How to Fix the KRACK Wi-Fi Security Hole in Your Phone or Laptop

Researchers on Monday announced that they had found a gaping security hole in WPA2, one of the most popular Wi-Fi communications encryption standards. But the exploit they uncovered that could allow hackers to steal even encrypted wireless data, dubbed KRACK, can be foiled by software updates. And the major tech hardware and software vendors quickly started announcing those fixes this week.

Consumers should act just as quickly to patch their phones, laptops, Wi-Fi base stations, and other gear. Almost every company that included wireless capability in their devices or software needs to issue an update, as this exhaustive list compiled by the government-sponsored U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team indicates. The list includes links that will be updated to each company’s patches or recommended fixes.

Among the biggest names in the tech market, Microsoft (MSFT) said it has already eliminated the security hole in an update to the Windows operating system that was issued on October 10. “Customers who apply the update, or have automatic updates enabled, will be protected,” the company said in a statement.

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Apple (AAPL) issued fixes for the vulnerability on October 31 with its release of iOS 11.1 and MacOS High Sierra 10.13.1.

Google, which oversees the Android software running on more than three-quarters of smartphones worldwide, released a patch in November that addressed the vulnerability. Even after Google (GOOGL) completed its work, the challenge remains to get the patch out to all Android users. Because it is controlled in part by wireless carriers around the world, the Android ecosystem sometimes struggles to distribute security patches.

Among major networking hardware vendors, Cisco Systems (CSCO) said it had patches available for some products, but was still assessing what else it might do to eliminate the vulnerability in additional products. Intel (INTC), which makes wireless chip sets that include WPA2 also issued a lengthy list of affected products and updated driver software to close the hole.

Makers of home Wi-Fi base stations are also issuing patches, including some from large companies like Netgear (NTGR) and smaller startups such as Eero. Installing software updates to the firmware of Wi-Fi routers is typically a more complicated process that applying a security patch to a phone or laptop, but the router vendors have included instructions along with their patches.

(Update: This story was updated on October 31, 2017 with Apple’s fixes and on November 6 with news of Google’s Android patch.)

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