Monday , September 21 2020
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New world. One billion WiFi devices potentially threatened by a security breach

One billion WiFi devices potentially threatened by a security breach. Illustrative photo. (JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOURDILLAT / RADIO FRANCE)

A vulnerability in wifi technology has just been identified. It could allow access to personal data on computers and smartphones, but patches are being deployed.

iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, Mac computers but also Amazon connected speakers and many operator wifi boxes, notably French. One billion electronic devices are potentially affected by a flaw discovered by the Slovak security company ESET. Dubbed “kr00k”, this vulnerability concerns wifi chips, in other words, electronic components, American brands Broadcom and Cypress. In theory, this flaw could allow an attacker to connect to your home Wi-Fi network without knowing your password and therefore to enter your devices, view your personal messages or search your files. However, this does not allow access to websites, especially banking, protected by passwords.

Should we worry? In reality, nothing says that this flaw has been exploited. To operate it, you would need to be near your wifi network. Fortunately, fixes have been developed by the manufacturers. The only precaution to take is therefore to perform the updates on the devices, as soon as they are offered.

There has already been a breach of this kind discovered last year. It potentially involved 6 billion PCs and consoles but no significant effect was seen. The fact that such flaws are discovered is actually a good sign as it shows that the security of electronic devices is closely monitored.

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