WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3), a new protocol on Wi-Fi security, has been finalized by the Wi-Fi Alliance and the organization is beginning to certify supported products.
The new protocol brings new security mechanisms over Wi-Fi, making it harder for hackers to break in the network and steal user’s data.
One of the main features of WPA3 is to protect against password-guessing attacks offline. Currently, hackers can capture data from user’s Wi-Fi stream, bring it back to a private computer and guess passwords over and over again until discovered.
Under the WPA3 protocol, hackers will be able to make only a single guess against offline data. If the guess is wrong, the data will become useless and they will need to interact with live Wi-Fi devices every time they want to make a guess. In other words, they need to be physically present for a longer time to interact with live devices when guessing passwords.
The other highlighted feature is forward secrecy, which prevents old data from being accessed by a later attack. With this feature, even if hackers break through the password protection, they still won’t be able to read the older data. They will only see new information currently flowing over the network.
The Wi-Fi Alliance is beginning to certify WPA3 devices, and the new standard is expected to be seen in the consumer market over the next year. Consumers’ routers and all connected gadgets need to support WPA3 to realize this new security protocol.
WPA2, the current security protocol, was launched in 2004. Although it has been around for older than a decade, it’s constantly updated to address new exploits and protections. The Wi-Fi Alliance said the WPA3 will work in the same way.
Networking company Cisco said it will support WPA3 and implement the new standard in its upcoming products.
At the meantime, the new generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ax is expected to bring faster speed and become more common in late 2019.