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Kr00k Wi-Fi Vulnerability Leads to Widespread Concerns

There is a vulnerability at the layer 2 Wi-Fi encryption level called Kr00k (formally CVE-2019-15126 in the NIST National Vulnerability Database) affecting Broadcom and Cypress Semiconductor Wi-Fi devices.

Broadcom and Cypress Wi-Fi technology are two of the most popular wireless chip technologies in the market, prevalent in mobile phones, laptops, wireless access points, and internet of things (IoT) devices. Both PC and MacOS devices are reported as subject to this bug.

Researchers from antivirus vendor ESET, who discovered the vulnerability, presented their findings at the RSA Conference 2020.

“Kr00k manifests itself after Wi-Fi disassociations – which can happen naturally, for example due to a weak Wi-Fi signal, or may be manually triggered by an attacker,” said lead ESET researcher Miloš Cermák. “If an attack is successful, several kilobytes of potentially sensitive information can be exposed. By repeatedly triggering disassociations, the attacker can capture a number of network packets with potentially sensitive data.”

Exploit of the vulnerability can occur when Wi-Fi devices disassociate with their WLAN access points, a common occurrence in weak signal scenarios and is usually corrected automatically by the Wi-Fi hardware and WLAN protocols.

Our Take

Data leak is always of concern to corporate IT departments.Many manufacturers have released patches that should be applied on all devices at the infrastructure and endpoint levels. Consult with your hardware vendors to determine if a patch for your various platforms is available and schedule their installation as soon as possible.

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