Wi-fi to get security updates in 2018 with new WPA3 protections, old hardware likely left behind

“In the wake of security problems with wi-fi security in 2017, the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced that not only will it ‘enhance’ WPA 2, but a new security protocol, WPA3, will debut at some point in 2018 that will require hardware certification before it can be used in networking gear,” Mike Wuerthele reports for AppleInsider.

“The boosts to the specification’s quality assurance will ‘reduce the potential for vulnerabilities due to network misconfiguration’ and ‘further safeguard managed networks with centralized authentication services’ according to the group,” Wuerthele reports. ” It is not yet clear if new hardware will be required to implement the protections of WPA3 —but it seems probable. Hardware must be certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance to use WPA3.”

“Also not clear is how or if Apple could adapt it’s aging AirPort hardware to the new security protocol. While Apple’s routers are still available for sale, the last upgrade to the hardware was made in June 2013, and Apple has cleared out the dedicated AirPort hardware division,” Wuerthele reports. “However, Apple has continued to update the family’s firmware, and has told AppleInsider that it will keep the AirPort ‘”as safe as possible for as long as possible.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve replaced our older Apple Airport Extreme (which Apple released on June 10, 2013 and is still inexplicably calling “all-new” on their website) based Wi-Fi systems with Eero mesh units in our homes and offices. We’re seeing significant, very noticeable increases in Wi-Fi speed and range. Eero is the Wi-Fi system that Apple should’ve made.

SEE ALSO:
AppleInsider reviews eero Wi-Fi: ‘A solid option for Apple’s outgoing AirPort’ – February 27, 2017
With Eero, you can kiss slow Wi-Fi goodbye forever – February 10, 2017

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8 Comments

  1. Eero Like ll cloud managed routers can and does see all your traffic. Pass. Synology’s router is much better, or one of the mesh’s that are not cloud managed. It’s only a matter of time till eero gets hacked and all your traffic is exposed including passwords financials etc.

  2. “Eero is the Wi-Fi system that Apple should’ve made.”

    Though I switched to Linksys’s Velop, I couldn’t agree more. I want best of breed, granularly, not brand tied down stuff. In the case of WiFi it’s only because they couldn’t make it Apple specific.

  3. People sure worry a lot more about electronic security than they used to.

    Back in the 1980s, our county government got a new Southwestern Bell phone system. It was the best one I have ever encountered, because the computer power wasn’t restricted to a small on-site switch, but was run on mainframes in Dallas. All our calls, even those between local extensions, were routed through the big computers there.

    One of the selling points was that this was the same phone system that the U.S. Navy used on its Polaris ballistic missile submarines when they were in radio contact.

  4. WPA2 is not dangerous or dead. No FUD required. Our old WPA2 gear is in most cases fine with regard to encryption. If you are performing mission-critical work over the Internet via WPA2, there are mitigations/workarounds you can use such as:

    1) ONLY connecting to websites via HTTPS (never mere HTTP).

    2) Using a hard core, reliable, proven, never surveilled or logged VPN service. Finding an excellent VPN takes some work. There are plenty of crap and scam VPN services to avoid.

    For details about the WPA2 KRACK attack, here is a great place to start:

    https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/10/what-you-should-know-about-the-krack-wifi-security-weakness/#more-41189

      1. At this point, be certain you’ve updated to the latest version of Safari, which is v11.0.2 (12604.4.7.1.6). Do NOT use any earlier versions of Safari if you can help it. The best alternative at the moment is the latest version of FireFox from Mozilla, v57.0.4. Avoid Chrome until Google provide a promised update at the end of the month.

        Why? The Spectre Attack security flaw in all Intel CPUS (among others).

        HTTPS only has problems if someone is using an old browser that allows any version of SSL to run for HTTPS encryption. All the current web browsers, including Safari, use the most current version of TLS, which is safe (for now).

        There are some decrepit old websites that only allow SSL connections for HTTPS. AVOID THEM. Even many professional websites have turned out to have not updated to TLS. So be careful.

        Certainly, on any OPEN WiFi connection, one that doesn’t force you to log in, if you’re not using HTTPS, no matter the browser, you’re wide open to be surveilled by anyone else connected to that same router.

        Look for the lock!

  5. Wow. How did I not know that Apple was getting out of the router business? I think this is a mistake. Home connectedness is the next phase of computing. Apple seems to be giving up the connected-home model and ceding it to Amazon. The failure of widespread adoption of Home Pod (prediction) combined with getting out of the home router space leaves me concerned about Apple indeed.

    In tech, when the fall comes, it comes suddenly from out of seemingly nowhere.

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