Wi-Fi hack leverages Amazon cloud technology

A hack which bypasses WPA Wi-Fi security in a few minutes has been created by a German security expert using the vast resources of Amazon’s cloud computing services in an all-out assault.

Researcher Thomas Roth has developed this hacking technique to try more than 400,000 passwords each second, by harnessing the collective power of the cloud, according to the latest reports from Germany.

By cracking the WPA-PSK encryption which protects a majority of Wi-Fi networking across the globe, observers at Infosecurity Magazine are now stating that it is no longer possible to classify any Wi-Fi interaction as totally secure.

Amazon has been contacted in order to comment on the exploitation of its cloud computing resources but, at the time of writing, it has not released a statement explaining its position.

It is thought that Mr Roth will be using the findings of his experiment in order to make a presentation at the Black Hat conference which is taking place in a few weeks in the US.

Mr Roth is one of the many security experts who uses hacking techniques in order to dispel data security myths and, in this case, identify core weaknesses in current Wi-Fi encryption which can easily allow third parties to hijack secure channels for their own nefarious means.

The cost of using Amazon’s cloud computing resources is the equivalent of 20p every 60 seconds, which means within this period more than 24 million different password combinations can have been tried in a brute force attack on a WPA-protected network.

On Roth’s first attempt it took him 20 minutes to find a password, but with some honing and refinement he dropped this down to a six minute stint. This puts the cost of hacking a typical Wi-Fi network at around 1.20, a dangerously low number for anyone who is attempting to protect their organisation from the meddling of external forces.

This issue is sure to have ripples across the world and should highlight how difficult Wi-Fi security can be to control.

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