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Apple Patches KRACK Flaws in AirPort Base Station

Apple this week released security updates to the firmware for its AirPort Base Stations to resolve vulnerabilities that make the network routers at risk to Key Reinstallation Attacks (KRACK). 

The KRACK vulnerabilities were discovered earlier this year in the Wi-Fi standard itself. Because of the flaws, all Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol implementations, including correct ones, were rendered vulnerable to a new type of attack. Industrial networking devices were also found to be vulnerable.

Discovered by Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens, the flaws could be exploited by tricking the victim into reinstalling an already-in-use key through manipulating and replaying handshake messages. An attacker within range of a victim could access information previously assumed to be safely encrypted.

Soon after the vulnerabilities became public in mid-October 2017, vendors raced to patch them in their products. Depending on implementation, each product could be impacted by one or more of the 10 issues associated with the KRACK attack.

Apple released the first set of KRACK-related patches on October 31. At the time, the company addressed the issue tracked as CVE-2017-13080 in iOS, tvOS, and watchOS, as well as three bugs (CVE-2017-13077, CVE-2017-13078, and CVE-2017-13080) in macOS High Sierra.

Earlier this month, the company released another set of KRACK-related patches to address CVE-2017-13080 in Apple Watch (1st Generation) and Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV (4th generation), and multiple iOS devices (iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 5s, 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, and iPod touch 6th generation).

The company has now patched the issues in AirPort Base Station Firmware and released two security updates for the wireless routers.

With the release of AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.6.9 on Tuesday, Apple addresses three KRACK vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-13077, CVE-2017-13078, and CVE-2017-13080) in AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule base stations with 802.11n.

AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.7.9, on the other hand, patches the three bugs in AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations with 802.11ac. The update also fixes a fourth bug – CVE-2017-9417 – that could allow an attacker within range to execute arbitrary code on the Wi-Fi chip.

In an alert published on Tuesday, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) “encourages users and administrators to review the Apple security pages for AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.6.9 and Firmware Update 7.7.9 and apply the necessary updates.”

Related: Apple Patches Vulnerabilities in macOS, watchOS, and tvOS

Related: Apple Patches Dangerous KRACK Wi-Fi Vulnerabilities

Related: Dangerous WPA2 Flaw Exposes Wi-Fi Traffic to Snooping

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