Dragonblood: A New Vulnerabilities Affecting New WPA3 Stanard

Just a year ago WiFi Alliance announced new WPA3 Wi-Fi security standard as a replacement of the age-old WPA2 standard. The main goal of WPA3 was to make it nearly impossible to crack a network password. But this week, the same researchers behind the KRACK disclosure in 2017 released five new WPA3 vulnerabilities collectively named Dragonblood.

WPA3 offers a host of features that make it more secure than its predecessor, such as Opportunistic Wireless Encryption, and completely changing how devices authenticate the access point. But no system is perfect and it’s also true for WPA3 standard. Researchers Mathy Vanhoef and Eyal Ronen have revealed five exploits that they are collectively referring to as “Dragonblood.”

How WPA3 Is Affected:

“The Dragonfly handshake, which forms the core of WPA3, is also used on certain Wi-Fi networks that require a username and password for access control. That is, Dragonfly is also used in the EAP-pwd protocol. Unfortunately, our attacks against WPA3 also work against EAP-pwd, meaning an adversary can even recover a user’s password when EAP-pwd is used. We also discovered serious bugs in most products that implement EAP-pwd. These allow an adversary to impersonate any user, and thereby access the Wi-Fi network, without knowing the user’s password. Although we believe that EAP-pwd is used fairly infrequently, this still poses serious risks for many users and illustrates the risks of incorrectly implementing Dragonfly,” researchers said in their paper.

For more technical details see here.

What You Should Do?

Dragonblood allows an attacker in range of a password-protected Wi-Fi network to obtain the password and gain access to sensitive information such as user credentials, emails, and credit card numbers. Although these Dragonblood vulnerabilities impact a small number of devices that were released with WPA3 support, and manufacturers are currently making patches available. One of the biggest takeaways for businesses of all sizes is to understand that a long-term fix may not be technically feasible for devices with lightweight processing capabilities such as IoT and embedded systems.

To do the dragonblood attack, attackers need to bring an ‘Evil-Twin’ Access Point or Rogue Access Point into a Wi-Fi environment. So always use a trusted Wi-Fi environment to stay safe.

The researchers have also informed the Wi-Fi Alliance about these flaws, and they’ve worked closely with the organization to fix the issue. The patches for the same have been released, and they’ll be made available via the usual software updates on different devices. So, updating your devices and installing the latest patches is the only way to move forward.

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