New Cyber Liability Risks – How Hackers ‘KRACK’ Wi-Fi Networks
With hackers becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to gain access to data, the need for cyber liability insurance & risk management and coverage has never been greater. According to a recent article by Brian Barrett in Wired, “the so-called Krack attack affects nearly every wireless device to some extent, leaving them subject to hijacked internet connections. In terms of scope, it doesn’t get much worse—especially for the Internet of Things.”1
New Cyber Liability Risks – A Universal Gateway For Hackers
This all started when, “Mathy Vanhoef, a researcher from a Belgium university, discovered a security flaw in Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2)—a protocol that secures almost all modern, protected Wi-Fi networks. Through this newfound vulnerability, hackers can potentially gain access to encrypted information using what is called a key reinstallation attack (KRACK).” 2
What Businesses Face The Most Risk?
The potential impact of KRACK is significant. According to a Zywave News Brief, it is estimated that “any organization or individual that utilizes Wi-Fi is at risk for an attack, and hackers can use the KRACK method to steal sensitive information like credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos and most data that is stored or transmitted online.”3
“What’s particularly troubling about this cyber threat is that it’s not tied to a specific machine or software and is more so a flaw in how WPA2 was originally designed. Essentially, all a hacker needs to do to access your protected information is to be near your Wi-Fi access point and execute a script that tricks a system into bypassing the security. Not only does this allow cyber criminals to eavesdrop on network traffic, but they can also infect connected machines with malware.”4
Related Matters: Wired: Why The Krack Wi-Fi Mess Will Take Decades To Clean Up
“While Vanhoef demonstrated the vulnerability using an Android operating system, it’s likely that KRACK can be used against a number of others, including Linux, Windows and macOS. Thankfully, KRACK can be controlled with patches, and Vanhoef warned many companies of the security flaw long before publishing his findings, giving them time to develop a solution. It’s possible your network may already be fixed.”5
Some of the actions that commercial businesses of all sizes and individuals can take can include:
- Updating devices connect to Wi-Fi (e.g. laptops, smartphones, tablets and other devices)
- Avoiding using hardware that hasn’t been patched – including stored or transmitted data on devices that might be compromised.
- Confirming with your internet service provider if your network requires an update.
How Can Cyber Liability Insurance Help?
If your wifi network and data are compromised and normal operations are halted, cyber liability insurance can help pay for interruption related expenses such as:
- Lost income due to the event
- Profits that would have been earned had the event not occurred
- Rented or leased equipment
- Operating expenses, such as utilities, that must be paid even though business has temporarily ceased
Talk to us about your cyber liability insurance needs. Our insurance brokers can help you get a cyber liability insurance quote that delivers more value and options to your Canadian business.
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1 Wired.com: Why The Krack Wi-Fi Mess Will Take Decades To Clean Up
2,3,4,5 Adapted from News Brief © 2017 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved. The content of this News Brief is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.
Forbes: How To Protect Your Wi-Fi Devices From The KRACK Vulnerability