On February 28th, at the recently opened RSA security conference, a detailed study by security firm ESET stated that Wi-Fi chips made by Cypress semiconductor and Broadcom exist. Serious security flaw affecting Cypress and Broadcom’s FullMAC WLAN chips.
The chips are used in billions of devices, including iPhones, iPads and Macs, researchers at security firm Eset said. According to the researchers, the vulnerability would allow a nearby attacker to “decrypt sensitive data sent over the air.”
Specifically, a vulnerability known as Kr00k can be exploited by hackers to interrupt and decrypt WiFi network traffic. The vulnerability exists in Wi-Fi chips from Cypress and Broadcom, and is used in branded products such as Apple’s iPhone and iPad, Google’s Pixel, Samsung’s Galaxy series, Raspberry Pi, Xiaomi, Asus, Huawei, and more. A conservative estimate is that one billion devices worldwide are affected by this vulnerability.
After hackers successfully exploit this vulnerability, they can intercept and analyze wireless network packets sent by the device. The researchers also said that the Kr00k bug only affects WiFi connections that use the WPA2-Personal or WPA2-Enterprise security protocols and AES-CCMP encryption. This means that if a Broadcom or Cypress WiFi chipset device is used, hackers using the latest WiFi authentication protocol, WPA3, can be prevented.
An Apple spokesperson confirmed that they had closed the vulnerability in macOS, iOS and iPadOS through system upgrades last October. Affected devices include the iPad mini 2, iPhone 6, 6S, 8 and XR, as well as the 2018 MacBook Air.
Some devices from Google, Amazon and Samsung were also affected, as well as routers made by Asus and Huawei. For Apple users, as long as you have upgraded your device to the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, this vulnerability will not affect you.