Alliance aims to thwart nosy Wi-Fi spies with new security standards

WPA3, with new password protections and encrypted channels, will be running before 2018 ends.
MoFi Networks
The research points to a longstanding yet unresolved issue: how to incentivize security among vendors who sell routers in a market that prizes affordability and convenience. (Getty)

A new security protocol for Wi-Fi will be launched before the end of the year, according the industry body responsible for the standard.

The protocol, known as WPA3, will deliver a suite of features to simplify Wi-Fi security configuration for users and service providers, according the Wi-Fi alliance.

The group, a global network of hundreds of companies within the Wi-Fi ecosystem, has set standards and certified 35,000 devices since being launched in 2000.

The standard will include better password protection and will simplify security configurations for devices that have a limited or no display interface.


Additionally, the standard will strengthen user privacy in open networks through individualized data encryption, which would prevent people from spying on network traffic on open networks.

“Wi-Fi security technologies may live for decades, so it’s important they are continually updated to ensure they meet the needs of the Wi-Fi industry,” said Joe Hoffman, SAR Insight & Consulting, in a release. “Wi-Fi is evolving to maintain its high-level of security as industry demands increase.”

The alliance is also making upgrades to its current WPA2 standard, pushing testing enhancements that will reduce the potential of network misconfigurations.

The updates come months after a widespread vulnerability, known as KRACK, left all modern protected Wi-Fi networks potentially open for eavesdropping. Additionally, internet-connected devices with unprotected default Wi-Fi passwords can be recruited into large botnets for the purposes of massive DDoS attacks.

Greg Otto

Written by Greg Otto

Greg Otto is Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, overseeing all editorial content for the website. Greg has led cybersecurity coverage that has won various awards, including accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Greg worked for the Washington Business Journal, U.S. News & World Report and WTOP Radio. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University.

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