Researchers discover vulnerability affecting Wi-Fi security

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FILE - In this, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, file photo illustration, a person types on a laptop, in Miami. Security researchers have discovered a Wi-Fi network vulnerability that could allow attackers to steal sensitive information or inject malicious code whi

FILE - In this, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, file photo illustration, a person types on a laptop, in Miami. Security researchers have discovered a Wi-Fi network vulnerability that could allow attackers to steal sensitive information or inject malicious code whi (Photo: Wilfredo Lee)

Security researchers have discovered a Wi-Fi network vulnerability that could allow attackers to steal sensitive information or spread malicious software while someone is logged into a computer or mobile device.

A report published Monday said the breach could only happen if an attacker is within range of the potential victim, but the weakness could affect anyone using a Wi-Fi network, whether at home, the office or at a public coffee shop.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group, says there's no evidence that the vulnerability discovered by researcher Mathy Vanhoef has been exploited maliciously. It affects WPA2, a protocol used to secure Wi-Fi networks.

The group says the problem can be resolved through straightforward software updates. Major platform providers have already started deploying patches.

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