WPA3 will make Wi-Fi safer and easier

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

WPA3 certification is ready – 14 years after WPA2 got on the run.

There are several good reasons to choose wired networks rather than wireless variants, but today Wi-Fi is so good and widespread that most people go for these solutions.

Security – It’s a good deal of confidential information in the air, to say so – is taken care of by a protocol with the nickname Wi-Fi Protected Access, or simply WPA.

Unfortunately, the original WPA was not so sure, so already in 2004, we got WPA2, which is still holding. But neither WPA2 is infallible, and now the Wi-Fi Alliance, which is the gang behind these standards, has now pulled the WPA3 screen.

This is what will be next-generation wireless technology security technology, and will probably be with us for the next couple of years – if it does not prove to have any security holes that are impossible to seal.

Will allow easier passwords

Just like previous iterations of WPA, the new WPA3 comes in versions for both corporate and private markets. WPA-Personal, as the latter is called, is the version that will take common houses and homes.

The major news in WPA3-Personal is that the old password technology that uses a “Pre-shared Key” (PSK) in WPA2 is replaced by something called “Simultaneous Authentication of Equals” (SAE).

This will not change how users log on to a wireless network, but will make it impossible for any attackers to download an encrypted Wi-Fi password and try to break this on their own computer.

SAE will require that any attempt to guess a password must go directly to the wireless access point, which allows such hacking attempts to be easily detected and blocked.

Wi-Fi Alliance believes that this will be so effective that people can now choose easier Wi-Fi passwords so they can actually remember them.

Another improvement with WPA3 is so-called “forward secretion”, which prevents anyone from accessing old data if a password should nevertheless be broken. Things already sent on the network will still be illegible.

One last thing worth collecting is the new “Easy Connect”, which will make it both easier and safer to connect devices that do not have good display or input capability – which are typical of “things online” Dingser like smart light bulbs and smoke detectors.

Connecting a new dings could then be as easy as scanning a QR code with the mobile phone, but naturally requires that different actors use it.

Will take time, full conversion to WPA3 will by no means happen overnight.

Because WPA3 does not allow the wireless network of our home, including all our things – like mobiles, tablets, laptops, refrigerators, TVs, smoke detectors, door bells, etc. – must also be put in place. It will be a continuous process that will last for years.

However, for most of us, this will not have any significant practical significance, as WPA3 equipment will not have any trouble working with WPA2 equipment. However, it will be without the newer security features.

WPA3 certified hardware is currently available to manufacturers. So if you are looking for something new networking equipment, it may be smart to check if WPA3 is already in place or possibly through a firmware upgrade.

It will probably take a couple of years before WPA3 will be required to get all new products Wi-Fi certified.

The Netherlands introduces a ban on burka and nikab

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

In schools and hospitals at first

The National Assembly in the Netherlands has by a large majority decided to introduce a ban on burka, nikab and other cover of the face of schools and hospitals.

The so-called burka ban also applies to public transport and public buildings, where there is also a ban on using helmets or otherwise covering the face.

The proposal for burka ban was first promoted 13 years ago by outer right politician Geert Wilders, who described himself as Islam hater.

The House of Representatives of the Dutch National Assembly voted for such a ban in 2016, but it would take another three years before the decision in the upper house. It is expected that the ban will come into force next year.

How the prohibition is to be practiced and who will enforce it is highly unclear. One of the questions raised is whether bus drivers should deny passengers with nikab or burka access.

Lawyers are critical of the ban, and the opposition calls it symbolism because there are hardly more than 400 women carrying burka in the Netherlands.