On Wednesday, ESET revealed a serious WiFi vulnerability they discovered. Hackers can exploit affected devices to eavesdrop on wireless packets. ESET named the vulnerability KrØØk.
How KrØØk Works
The key problem exists when disconnecting from an access point. The chip begins clearing memory or setting it to an all-zero key. At that point, it also transmits any data left in the transmit buffer. Essentially, this results in that data being decrypted and completely exposed.
Skilled hackers can trigger a device to disconnect and begin collecting data left in the buffer. Up to 32KB of data can be intercepted at once. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? However, you could fit about 20,000 words in 32KB. An ongoing attack could collect data including passwords, credit cards, or any other information transmitted over WiFi.
What devices are vulnerable? Basically, any device with a Broadcom or Cypress chip in it. In case you’re wondering, that includes over 1 billion devices by conservative estimates. Broadcom chips are found in smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Cypress chips are typically used in IoT gadgets.
You likely own an affected device. The following brands and devices are just some of those that utilize Broadcom and Cypress chips.
- Amazon Kindle and Echo
- Apple iPad, iPhone, and MacBook
- Google Nexus
- Samsung Galaxy
- Raspberry Pi 3
- WiFi routers by Asus and Huawei
What Should You Do?
ESET discovered KrØØk six months ago. “Responsible disclosure” allows six months for manufacturers to remedy vulnerabilities before they become public knowledge. Unfortunately, the nature of KrØØk requires multiple steps in rolling out patches.
First, Broadcom and Cypress developed their own patches within the last six months. They released those patches to device manufacturers like Amazon, Apple, and Samsung. Next, those manufacturers must develop their own patches and release them. Finally, it’s up to users to install the manufacturer’s patches onto affected devices.
What does that mean for you? Check with your manufacturer to see if a patch is available for any WiFi products you own. ESET didn’t discover evidence of KrØØk in chips made by Qualcomm, Realtek, Ralink, or MediaTek. However, ESET also says they were unable to test every WiFi chip on the market.
Patch, Patch, Patch
Once again, we can’t stress enough the importance of installing security patches. Patching devices and software takes time, but it’s worth it. Otherwise, you could end up like the United Nations. Let our team take care of patching devices for you. Contact us today for a free consultation!