Austin, US, June 25, 2018 — In response to the revelation of various security risks the Wi-Fi Alliance, who govern the wireless standard, now introduces the next generation of Wi-Fi encryption with WPA3, to be a better match for personal and enterprise networks of today.
Let’s be honest, what would we do if we didn’t have Wi-Fi? Or in the words of Elroy Patashnik, a beloved character from TV series Community, “We have oxygen, we need Wi-Fi!”
Remember the times when you couldn’t make or receive a call on the landline and be on the Internet at the same time? Or waiting for that god-awful melody to end so you could finally do some well-deserved surfing on the web? Or struggling with all those cables? Wi-Fi is that wonderful invention that now makes it possible to be online whenever, wherever you want (well, mostly).
This is why a worldwide panic broke out when KRACK (“key reinstallation attacks”) vulnerability was discovered in 2017. This refers to a flaw in Wi-Fi’s WPA2 security protocol that allows attackers to eavesdrop on your data when you connect to Wi-Fi.
The problem affects the Wi-Fi protocol itself and “works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks,” said Mathy Vanhoef, the researcher who discovered this devastating weakness. Wi-Fi Alliance addressed this issue and delighted us with the next generation of Wi-Fi security called Wi-Fi WPA3.
What is new in WPA3?
In the words of people behind Wi-Fi Alliance, this is “the next generation of Wi-Fi security, bringing new capabilities to enhance Wi-Fi protections in personal and enterprise networks. Building on the widespread adoption of WPA2 over more than a decade, WPA3 adds new features to simplify Wi-Fi security, enable more robust authentication, and deliver increased cryptographic strength for highly sensitive data markets.”
“As the Wi-Fi industry transitions to WPA3 security, WPA2 devices will continue to interoperate and provide recognized security,” they added. The first security update since 2003, this technology now has two distinct modes of operation: WPA3-Personal and WPA3-Enterprise.
WPA3-Personal offers a more resilient, password-based authentication even when users’ passwords that don’t meet the typical complexity recommendations. As a stronger protection against password guessing, the WPA3 utilizes Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE). SAE is a secure key establishment protocol between devices.
WPA3-Enterprise provides the equivalent of 192-bit cryptographic strength. This allows it to deliver additional protection for networks that communicate sensitive data, such as government or banking institutions. The 192-bit security suite ensures a consistent combination of cryptographic tools is deployed across WPA3 networks.
Photo Credit: The feature image “wi-fi tunnel” was done by Carl Nenzén Lovén. The image “wi-fi guy” was done by Hivint.
Source: Wi-Fi Alliance press release