Researchers crack WPA encryption in 60 seconds

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Researchers crack WPA encryption in 60 seconds

Newer WPA2 devices safe... for now.

Japanese researchers claim to have found a way to break the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption system used in wireless routers in just 60 seconds.

Toshihiro Ohigashi of Hiroshima University and Masakatu Morii of Kobe University plan to explain their method at a technical conference on 25 September in Hiroshima.

The attack potentially gives hackers a way to read encrypted traffic sent between computers and certain types of routers that use the WPA encryption system.

The fact that WPA could be broken has been known for some months, but the researchers have exploited a theoretical attack and made it practical.

An earlier technique, developed by researchers Martin Beck and Erik Tews, worked on a smaller range of WPA devices and took between 12 and 15 minutes.

Both attacks work on WPA systems that use the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) algorithm.

The WPA standard was originally designed as an interim encryption method as Wi-Fi security was developing, and has long since been superseded by WPA2. However, a fair bit of WPA with TKIP kit is still in use.

Newer WPA2 devices that use the stronger Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm remain safe for now.

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