Wireless Network Security Takes A Hit

By Doug Caverly
Staff Writer
Article Date: 2008-10-13

Fair warning, everyone: due to the work of a Russian security company called ElcomSoft, wireless networks are looking rather less safe than they have in the past. ElcomSoft's researchers claim to have sped up the process of cracking WPA and WPA2 keys by a factor of up to 100.

One hundred's a nice, round, and rather optimistic-sounding number, of course, which is one good sign for folks who don't want the networks made unsafe. Also, a lot of people still won't have the time and/or ability to go anywhere near this stuff, and Slashdot commenters pointed out numerous other issues.

But ElcomSoft answered some questions about time and equipment requirements by saying in a statement, "The support of NVIDIA graphic accelerators increases the recovery speed by an average of 10 to 15 times when Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery is used on a moderate laptop with NVIDIA GeForce 8800M or 9800M series GPU, or up to 100 times when running on a desktop with two or more NVIDIA GTX 280 boards installed."

As for who's supposed to be gaining access to ElcomSoft's new technology, only "[g]overnments, forensic and corporate users" are at the top of the official list, yet it's hard to have illusions about how fast this stuff spreads.

Consider beefing up your security measures and adjusting your wireless network use, then, or at least keep an eye out for ElcomSoft's name in the news. However serious the current threat is, it's not at all likely to lessen over time.

About the Author:
Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.


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