WiFi's doomsday

Monday's technology news cycles were dominated by only one story: researchers have finally figured out a way to hijack WPA2. If you don't know what WPA2 is, it's basically the "best" and most popular security encryption standard out there for wireless connections (you're probably using it right now).

The research, which details a method in which a malicious attacker is able to trick your devices into leaking data, was published yesterday for the first time and affects almost every modern WiFi device on the planet. 

Some devices are worse affected than others. Android devices, from 6.0 and up, are explicitly named as having the easiest attack vector while iOS and Windows are harder to perform against. 

What's important, however, is not to panic or use any hyperbole here. Yes, the compromise is terrible and will make me second guess every single connection I'm using but exploiting it is complicated and unreliable... and the attacker needs to be physically near your network.

For a detailed explanation about how the attack works and what took so long to detect it, this post sums it up well. There is also a silver lining: the scripts to execute the attack have not been released (yet) so nobody knows the exact method to perform it at this point.

That said it's crucial to patch everything you own as soon as possible and to check you're using basic security practices. That means you'll need to check for patches for your phone, computer and tablet as well as your router, making this perhaps the most annoying exploit in recent memory.

And there's the rub: it's easy to update iOS devices and your computer but old Android devices are a nightmare that's going to live on for a long time because vendors tend to be extremely slack updating their devices. 

It's important to point out that Google has a patch already, however, as part of the company's relatively new Android security update program. The bad news is it isn't supported by every vendor, even if the long-term security of those Android handsets is improving dramatically.

The same goes for the Internet of Things. Will my light bulbs ever get an update? I doubt it. 

If you're looking for a list of device makers that have patched their software already I've got a running list right here. Happy patch Tuesday!

Other news

Facebook buys anonymous teen compliment app 'tbh'
Hunting for the next Instagram, Facebook has acquired a popular app called 'tbh' that has more than 5 million downloads and frequently shows up in the iOS top charts. If anything it seems like an interesting defensive play to avoid accidentally ending up being unable to acquire it later, like that one time with Snapchat.

Netflix is growing faster than expected
It's earnings season and Netflix gained 5.3 million new subscribers this last quarter beating estimates and pulling in more money than expected. The most interesting part from its report this quarter is that it claims traditional TV studios are beginning to understand why the service matters. Oh, and it's planning to make 80 movies in the next year.