How to Protect Your Home Network From ‘FragAttacks’

 

 

 

Hearing your wireless devices are vulnerable to something called “FragAttacks” doesn’t exactly inspire joy. However, the word is scarier than the risk; there’s no evidence that anyone is actively exploiting wireless devices via these vulnerabilities, even given the millions that could be susceptible to FragAttacks—short for “fragmentation and aggregation attacks.”

The name “FragAttack” actually refers to a group of vulnerabilities related to frames, or packets of data, that can be exploited to either steal someone’s information as it passes between networked devices, or to take over a device entirely—whether that’s a simple IoT smart switch or that old laptop you use to browse the web at home. Attackers can either inject unwanted, unencrypted frames into a network, or they can take advantage of how frames are aggregated together (or how aggregates are split apart) to inject and execute data that wasn’t there in the first place.

The best way to keep your network as safe as possible against FragAttack vulnerabilities is to keep your devices updated—and you’ll note this is the same advice we give everyone about every security vulnerability ever. Make sure your routers, smart devices, laptops, phones, or whatever else are all running the most up-to-date firmware and software updates you can find. If you’re lucky, your devices’ manufacturer will have a means for updating them automatically. Otherwise, you’ll need to make sure you’re checking on a regular interval (say, quarterly) for critical updates that can patch up vulnerabilities like these.

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