Windows Phones Reveal Passwords

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 @ 12:08 PM gHale

There is a security vulnerability in Windows Phones that leaks users’ passwords.

Attackers that set up rogue hotspots can grab encrypted domain credentials, needed to authenticate with corporate systems and access network resources. Microsoft is aware the algorithm encrypting this sensitive data is cryptographically weak, allowing hackers to recover the login details and use them to masquerade as staffers.

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“The attacker could take any action that the user could take on that network resource,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft said IT should send out a special root certificate for Windows Phone 8 and 7.8 devices accessing their networks; that certificate allows the handsets to confirm any corporate wireless access points they’re connecting to are genuine before sending over the sensitive data.

Microsoft said it won’t issue a security update to fix the vulnerability.

The certificate advisory follows the disclosure of a flaw in the Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol with Microsoft Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (version 2) used in Windows Phones for WPA2 authentication.

Explaining how Windows 8 phones can end up protected against the vulnerability, the software giant said the devices “can be configured to validate a network access point to help make sure the network is your company’s network before starting an authentication process. This can occur by validating a certificate that’s on your company’s server. Only after validating the certificate is username and password information sent to the authentication server, so the phone can connect to the Wi-Fi network.”

Click here for instructions on how to distribute the certificate.

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