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Wireless Networks

KRACK Attack Affects Wifi!

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KRACK Attack Affects Wifi!

Researchers warn of a serious flaw in the WPA2 protocol securing all wifi networks-- one allowing attackers to steal passwords, emails and other supposedly encrypted data!

Dubbed Key Reinstallation Attacks (or KRACKs), such attacks even allow those with malicious intent to inject ransomware and malware into a website a user is visiting, all while simply being in range of a vulnerable device. These can be any wifi-capable device, although the flaw is "particularly devastating" in the case of Linux and Android 6.0.

How does KRACK works? As the researchers put it, attackers can duplicate a vulnerable WPA2 network, impersonate the MAC address and change the wifi channel. The fake network acts as a "man in the middle," forcing devices to connect to the rogue network instead of the protected original.

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Intel Focuses WiGig on VR

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Intel Focuses WiGig on VR

According to Aanandtech Intel is giving up on most of its 60GHz 802.11ad-- aka WiGig-- networking products, as it has plans to discontinue all current WiGig devices before focusing the technology on VR applications.

WiGig offers higher performance than 802.11ac, reaching up to 4.8 gigabits per second. However the use of the 60GHz band (as opposed to the 5 or 2.4GHz of regular wifi) limits the technology to a very short range. It also requires line of sight between device and base station, with essentially zero penetration through walls. As such, using WiGig as a wifi replacement requires putting a base station in every room of the house.

That said, despite such limitations WiGig makes for an excellent cable replacement-- such as in VR headsets, which is where Intel is going to use the technology. Back in May 2017 HTC showed off a Vive running on WiGig, the result of a collaboration with Chipzilla. Other companies are also interested in WiGig, including AMD (who acquired Nitero for millimeter wave radio technology) and the Facebook-owned Oculus.

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Bluetooth Getting Mesh Capability

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Bluetooth Getting Mesh Capability

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) add a new capability to the wireless connectivity standard-- mesh networking, enabling many-to-many (m:m) capability and the creation of large-scale device networks.

The technology is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 and higher, and operates on Bluetooth Low Energy (LE). It is ideal for building automation, sensor networks and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications involving tens, hundreds or even thousands or devices. According to the SIG, Bluetooth-based mesh networks are inherently self-healing, with no single point of failure, scalable to thousands of nodes and include "industrial-grade" security.

In addition Bluetooth offers global interoperability, since multi-vendor interoperability testing is conducted during the specification development process, not after the release of the specification.

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Zigbee Claims First Multi-Band IoT Mesh Network Technology

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Zigbee Claims First Multi-Band IoT Mesh Network Technology

The Zigbee Alliance announces Zigbee PRO 2017-- the first mesh network capable of operating on two ISM frequency bands simultaneously, sub-GHz 800-900MHz for regional requirements and 2.4GHz for global acceptance.

Zigbee PRO is the underlying network technology with support for full-stack interoperable devices certified under Zigbee 3.0. Designed to connect smart devices, Zigbee PRO 2017 promises flexibility and design choice for manufacturers, consumers and municipalities wanting to connect products across homes, buildings and cities.

“PRO 2017 is the ideal wireless solution to cast large IoT networks across buildings, business parks, large facilities, cities and venues challenged by connectivity issues such as reinforced concrete and steel studs,” the alliance says. “The deployment potential is tremendous for smart homes, smart buildings and smart cities.”

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EU Reaches €120m Wifi4EU Deal

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EU Reaches €120m Wifi4EU Deal

The European Parliament, Council and Commission reach an agreement on Wifi4EU-- an initiative bringing free public wifi hotspots in local communities across the EU.

The three institutions plan to spend €120 million on the funding of public free wifi services in 6000 to 8000 municipalities in all member states. Funding sources are still being finalised, but will be based on the view of the current Multiannual Financial Framework program. Once it is set up local authorities will be (obviously) able to apply for funding through a "simple and non-bureaucratic process."

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