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Dragonblood Vulnerability

Posted: April 11, 2019

The Dragonblood Vulnerability is an exploit that allows remote attackers access to passwords on Wi-Fi networks running the WPA3 standard. Since cracking the password allows theoretical access to credit card numbers and other, confidential data, users should monitor their accounts and bills for an activity that suggests an attack. Wi-Fi users should update their software with all available security patches for removing this vulnerability from the affected network cards and devices.

The Blood is Running Out of the Newest Security Standard

The release of WPA3 without any public testing of its possible security flaws may be coming back to bite this Wi-Fi protocol, which is a ripe target for newly-revealed exploits. The Dragonblood Vulnerability gives remote attackers a foothold through a 'dictionary attack' weakness that's a sub-set of brute-forcing techniques. Although it's easily patchable, threat actors taking advantage of outdated or poorly-maintained software could collect confidential information from Wi-Fi communications cheaply.

WPA3 is an update to WPA2 that's intended as a remedy to the latter's different security vulnerabilities, such as the KRACK Vulnerability. Although most of the cyber-security industry does, overall, rate the update as being an improvement, WPA3's private development prevented the detection of what is, in hindsight, an extremely exploitable weakness. The Dragonblood Vulnerability uses side-channel attacks against the encoding of the securing password and is a low-cost, highly-accessible technique for threat actors. It impacts networks using the so-called 'Dragonfly handshake,' which also includes the lesser-used EAP-pwd.

Such attacks are, theoretically, within the province of automated tools, although no attacks using the Dragonblood Vulnerability in the wild are appearing. The significance of the Dragonblood Vulnerability for the Wi-Fi user base is, unfortunately, that it could give remote attackers access to even high-confidentiality information, ranging from financial data to account security credentials, and messaging conversations or e-mails.

Staunching a Network Problem before It Bleeds Out

Although there are theories of a different testing environment for WPA3 preventing the Dragonblood Vulnerability's existence, its current status requires remedying by appropriate Wi-Fi device vendors. The appropriate organizers are receiving notifications from various cyber-security members, including the WiFi Alliance, and should be issuing patches shortly. Installing a security update is the only, direct method Wi-Users have for protecting the information that's available in their network.

While they're waiting, some of the indirect defenses that users can put up against a Dragonblood Vulnerability's abuse include avoiding sharing their passwords with multiple logins and using ones that are complex, with variable cases and random alphanumeric characters. Shorter ones are weaker to most brute-force attempts and can result in a threat actor's compromising a network without much difficulty for accomplishing further attacks. Users can't directly remove a Dragonblood Vulnerability but may keep anti-malware services available for detecting any threats related to an intrusion.

No sooner is the promise of better security given to the public than it's shown to be not as flawless as it claims. Although downgrading back to WPA2 isn't a good idea, anyone using Wi-Fi should be ready for patching out the Dragonblood Vulnerability sooner rather than later on.

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