Wireless - WPA3

Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3) is the latest security standard for wireless network encryption, succeeding WPA2. Introduced by the Wi-Fi Alliance, it aims to provide more robust authentication and increased cryptographic strength for Wi-Fi networks. Here are some key features and improvements of WPA3:

  1. Enhanced Encryption: WPA3 uses a 192-bit security suite aligned with the Commercial National Security Algorithm (CNSA) Suite to provide stronger protection for sensitive data. This is especially important for networks handling sensitive, classified, or high-security information. It also supports AES and GCMP.

  2. Improved Authentication Process: WPA3 introduces Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE), a new method for establishing a secure initial key exchange. This replaces the Pre-Shared Key (PSK) in WPA2-Personal, making it harder for attackers to crack passwords through brute force attacks.

  3. Forward Secrecy: In case an attacker captures encrypted Wi-Fi traffic and eventually cracks the network password, WPA3's forward secrecy ensures that they cannot use the password to decrypt previously captured traffic.

  4. Protection Against Offline Dictionary Attacks: The new handshake process in WPA3 prevents attackers from pre-capturing data and using it to guess passwords offline. Each password attempt requires real-time interaction with the network, significantly increasing the difficulty of attacks.

  5. Easy Connect Feature: For devices without a display or limited interface (like smart home devices), WPA3 includes a feature called Wi-Fi Easy Connect. This allows users to securely add devices to a network using another device (like a smartphone) with a more robust interface.

  6. Public Network Safety: WPA3 offers enhanced features for public or open networks through individualized data encryption. This means that even on a network without a password, the data transmitted between your device and the Wi-Fi access point is encrypted and better protected.

  7. Wi-Fi Enhanced Open: This is an optional feature in WPA3 for open networks, providing Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE) which gives some level of encryption on open networks without authentication.

  8. Transition Mode: To aid in the transition from WPA2 to WPA3, a transition mode allows devices supporting both standards to operate on the same network.

WPA3 significantly improves Wi-Fi security, but it requires compatible hardware. Both the Wi-Fi access point and the connecting devices need to support WPA3 for these features to be fully utilized. The adoption of WPA3 is expected to increase over time as older devices are phased out and new devices come with WPA3 support by default.