WPA3 = New Wi-Fi security features available in 2018
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an unusual place to advertise a corporate product, but the Wi-Fi Alliance took advantage of the huge trade show - which more or less took over from Comdex - to announce a major Wi-Fi security upgrade.
The alliance announced Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3), a new Wi-Fi security standard that dramatically increases the security capabilities of the wireless standard. WPA2, which is the current wireless security standard, has been around for 14 years, so it was high time to announce a successor. As a reminder last fall, a major vulnerability in WPA2 and WPA called KRACK - for Key Reinstallation Attack - was discovered. KRACK allows attackers to spy on encrypted data transferred between computers and wireless access points.
Four major improvements have been made to the new standard, but the Alliance has not disclosed technical details on how they will be implemented:
|-The first is "robust protection" for people who use weak passwords, as well as protection against so-called dictionary attacks aimed at brutally forcing the password.
|-Second, WPA3 aims to simplify the configuration process and device security with limited display interfaces. This will be ideal for sensors and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. You will be able to press a smartphone against a device or sensor and then connect it to the network.
|-The third improvement specifically concerns open Wi-Fi networks, such as those found in shops, restaurants and cafés-restaurants. The WPA3 device will give each user individualized data encryption without the need to set up a network password. Again, the details are lacking, but this should help allay some of the concerns about the employees working at Starbucks.
|-Finally, WPA3 aims to provide enhanced security for government, defence and industrial networks by complying with National Commercial Security Algorithms (CNSAs). CNSA is a 192-bit security protocol for secure networks.
The Alliance expects the products to be delivered later this year, and since its members include Apple, Cisco, Microsoft and Qualcomm, they will know. Therefore, these equipment and application manufacturers will have to implement it in their own product ranges. His availability is therefore eagerly awaited.
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