Officially Wifi Alliance Approved – Stop brute-force attacks for easier setup

More than nine billion devices with WLAN support is currently in use worldwide. In view of this, another number may be frightening: The security standard WPA2 currently used for wireless networks is already 14 years old. Above all, he is no longer considered sufficient experts to protect against current attacks.

WPA3 Standard Introduction

Under the name WPA3 the Wi-Fi Alliance has a new wireless networking standard adopted. This brings a number of important improvements that should better safeguard future WLANs.

A new form of key exchange with WPA3 so far trivial brute-force attacks against wireless keys are a thing of the past. So far, it was enough for an attacker to simply record a short piece of encrypted transmission in order to try millions of passwords offline. Although one does not get very far against good passwords, experience shows that a large proportion of users continue to resort to fairly trivial passwords that can be cracked accordingly in this way.

Security in WPA3 to protect You.

WPA3 prevents such offline attacks in general, who wants to try a password must also interact directly with the router. As a result, this mass trying out of terms is no longer possible, in addition, the router can, of course, set limits, after how many attempts the access for a device is temporarily blocked.

Another important improvement: WPA3 offers “Forward Secrecy”: This means that even if a third party gains access to their own password, they can only read current and future data. Older and possibly recorded data streams can then no longer be decrypted.

How to Set up

In addition, the access for devices without screen and keyboard will be further simplified: Under the name Wi-Fi Easy Connect WPA3 includes a new standard, in which by means of scanning QR codes is made a connection. A user could then scan with his smartphone first the code of the router and then that of a printer to record the latter into the local Wi-Fi.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, which includes Apple, Microsoft, and Huawei, is launching the announced new WPA security standard WPA3. This has become urgent, after all, since the end of 2017, the WPA2 protocol is not as secure as it used to be. The KRACK gap made headlines for its time.
As the Wi-Fi Alliance writes in a message, WPA3 will bring especially new security features. Among other things, new mechanisms to protect the network from attacks. This should increase the security in WLAN networks with weak passwords. Furthermore, you want to better secure Wi-Fi hotspots, so no more eavesdropping is possible. For this purpose, the data packets are to be individually encrypted in WLAN hotspots.

Is old hardware compatible with WPA3?

In addition, the “192-bit Security Suite” is applied, which should increase security in corporate and government networks. Changes in the certification process of WLAN devices should also prevent security vulnerabilities, which may result from incorrect configurations of the user devices.

WPA3 is backward compatible. This means that WPA3 devices will also work in a WPA2 network. First devices with WPA3 certification to come according to the Wi-Fi Alliance still this year on the market. However, a large spread will be sought only at the end of 2019. Other devices should receive updates so that they meet the requirements.

 

Security experts see in view of all this innovation, an important step for the protection of wireless connections. But it will probably take a long time until the users really benefit from it: The WiFi Alliance expects a larger distribution only at the end of 2019, because of course the standard is also supported by routers and other hardware. Until WPA3 can be used exclusively, probably still some years pass.