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Published on November 10th, 2008 | by James Smythe

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WPA could be cracked in 15 minutes

Recently we reported that cracking WPA and WPA2 could be speeded up by 100 fold using two GeForce GTX280’s per workstation. However the practicality of this for your every day hacker is not very realistic.

Security researchers are now saying they have refined an existing WPA crack, making it more efficient that earlier reports.

Erik Tews will appear at PacSec security conference in Tokyo next week with a presentation named “Gone in 900 seconds: Some Crypto issues with WPA.” where he will show off his findings in TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) cracking, that allow WPA to be broken in a brief 12-15 minute window.

Apparently once TKIP is initialised the Pairwise Master Key (PMK) can be obtained. Normally the hacker would then have to use a brute force dictionary attack, which is slow and crude.

Tews and his partner Martin Beck have discovered a “mathematical breakthrough” that allows the WPA encryption to be cracked dramatically faster. Some of the tools Tews and Beck used are rumoured to have been already included in Aircrack-ng WEP/WPA PSK cracking tool.

It is unlikely that this hacking technique will cause any issues in the near future, and certainly not a problem for average Joe and his home wireless router.

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About the Author

I am a UK tech blogger and have been in the industry for over 5 years now running Mighty Gadget, its sister sites and contributing to other sites around the web.



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