We've long been told not to use the all-to-easily-cracked WEP to protect our wireless networks, but what now for WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)...?
According to PC Advisor, a pair of Japanese scientists have developed a way to break this encryption system in just one minute. The attack enables the hacker to read encrypted traffic sent between computers and some routers using WPA and the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) algorithm.
WPA has been broken in the past, but had taken up to 15 minutes to achieve - something that would generally put off casual hackers passing through an area, but with the new method this changes completely. "They took this stuff which was fairly theoretical and they've made it much more practical," said PacSec security conference organised Dragos Ruiu. The two scientists will discuss their findings in more detail towards the end of September.
The good news is both the 15 minute and one minute hacks cannot yet crack the newer WPA 2 encryption system or stronger Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm. So while you're unlikely to have any elite Japanese scientists hanging around your door, changing WiFi security levels tends to be pretty easy meaning you might as well get to it.
On the other hand, if you only have a device which supports WEP or WPA (TKIP) perhaps you now have the excuse to buy that digital photo frame sporting D-Link Xtreme N All-In-One Router you've irrationally been lusting after...