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October 16, 2017

New York City Companies at Greatest Risk from KRACK WiFi Security Breach

In New York City, where cybercrime is rampant, securing your WiFi is every bit as important as locking your front door. It’s a fundamental cybersecurity requirement — which makes the recent discovery of the KRACK WiFi vulnerability all the more terrifying.

Apex Technology Services recently learned about a major flaw in the WiFi Protected Access (WPA) protocol, which provides essential security features for all modern WiFi networks. The vulnerability can be exploited using a technique called a key reinstallation attack (KRACK).

Here’s how a KRACK WiFi attack works:

When connecting to a secure WiFi Network, a device must go through a four-step authentication “handshake.” At a certain point during this process, the WiFi encryption key must be sent back and forth on the network several times. These exchanges can be intercepted by a third party hacker — allowing the individual to decrypt sensitive data transmissions like passwords, emails, payment card information and so forth. A hacker could use this attack to manipulate data on a network, or inject harmful code into a website.

The bad news is that this vulnerability affects the WiFi protocol, meaning every business that is using WiFi is affected. The issue also impacts most devices and clients that use WiFi — meaning access points like routers, and clients like laptops and smartphones.

Businesses in New York City are at high risk from this WiFi flaw, mainly because a hacker has to be within close range of a victim — meaning on the same network — to intercept information or launch a cyberattack with the KRACK vulnerability. In the city, attackers could come from any location — from a van sitting in the street outside, a nearby apartment or hotel room, the street or even underground.

Larry Szebeni, COO and Founding Partner of Apex Technology Services, explained how this type of threat is creating an urgent need for managed cybersecurity services.

“This is why every business, but especially those in densely-packed places like Manhattan, must immediately call in experts to help them assess their security situation and ensure they are as secure as they can be,” he stated.

In other words, Szebeni further explained, it’s much easier and more effective  to consult with trained cybersecurity experts than to attempt “do it yourself” network maintenance which could wind up causing more harm than good. Already, for instance, we have had several customers ask if they should take drastic measures like turn off their WiFi (not advisable) or switch to another protocol like WEP (also not advisable). Changing your password won’t help, either.

Right now, we are still waiting on new patches to arrive in from hardware and software vendors like Google, Microsoft and Apple. So no immediate fixes are available. Until these patches are released, businesses can reduce the risk by switching to a wired Internet connection or a cellular network for sensitive data transfers. This problem can also be addressed using a virtual private network (VPN).

As Apex CEO Rich Tehrani added, you don’t have to fear your business’s WiFi or even consider removing it. But you do need to respect this vulnerability as a major cybersecurity weakness that could allow hackers direct access into your network.

“Many New York businesses have turned to WiFi as an inexpensive alternative to the expensive and oftentimes prohibited construction required to get wires to all desks,” explained Tehrani. “In addition, because of the dense population of businesses in NYC, it’s an ideal location for hackers to eavesdrop on corporate traffic.”

To learn more about Apex Technology Services can help safeguard your business from the KRACK WiFi attack, click here.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

To ensure your security, consider one of our most popular services — Auditing & Documentationwhich pinpoints vulnerabilities in your infrastructure, process flow and internal security procedures.

Apex Technology Services
Choose from comprehensive, affordable solutions for IT consulting, network services and computer help desk support in Fairfield county including Norwalk, Darien, Stamford, Greenwich, Ridgefield and Bridgeport. Also Westchester county including Rye, New Rochelle, White Plains, Yonkers and New York including Manhattan and the five boroughs.


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