Apple updates AirPort firmware with KRACK vulnerability fix

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited December 2017
Amid rumors that Apple has ceased development of new Wi-Fi routers, the company on Tuesday pushed out an update for existing AirPort devices that patches a critical "KRACK Attack" vulnerability made public earlier this year.




In a product security email sent out to customers, Apple notes today's latest AirPort firmware versions, 7.7.9 and 7.6.9, address the Key Reinstallation Attack (KRACK) exploit first publicized in October.

According to US-CERT, the KRACK vulnerability opens nearly all consumer devices using the WPA-2 protocol to packet decrypting. Leveraging "several key management vulnerabilities," nefarious agents could conduct a man-in-the-middle assault to glean sensitive information from a target computer, including passwords, financial information and more.

Apple largely dealt with the issue in in October, shortly after KRACK was made public, by patching its major operating systems, iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. The company left AirPort devices without a fix, and did not say when, or if, an update would be made available.

Since both a router and client device need to be susceptible to the vulnerability for an attack to succeed, fixing one or the other solves the problem. Still, patching both ends of a Wi-Fi system is ideal.

Today's AirPort update also addresses a memory corruption issue with 802.11ac base stations that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the device's Wi-Fi chip.

Both firmware versions can be downloaded and installed through Apple's AirPort Utility on iOS or macOS. Version 7.7.9 applies to 802.11ac hardware, while the 7.6.9 version is available for 802.11n devices.

It remains unclear why it took Apple nearly two months to push out an AirPort fix for KRACK, but reports claim the company disbanded its router division last year. Engineers working on AirPort hardware are now working with other teams within Apple, including Apple TV development.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,470member
    Good. I was wondering when/if this would come.
    repressthiswatto_cobraJamesBrickley
  • Reply 2 of 50
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    I never read anywhere else that both sides need to be vulnerable to be susceptible. 
  • Reply 3 of 50
    Now all we need is updated Airport devices in space gray. 
    Scot1watto_cobraRacerhomieX
  • Reply 4 of 50
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,200member
    Thank you Apple! 
    racerhomiehodarwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 50
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,007administrator
    tulkas said:
    I never read anywhere else that both sides need to be vulnerable to be susceptible. 
    That's not what the article says. One or the other. If either is patched, then you're fine.
    bb-15corradokidrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 50
    I hope they continue making routers. The internet is key to the working of Apple products, so the router is key ingredient.
    Scot1racerhomiecaladanianargonauthodarwatto_cobrapscooter63
  • Reply 7 of 50
    tulkas said:
    I never read anywhere else that both sides need to be vulnerable to be susceptible. 
    That's not what the article says. One or the other. If either is patched, then you're fine.
    If either is patched, then you're fine = both sides need to be vulnerable to be susceptible
    repressthisSoliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 50
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,007administrator
    tulkas said:
    I never read anywhere else that both sides need to be vulnerable to be susceptible. 
    That's not what the article says. One or the other. If either is patched, then you're fine.
    If either is patched, then you're fine = both sides need to be vulnerable to be susceptible
    Yeah, mea culpa. Long day, fueled by the iMac Pro.
    king editor the graterepressthisGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 50
    I just updated the firmware on my Airport Extreme and Express. It went smoothly. Thanks, Apple!
    Scot1repressthisracerhomiehodarwatto_cobraRacerhomieX
  • Reply 10 of 50
    Wish they'd included AirPlay 2 support while they were at it ...
    tokyojimuzroger73argonauthodar
  • Reply 11 of 50
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,427member
    Nice! Just updated.
    racerhomie
  • Reply 12 of 50
    Thank you Apple!!!!  That's fantastic. Love all my Airports.
    racerhomiewatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 50
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 307member
    Update done - no prob.  Oh how I wish Apple stayed in the router game :-(  While it’s been rock solid for 6 straight years, its age is starting to show.  Maybe they’ll surprise us and integrate one in their next gen Apple TV or their upcoming HomePod - this tackling another of today’s pressing issues: proliferation of ugly cables and devices on your TV cabinet!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 50
    I still love both of my AirPort Expresses at home. They act as a mesh network & also are good looking. Please Apple don’t stop making routers.
    jeff_cookwatto_cobraRacerhomieX
  • Reply 15 of 50
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,788member
    I still love both of my AirPort Expresses at home. They act as a mesh network & also are good looking. Please Apple don’t stop making routers.
    Mmm. Do Apple routers qualify as a mesh network?

  • Reply 16 of 50
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    Wish they'd included AirPlay 2 support while they were at it …
    How would that work? I know AirPlay works on non-Apple routers so I'm curious what the router needs to be AirPlay 2 compliant.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member

    Rayz2016 said:
    I still love both of my AirPort Expresses at home. They act as a mesh network & also are good looking. Please Apple don’t stop making routers.
    Mmm. Do Apple routers qualify as a mesh network?

    As far as I know you can only extend a network.

    I'd like if Apple came out with a mesh network solution. It seems that people are finally willing to pay a decent amount for quality routers so I'd think there's a market there for Apple to capture.
    gatorguywatto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 18 of 50

    I've had an Apple-only home for years, but I got tired of waiting for them to update their aging Airport devices.  So I sold my soul, and as soon as they became available here in Australia I got a 3-pack of Google wifi pucks, and I haven't looked back...not once.

    Much better wifi throughout my home.  No dead-spots, no spurious drop-outs requiring reboots, and no grumpy wife and kids - just a fast, reliable signal throughout.

    Oh, and Google supplied the KRACK patch within days...

    gatorguyargonauthodarcornchip
  • Reply 19 of 50
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,527member
    I just updated the firmware on my Airport Extreme and Express. It went smoothly. Thanks, Apple!
    Same here on all counts.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    I've never understood Apple leaving the router market.
    I get it that today's routers are probably a difficult market in which to make money.   They're a commodity. 
    But, WiFi and related protocols are also critical to IoT and Apple's interconnectedness -- even the Apple Watch partially relies on it to talk to the iPhone.  And, potential seems to be growing rather than shrinking.

    To me, from a strategic standpoint, it does not sound like a smart move.  Apple doesn't do too many dumb things so I have to believe that there is something to this story that I'm missing.  But, right now, it sounds like it is, at best, not a smart move.
    watto_cobrapropodcornchip
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