Nearly All Wi-Fi Devices Are Vulnerable to New FragAttacks

Three design and multiple implementation flaws have been disclosed in IEEE 802.11 technical standard that undergirds Wi-Fi, potentially enabling an adversary to take control over a system and plunder confidential data.

Called FragAttacks (short for FRgmentation and AGgregation attacks), the weaknesses impact all Wi-Fi security protocols, from Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) all the way to Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3), thus virtually putting almost every wireless-enabled device at risk of attack.

“An adversary that is within radio range of a victim can abuse these vulnerabilities to steal user information or attack devices,” Mathy Vanhoef, a security academic at New York University Abu Dhabi, said. “Experiments indicate that every Wi-Fi product is affected by at least one vulnerability and that most products are affected by several vulnerabilities.”

IEEE 802.11 provides the basis for all modern devices using the Wi-Fi family of network protocols, allowing laptops, tablets, printers, smartphones, smart speakers, and other devices to communicate with each other and access the Internet via a wireless router.

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Introduced in January 2018, WPA3 is a third-generation security…

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