WPA3 – Definition, Main Forms, Advantages, and Disadvantages [MiniTool Wiki]
What Is WPA3?
WPA3, also known as Wi-Fi Protected Access 3, is the third iteration of the security certification program developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance. WPA3 is the latest updated implementation of WPA2 and has been in use since 2004. Wi-Fi Alliance Begins Certifying WPA3-Approved Products in 2018.
WPA3 encryption is designed to be better than previous iterations of WiFi technology. First, just like browsers Google Chrome and Firefox's move to warn or block users from connecting to unsecured web servers altogether, WPA3 security abandons older encryption mechanisms in favor of mechanisms that have not yet been broken.
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Main Forms of WPA3
WPA3 comes in several main flavors to meet the needs of different classes of WiFi users. Knowing the differences between them can help you get the most out of their security features.
Home users should use the WPA3 Personal form, which relies on password-based authentication. This form factor provides a familiar user experience but offers a higher level of protection against brute force attacks thanks to Simultaneous Authentication of Equivalence (SAE).
WPA3 SAE replaces the pre-shared key (PSK) authentication method used in previous versions of WPA to generate keys that are completely unique for each authentication.
As a result, attackers lose the ability to perform oversized attacks on captured packets to break through target network defenses. What's more, members of the same network cannot snoop on other members' traffic.
WPA3-Enterprise extends the solid foundation provided by WPA2-Enterprise by mandating the use of the Protected Management Frame (PMF) on all connections. This security feature prevents dangerous attacks such as honeypots and eavesdropping.
To better protect the most sensitive data, WPA3 Enterprise can optionally run in a special 192-bit mode. This mode is not required to achieve a satisfactory level of security, but we encourage all enterprises to utilize it to enjoy the best protection available.
WiFi Enhanced Open
Unencrypted public WiFi networks are a huge threat, and many WiFi users don't even realize how dangerous they are. WiFi Enhanced Open solves this problem by providing unauthenticated data encryption based on Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE).
Unauthenticated data encryption preserves the convenience of public WiFi networks, and since there's no passphrase involved, there's no reason not to enable it.
Advantages of WPA3
The Wi-Fi Alliance Program supports and updates WPA2. But the new rules bring many benefits, including:
- Safe - In the old WPA protocol, the device and router were connected via a pre-shared key. Unfortunately, this method of authentication is relatively easy for hackers to crack through brute force attacks. In WPA3 encryption, devices use so-called Synchronous Authentication of Peers (SAE). It's much harder to eavesdrop on passwords, which can make devices more secure.
- Enhanced encryption - The WPA3 protocol requires GCMP-256 encryption instead of the 128-bit encryption used in previous versions. Using this method, it is very difficult for one user to snoop on other people's traffic.
- Stronger protection - Users can conduct an offline password guess. Brute force attack with hundreds of attempts by hackers is impossible.
Disadvantages of WPA3
The following are the disadvantages of WPA3:
- Ongoing security risk - Shortly after WPA3 was released, researchers discovered a vulnerability that exposed network passwords. There may be more coding issues lurking in the new protocol.
- Poor support - Even if you purchase a WPA3 router, you may not be able to connect unless your device also supports these protocols. Older computers and smartphones probably won't.
- Increase cost - Companies may balk at bills associated with new system-wide routers.