Robert McMillan from IDG News Service reports that two Japanese scientist from the Hiroshima and Kobe Universities found a way to crack the WPA encryption system in wireless routers, and it takes them just about a minute to do it.
For years now the WEP system has been considered completely insecure. WPA with TKIP was the solution that was used instead while waiting for the development of a more secure solution. WPA 2 has been supported on Wi-Fi-certified devices and products since 2006, and this has to be a wake-up call for all to use it.
It started last November, when two German researches managed to break the WPA encryption on a small range of devices – and they didn’t use a dictionary attack (long known to be a way to crack WPA encryption, but requires huge amounts of computers to do it). According to McMillan, they tricked a router and it sent lots of data their way. Combined with mathematical algorithms, it took them from 12 to 15 minutes to crack the system.
The Japanese scientists took the previous attack, applied it to the MITM (Man In The Middle) attack, then used different strategies and methods to reduce the time it takes to successfully break the encryption. For technical details, you can read their paper.