Windows Phones susceptible to password theft when connecting to rogue Wi-Fi

Smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system are vulnerable to attacks that can extract the user credentials needed to log in to sensitive corporate networks, the company warned Monday.

The vulnerability resides in a Wi-Fi authentication scheme known as PEAP-MS-CHAPv2, which Windows Phones use to access wireless networks protected by version 2 of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol. Cryptographic weaknesses in the Microsoft-developed technology allow attackers to recover a phone's encrypted domain credentials when it connects to a rogue access point. By exploiting vulnerabilities in the MS-CHAPv2 cryptographic protocol, the adversary could then decrypt the data.

"An attacker-controlled system could pose as a known Wi-Fi access point, causing the victim's device to automatically attempt to authenticate with the access point and in turn allow the attacker to intercept the victim's encrypted domain credentials," the Microsoft advisory warned. "An attacker could then exploit cryptographic weaknesses in the PEAP-MS-CHAPv2 protocol to obtain the victim's domain credentials."

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