted that WPA3 should formalise the use of stronger security methods that are already in place on many networks.

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The next generation of WiFi or Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) equipped broadband ISP routers and devices will benefit from a new security protocol called Wi-Fi Protected Access III (WPA3), which should eventually replace the WPA2 standard that has helped to keep networks encrypted since 2004. The most notable problem for WPA2 was the recent discovery of several key management vulnerabilities in the 4-way handshake of its security protocol (aka - KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attacks).

The standard will replace WPA2, a near-two decades-old security protocol that's built in to protect nearly every wireless device today - including phones, laptops, and the Internet of Things. This is a basic feature found in many web or software authentication systems and makes ideal sense to be deployed with WiFi networks, which are most often subject to dictionary brute-force attacks.

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The Wi-Fi Alliance, backed by industry giants including Apple, Cisco, Intel and Microsoft, said this year will see the introduction of a new version of the WPA set of security technologies used in all Wi-Fi certified devices.

In addition, there will be a 192-bit security suite, consistent with the the Commercial National Security Algorithm (CNSA) Suite from the Committee on National Security Systems, for Wi-Fi users with high security requirements, such as government organizations and businesses.

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The third security-related improvement is an improved cryptographic standard. "But now devices are *required* to support them, otherwise they're won't receive the "WPA3-certified" label". Bleeping Computer had a chance to talk to Mathy Vanhoef, the researcher who discovered the KRACK attack on WPA2. "With fixed operators using their own Wi-Fi networks to better control customer experience, managed network features typically associated with stadium, airport, or hotel environments are increasingly making their way into the home", WFA said, adding, "Wi-Fi Alliance is actively working on a program that will enable Wi-Fi networks to become more sophisticated, bringing a standards-based approach to networks that organize and manage themselves and allowing for greater flexibility and choice in the way Wi-Fi networks are deployed". Devices that support WPA3 will work with WPA2 devices. Such change usually happens through new hardware purchases, rather than firmware updates.

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