Wi-Fi KRACK: What a non-techie needs to know

You’ve probably already heard about the new security problem with Wi-Fi. You’ve probably looked at some online articles filled with technical gobbledygook. But, if you’re a business person who just wants the shortest distance between here and “I’m OK”, then read on.

Unfortunately, we have to approach this with a little understanding so some details are necessary. I promise to keep them to a minimum. There are four things you need to understand to get your arms around this thing.

First, this problem deals with wireless, not wired, networks. If you have a wired connection to your device you’re unaffected.

Second, many people don’t realize it but there are four types of wireless, only one of which is affected by this security problem. The four types are:
– Bluetooth
– Wi-Fi
– Cellular
– Satellite

Wi-Fi is affected by KRACK, the others are not.

Third, Microsoft released a patch for this problem last week. Apple is testing a patch so it’s on the verge of being released. Google (Android) is talking about early November for a patch.

Fourth, computers tend to use Wi-Fi. Smartphones and tablets use both, Wi-Fi and cellular.

Putting this all together we get the following.
– If you’re PC or laptop is using wired, not wireless, networking, you’re not affected by this hack.
– Windows PCs & laptops using wireless – if you have Windows PCs & laptops that use wireless instead of wired connections, apply the Windows updates. Since the patch has been available for about a week once your system is up to date you’re covered.
– Apple products – Put the update on once it’s released then you should be covered.
– Smart phones and tablets – Since this hack affects Wi-Fi and not cellular, you can turn off Wi-Fi in your phone and just use the cellular until the patch is available for your device. If you shut off Wi-Fi you need to realize that your performance can be affected and you may see a difference on your bill, but it should only be for a couple of weeks. Just remember to turn the Wi-Fi back on once you’ve got the patch installed.

Oakland Solutions has been providing computer and networking services since 2005. if you are concerned about this security issue, please feel free to contact us for assistance.

Submitted by:

Dave Webber

Oakland Solutions, LLC
55 East Long Lake, #371
Troy, MI 48085