Securing Your Network From The Above Attacks

Now that we know how to test the security of all known wireless encryptions (WEP/WPA/WPA2), it is relatively easy to secure our networks against these attacks as we know all the weaknesses that can be used by hackers to crack these encryptions.

So lets have a look on each of these encryptions one by one:

1. WEP: WEP is an old encryption, and its really weak, as we seen in the course there are a number of methods that can be used to crack this encryption regardless of the strength of the password and even if there is nobody connected to the network. These attacks are possible because of the way WEP works, we discussed the weakness of WEP and how it can be used to crack it, some of these methods even allow you to crack the key in a few minutes.

2. WPA/WPA2: WPA and WPA2 are very similar, the only difference between them is the algorithm used to encrypt the information but both encryptions work in the same way. WPA/WPA2 can be cracked in two ways

1. If WPS feature is enabled then there is a high chance of obtaining the key regardless of its complexity, this can be done by exploiting a weakness in the WPS feature. WPS is used to allow users to connect to their wireless network without entering the key, this is done by pressing a WPS button on both the router and the device that they want to connect, the authentication works using an eight digit pin, hackers can brute force this pin in relatively short time (in an average of 10 hours), once they get the right pin they can use a tool called reaver to reverse engineer the pin and get the key, this is all possible due to the fact that the WPS feature uses an easy pin (only 8 characters and only contains digits), so its not a weakness in WPA/WPA2, its a weakness in a feature that can be enabled on routers that use WPA/WPA2 which can be exploited to get the actual WPA/WPA2 key.

2. If WPS is not enabled, then the only way to crack WPA/WPA2 is using a dictionary attack, in this attack a list of passwords (dictionary) is compared against a file (handshake file) to check if any of the passwords is the actual key for the network, so if the password does not exist in the wordlist then the attacker will not be able to find the password.

Conclusion:

1. Do not use WEP encryption, as we seen how easy it is to crack it regardless of the complexity of the password and even if there is nobody connected to the network.

2. Use WPA2 with a complex password, make sure the password contains small letters, capital letters, symbols and numbers and;

3. Ensure that the WPS feature is disabled as it can be used to crack your complex WPA2 key by brute-forcing the easy WPS pin.

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