PRA Parents, Staff and Students,
PRA normally stays away from tech support for your home network and personal Internet accessible devices, but we feel the need to make you aware of the KRACK vulnerability. A wifi hack potential was released in mid-October that let the world know about a weakness in wifi password security that needs your immediate attention.
There are countless web articles that talk about the specifics, but for the purposes of protecting your home, work and public wifi it is important that you update all devices with wireless capability. This includes your router, computers, tablets, phones, TVs, securtity systems, cars, etc. Most electronics vendors have made patches available, however, you may have older (aka legacy) devices that will not have a patch. You will want to decide if it is worth the risk of exposing your network to vulnerability or better to take those older devices offline.
You will likely run into language that does not make sense when reading the copious amounts of Internet information on this topic. The words that we feel are relevant are firmware, operating system and security patch. Your devices like routers, TVs, security cameras, etc. use firmware as their operating systems. Computers, tablets and phones use operating systems that may or may not be supported by vendors anymore. So a new version may be required before you can patch. Security patches are published by vendors and can be applied without upgrading the operating system. You may still have some Windows XP or Vista computers and need to know that these operating systems will not be patched. Your best bet is to upgrade, but if that is not in the cards at the moment then turn off all wireless cards indefinitely. This goes for older Mac OS versions as well as iPads, iPhones and Android devices that are no longer supported by the manufacturers.
We have updated the firmware and operating systems on all our access points and devices so have secured the network and equipment at PRA. Unfortunately, we can not help support our families networks and devices, but hope this notice alerts you to the significance of the KRACK vulnerability. Please look on the Internet for lists of vendors that have provided patches and contact your vendors for directions to update. In many cases your Internet service provider (ISP) has already pushed a patch. You will likely need to power cycle (unplug and replug) the modem to get the patch to apply.
Director of Innovation and Student Leadership