Wi-Fi Vulnerability Found in Personal and Business Networks

October 17, 2017 / By: Chris Gregg, ITS Information Security
Blue security lock

Researchers recently discovered a serious weakness in Wi-Fi standard security protocol (WPA/WPA2) that affects all wireless networks and the devices that connect to them. This flaw could allow a hacker in proximity of a network’s wireless access points and routers to spy on your online activity, decrypt sensitive information, and steal the data that flows between your device and the network. Data at risk can include: passwords, conversation, chat messages, documents and photos.  In addition, a vulnerable Wi-Fi connection opens the risk for malware to be distributed to devices.

St. Thomas is taking every precaution to patch our systems as updates become available for our managed network, campus computers, and devices. The biggest risk comes to the personal devices that our community uses off campus on home and public networks. 

Things the St. Thomas Community Needs to Do:

  • Check for software updates and patches on all of your devices. Install any patches available to you and continue to check back for the latest version. 

  • Secure your home network. Patch any wireless routers and consult your home internet provider for steps and additional information on updating your home wireless system.

  • Be cautious about your online activity when connecting to public wi-fi networks at places like coffee shops. 

  • Known and trusted HTTPS websites are safe to use. You can check to see if a website is HTTPS compatible when you look at the URL. If you see only http, this is not a secure website, but if you do see an s at the end (httpS) then you can feel safe using this site as normal. Any St. Thomas webpages that require authentication (eg. Canvas, Office 365, Murphy Online, etc.) are secured using an additional layer of SSL encryption.

Have questions? Email techdesk@stthomas.edu