Kiwis warned of potential Wi-Fi hack after global security threat

Kiwi Wi-Fi users are being warned against a newly found global security threat that makes devices accessing any Wi-Fi networks vulnerable to hacking.

Hacker using laptop. Lots of digits on the computer screen.
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NZ technology expert Paul Brislen told 1 NEWS the security flaw dubbed 'Krack' concerns the WPA2, which is the most popular Wi-Fi encryption system.

At this stage he believes there is a low risk.

"I haven't seen anyone exploiting the security flaw yet," he says.

He says all devices that connect to Wi-Fi will need system upgrades, including computers, phones, printers and even some wireless speakers.

CERT NZ has confirmed it has received no reports of KRACK affecting New Zealanders.

Providers such as Spark, Microsoft, Apple and Google are all working to create updates for their services so the security flaw cannot be used, and Mr Brislen says when these updates are available he would strongly urge the public to use them.

Spark released a statement today saying it was not aware of any breach to its customers.

"The Krack vulnerability, which was identified by a security researcher overseas, potentially allows a hacker to eavesdrop on Wi-Fi traffic," Spark said. 

"The hacker would need to be within Wi-Fi range and would not be able to access encrypted traffic (e.g. most banking websites and some other applications)."

Spark says it is liaising with device manufacturers "as a matter of urgency to understand when they will have patches available for their devices and the process for installing those patches on devices".