News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Enterprise I.T.
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Microsoft Warns of Windows Phone 8 Wi-Fi Weakness
Microsoft Warns of Windows Phone 8 Wi-Fi Weakness

By Jennifer LeClaire
August 6, 2013 2:33PM

    Bookmark and Share
The issue is that Microsoft committed one of the cardinal sins of security: it took a good idea (encryption), implemented it badly in Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 operating systems and then released it to the market, said Kevin O'Brien, an enterprise solution architect at CloudLock.

Microsoft is warning consumers with smartphones that sport the Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows 8 mobile operating systems that they could be open for attack.

Hackers could exploit a weakness in the Wi-Fi authentication process, known as PEAP-MS-CHAPv2 (Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol with Microsoft Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol version 2), to access the user's log-on credentials.

"In vulnerable scenarios, an attacker who successfully exploited this issue could achieve information disclosure against the targeted device," the company said in a security advisory. "Microsoft is not currently aware of active attacks or of customer impact at this time. Microsoft is actively monitoring this situation to keep customers informed and to provide customer guidance as necessary."

Intercepting Encrypted Credentials

Here's how an attacker-controlled system could exploit the weakness: First, the system poses as a known Wi-Fi access point. This charade would cause the targeted device to automatically attempt to authenticate with the access point. That, in turn, would allow the attacker to intercept the victim's encrypted domain credentials.

At that point, an attacker could exploit cryptographic weaknesses in the PEAP-MS-CHAPv2 protocol to grab the victim's domain credentials. Finally, those credentials could be used to authenticate the attacker to network resources, and the attacker could take any action that the user could take on the network.

We caught up with Kevin O'Brien, an enterprise solution architect at CloudLock, to get his take on the exploit. He told us the pivot point is cryptographic weakness.

"We've seen this particular type of vulnerability before, including from Microsoft, whose ASP.NET framework had a similar issue a few years ago," O'Brien said. "We've seen it recently, in the now well-known Cryptocat exploit. And we'll see it again. 

As O'Brien sees it, the issue is that Microsoft committed one of the cardinal sins of security: it took a good idea (encryption), implemented it badly and then released it to the market.

"What went wrong in the MS-CHAPv2 example here is that the protocol relies largely upon smoke and mirrors to appear confusing, either intentionally or due to a lack of understanding on the behalf of the original coders," O'Brien said. "As a result, the entire protocol is compromised, and it should cease to be used in favor of the far more robust open-source alternatives in the market today."

A Recipe for Mass Compromise

Mike Gross, Global Risk strategy director at 41st Parameter, told us the lesson: most mobile devices, by default, enable convenient access to known Wi-Fi and other networks, so users need to be aware of these settings and how they can protect themselves. (continued...)

1  |  2  |  Next Page >


Tell Us What You Think


 Enterprise I.T.
1.   BlackBerry BES 10 Now Hosted
2.   Teaming Up: CIOs, IT Asset Managers
3.   Juniper DDoS for High-IQ Networks
4.   IBM Rolls Out Hybrid Cloud Services
5.   Windows 7 Ends Mainstream Support

Backlash Stirs Against H-1B Visas
Debate over foreign workers continues.
Average Rating:
IBM Rolls Out Hybrid Cloud Services
Based on SoftLayer net infrastructure.
Average Rating:
Windows 7 Ends Mainstream Support
But extended support still available.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Is the Amazon Fire Phone a Winner?
A late entry into a packed category of smartphones, Amazon's Fire phone offers a variety of unique features. Now, the reviewers are assessing if they're enough to make the phone stand out.
Review: Amazon Fire Offers New Ways To Use Phones
The Fire phone uses Android, but Amazon has modified it to the point that it's barely recognizable. That means the phone offers new ways to navigate, discover and, of course, shop.
Apple Patent for Smart Watch Comes to Light
Does a new smart watch patent issued to Apple provide a preview of the expected wearable from the tech giant? Some Apple-watchers are parsing the patent for signs of the coming product.

NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.