The frightening Wi-Fi security flaw putting us at risk from hackers

Anyone using an iPhone, smartphone, laptop, desktop computer, iPad, tablet or even eBooks should be wary. Source: Getty

Is it just us or does it feel like there’s a new security risk on the internet every day?

Whether we’re being sent scams on Facebook or being told to avoid dodgy emails, it seems like we’re constantly being told to protect ourselves online.

Unfortunately, a new report suggests that everyone who uses a Wi-Fi connection (which is basically every internet user on the planet) could be at risk of being hacked.

It is feared that hackers are using a weakness in Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) protocols to gain access to our personal details that are meant to be safe.

WPA2s are basically there to protect our sensitive information online such as passwords and credit card details, but new research has found a worrying flaw in the system.

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Known as Krack, the weakness in the system could leave us vulnerable to hackers.

It is believed that if hackers are within range of our Wi-Fi network, they could be able to gain access to our information and even infect our computers and devices with viruses.

The scary part is that the weakness impacts the Wi-Fi itself and not our individual devices, meaning that we are all at risk.

It also means simple things such as changing our passwords regularly won’t work for these types of attacks.

Thankfully, there are steps we can take to protect ourselves.

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Manthy Vanheof, from the research team at Belgian University KU Leuven told Yahoo: “To prevent the attack, users must update affected products as security updates become available.

“Note that if your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected.”

Cyber security researcher Lee Munson added: “Until the issue is fixed via a router firmware update – if possible – or WPA2 is suspended, everyone should adopt an additional level of caution when sending sensitive information over online servers.

“Users are advised to look out for the padlock symbol in their browser, or the addition of the letter ‘s’ on the end of the http park of a web address, before sharing personal or financial information; advice that is more valuable now than ever before.”

This means anyone using an iPhone, smartphone, laptop, desktop computer, iPad, tablet or even eBooks should be wary.

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While attackers would need to be in your vicinity to carry out an attack, it’s believed some of the biggest companies in the world such as Apple and Google could be just as vulnerable.

The Wi-Fi Alliance says it is already working at fixing the issue and stressed that developments for updates are currently underway.

Do attacks like these make you scared to share personal information on the internet?