Important security message to all F4RN subscribers

In the last few days there have been a number of press articles relating to the ‘hacking/cracking’ of the WPA2 protocol.

WPA2 is the encryption used in the majority of WiFi connections so this hack affects every wireless network and hotspot – from large companies, public access points and hotels, down to the wireless network that you have at home – so it affects nearly every internet user around the world.

Although the encryption has been hacked, it is important to keep the problem in perspective and also to be aware that F4RN are taking the issue seriously and that we will be taking action over the next few days to ensure that the our equipment is protected.

Sorry to be too technical but there are some important issues here:

  • although the security of this protocol is vulnerable, your browsing is STILL secure if you use https on sites for shopping and banking as these use end-to-end security that is unaffected. Look for the little ‘key’ on the browser.
  • in this case it is the ‘protocol’ that is vulnerable and as such any equipment built by any manufacturer will be vulnerable, if you are using any WiFi equipment by any other manufacturer then please update it as appropriate.

Does this affect F4RN?

Yes, we still have customers that have internet delivered by WiFi, it  also affects the WiFi in your home, in addition there are some key infrastructure links in the F4RN network that uses this protocol.

What is F4RN doing about this? 

F4RN will be updating all of our main WiFi equipment over the next few days, this will also include your WiFi router in your home. If you have any additional WiFi equipment you may have had installed by F4RN (such as UniFi WiFi) this will need to be updated separately.

What does this mean?

During the upgrades there will be a short service disruption (usually not more than 2-3 minutes) but due to the configuration of our network you may suffer more than one of these interruptions during the process. We are hoping to minimise disruption by performing the upgrades overnight.

What else should I know?

All of your WiFi equipment will be affected and as such you should ensure that your perform the appropriate security patches for that equipment.  If you have any WiFI equipment (routers / access points) that were not supplied by F4RN you will need to look after the security fix.  There is a lot of information now being published on the internet on how to fix the problem – search online for “KRACK patch for WiFi” where xxx is the manufacturer of the device you need to upgrade.

You should always make sure that all your computers and other IT equipment (including printers, smart plugs, smart thermostats, etc) are running the latest firmware.  According to our research, Microsoft have already released a fix for Windows 10 PC’s so if you have a Windows PC that is set to automatically carry out system updates then you should already be protected.  Apple have announced that the latest version of iOS is secure and Linux has also been updated to deal with the problems.  Google will be releasing a fix in the November 6 security update.

Kind regards

The F4RN team