Wi-Fi Alliance announces more secure WPA3 protocol, arriving this year

The Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit that promotes Wi-Fi technology and certifies Wi-Fi products, today announced a more secure WPA3 protocol in response to last year’s KRACK exploits.

Anticipated to arrive later this year, the new WPA3 Wi-Fi security protocol will include four new protections aimed at strengthening the security of wireless networks and users:

  • 192-bit encryption
  • Simplified configuration on screen-less devices
  • Individualized data encryption in open networks
  • Robust protections even with weak Wi-Fi passwords

Mathy Vanhoef, who discovered the KRACK vulnerability, speculated that the new WPA3 protocol might even enable wireless encryption without the need for authentication.

The current WPA2 protocol will continue to be used for the foreseeable future and the alliance will continue enhancing WPA2 to ensure it delivers strong security protections to users.

The Wi-Fi Alliance notes that continued development and improvements of the ubiquitous standard will help improve manageability for in-home Wi-Fi networks, expand Wi-Fi hotspot coverage in rural areas and developing markets, develop new power-saving features for IoT devices by leveraging Wi-Fi Aware capability whilst accelerating deployment of the emerging 802.11ax standard, which will start making its way into chipsets this year.

As you know, last year’s widely publicized KRACK vulnerability affected all modern Wi-Fi networks using WPA or WPA2 security encryption, allowing attackers to eavesdrop on traffic between computers and wireless access points.

They’re also actively working on a program that will enable Wi-Fi networks to become more sophisticated, bringing a standards-based approach to managed networks typically associated with stadium, airport or hotel environments that will allow these networks to manage themselves and allow for greater flexibility and choice in the way Wi-Fi networks are deployed.

Cumulative shipments of Wi-Fi devices are expected to hit an ABI Research-estimated 20 billion units this year, with 3 billion new Wi-Fi devices to be shipped in 2018 alone.