Story image

Windows 10 Wi-Fi Sense a 'major security flaw', says Xirrus

03 Aug 2015

Experts are weighing in regarding the potential security flaw Wi-Fi Sense, a feature in Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system that was officially released last week. 

As reported by Techday, the Wi-Fi feature enables users to share their Wi-Fi networks with their Outlook, Skype and Facebook contacts using Windows 10 without the need of a password.

Concerns were raised the feature may allow people to hack into other devices connected to the shared network, although Microsoft says this is easily remedied by turning off the ‘network discover’ feature on the network.

However, according to global Wi-Fi company Xirrus, Wi-Fi Sense is a massive security issue and potential deal-breaker for IT departments. 

“Enabling Wi-Fi access to a user’s contact book is a major security flaw,” says Shane Buckley, CEO at Xirrus. 

“Many of us keep contact information of our competitors, former employees and customers in our books. These among many other constituents should not have automatic access to our Wi-Fi networks,” he says.

Buckley says it is vital companies seek clarification on the operation and control of the feature from Microsoft before rolling out the operating system.

Buckley says Wi-Fi is rapidly becoming the de-facto access layer for the internet. ”Customers generally dislike using captive portal systems as a method of authenticated access to networks,” he says.

“Wi-Fi vendors like Xirrus need to eliminate the captive portal and essentially on-board the network onto the device and not the other way around.” 

He adds, “Doing this negates the need to share security keys for sensitive network access.”

Microsoft says a network’s password is stored on a Microsoft server, and is encrypted. Networks are only shared with contacts who use Wi-Fi Sense on their Windows Phone. Wi-Fi Sense doesn't work for people who use a smartphone that's running on a different operating system – so iOS and Android users won’t be to access networks shared via Wi-Fi Sense.

Protecting data centres from fire – your options
Chubb's Pierre Thorne discusses the countless potential implications of a data centre outage, and how to avoid them.
Opinion: How SD-WAN changes the game for 5G networks
5G/SD-WAN mobile edge computing and network slicing will enable and drive innovative NFV services, according to Kelly Ahuja, CEO, Versa Networks
TYAN unveils new inference-optimised GPU platforms with NVIDIA T4 accelerators
“TYAN servers with NVIDIA T4 GPUs are designed to excel at all accelerated workloads, including machine learning, deep learning, and virtual desktops.”
AMD delivers data center grunt for Google's new game streaming platform
'By combining our gaming DNA and data center technology leadership with a long-standing commitment to open platforms, AMD provides unique technologies and expertise to enable world-class cloud gaming experiences."
Inspur announces AI edge computing server with NVIDIA GPUs
“The dynamic nature and rapid expansion of AI workloads require an adaptive and optimised set of hardware, software and services for developers to utilise as they build their own solutions."
Norwegian aluminium manufacturer hit hard by LockerGoga ransomware attack
“IT systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible.”
HPE launches 'right mix' hybrid cloud assessment tool
HPE has launched an ‘industry-first assessment software’ to help businesses work out the right mix of hybrid cloud for their needs.
ADLINK and Charles announce multi-access pole-mounted edge AI solution
The new solution is a compact low profile pole or wall mountable unit based on an integration of ADLINK’s latest AI Edge Server MECS-7210 and Charles’ SC102 Micro Edge Enclosure.