A security flaw has been discovered that can affect nearly every device that uses Wi-Fi.
A hacking technique called “Krack” that leaves devices’ Internet connections vulnerable to hackers was reported Mathy Vanhoef, a researcher from Belgian university KU Leuven who discovered the vulnerability, according to Forbes.
Here’s what the news means for you:
1. There are patches available already for some devices.
Most major tech companies have put out updates with security fixes or are working on fixes. For those who have updated a Windows device since Oct. 10, the device now has been patched. For iPhone users, researchers said it would be difficult to use the hack to attach anyone with iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. To check what version of iOS is running, go to “settings,” “general,” and then “about” and look at “version.” If the version number starts with 11, it should be fine.
Google is putting out a patch Nov. 6 for Pixel devices. Old Android devices are likely the most vulnerable, according to BGR, a news site for mobile and consumer electronics.
2. Hackers have to be physically near a device to take advantage of the flaw.
It’s tricky for hackers to take advantage of the security flaw. Besides most updated iOS or Windows devices being protected, a hacker would have to be physically in range of a device.
3. The potential scope of the impact is enormous.
While a consumer’s phone likely has an update or is getting an update, there are millions of other devices that use Wi-Fi, from security cameras to garage door openers. The flaw can be patched, but industry experts told Wired that they will still likely be finding devices for decades that are still vulnerable to this type of hacking.