While the WEP-encrypted Wi-Fi networks have been easily broken for quite some time now, latest reports indicate that the more secure WPA or WPA2 encryption systems are also vulnerable.
Security researchers claim that are able to partially crack the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption standard used to protect data on many wireless networks in just few minutes.
The attack will be discussed at the PacSec conference in Tokyo next week. Researchers will give a live demonstration of cracking the WPA encryption in order to read data being sent from a router to a laptop computer.
Key parameter of this attempt is to break the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) key, used by WPA. This can be achieved in just 15 minutes, the researchers claim. And that's exactly the interesting part of the story. Until now, the TKIP could be cracked using what's known as a dictionary attack. The attacker cracked the encryption by sending massive trial requests to the wireless device in an effort to finally guess the key used to secure th wireless data. But this procedure required increased computational resources and time.