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We discovered serious weaknesses in WPA2, a protocol that secures all modern protected Wi-Fi networks. An attacker within range of a victim can exploit these weaknesses using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs). Concretely, attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted. This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and so on. The attack works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks. Depending on the network configuration, it is also possible to inject and manipulate data. For example, an attacker might be able to inject ransomware or other malware into websites.

The weaknesses are in the Wi-Fi standard itself, and not in individual products or implementations. Therefore, any correct implementation of WPA2 is likely affected. To prevent the attack, users must update affected products as soon as security updates become available. Note that if your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected. During our initial research, we discovered ourselves that Android, Linux, Apple, Windows, OpenBSD, MediaTek, Linksys, and others, are all affected by some variant of the attacks. For more information about specific products, consult the database of CERT/CC, or contact your vendor.

The research behind the attack will be presented at the Computer and Communications Security (CCS) conference, and at the Black Hat Europe conference. Our detailed research paper can already be downloaded.

Update October 2018: we have a follow-up paper where we generalize attacks, analyze more handshakes, bypass Wi-Fi's official defense, audit patches, and enhance attacks using implementation-specific bugs.


As a proof-of-concept we executed a key reinstallation attack against an Android smartphone. In this demonstration, the attacker is able to decrypt all data that the victim transmits. For an attacker this is easy to accomplish, because our key reinstallation attack is exceptionally devastating against Linux and Android 6.0 or higher. This is because Android and Linux can be tricked into (re)installing an all-zero encryption key (see below for more info). When attacking other devices, it is harder to decrypt all packets, although a large number of packets can nevertheless be decrypted. In any case, the following demonstration highlights the type of information that an attacker can obtain when performing key reinstallation attacks against protected Wi-Fi networks:

Our attack is not limited to recovering login credentials (i.e. e-mail addresses and passwords). In general, any data or information that the victim transmits can be decrypted. Additionally, depending on the device being used and the network setup, it is also possible to decrypt data sent towards the victim (e.g. the content of a website). Although websites or apps may use HTTPS as an additional layer of protection, we warn that this extra protection can (still) be bypassed in a worrying number of situations. For example, HTTPS was previously bypassed in non-browser software, in Apple's iOS and OS X, in Android apps, in Android apps again, in banking apps, and even in VPN apps.


Our main attack is against the 4-way handshake of the WPA2 protocol. This handshake is executed when a client wants to join a protected Wi-Fi network, and is used to confirm that both the client and access point possess the correct credentials (e.g. the pre-shared password of the network). At the same time, the 4-way handshake also negotiates a fresh encryption key that will be used to encrypt all subsequent traffic. Currently, all modern protected Wi-Fi networks use the 4-way handshake. This implies all these networks are affected by (some variant of) our attack. For instance, the attack works against personal and enterprise Wi-Fi networks, against the older WPA and the latest WPA2 standard, and even against networks that only use AES. All our attacks against WPA2 use a novel technique called a key reinstallation attack (KRACK):

Key reinstallation attacks: high level description

In a key reinstallation attack, the adversary tricks a victim into reinstalling an already-in-use key. This is achieved by manipulating and replaying cryptographic handshake messages. When the victim reinstalls the key, associated parameters such as the incremental transmit packet number (i.e. nonce) and receive packet number (i.e. replay counter) are reset to their initial value. Essentially, to guarantee security, a key should only be installed and used once. Unfortunately, we found this is not guaranteed by the WPA2 protocol. By manipulating cryptographic handshakes, we can abuse this weakness in practice.

Key reinstallation attacks: concrete example against the 4-way handshake

As described in the introduction of the research paper, the idea behind a key reinstallation attack can be summarized as follows. When a client joins a network, it executes the 4-way handshake to negotiate a fresh encryption key. It will install this key after receiving message 3 of the 4-way handshake. Once the key is installed, it will be used to encrypt normal data frames using an encryption protocol. However, because messages may be lost or dropped, the Access Point (AP) will retransmit message 3 if it did not receive an appropriate response as acknowledgment. As a result, the client may receive message 3 multiple times. Each time it receives this message, it will reinstall the same encryption key, and thereby reset the incremental transmit packet number (nonce) and receive replay counter used by the encryption protocol. We show that an attacker can force these nonce resets by collecting and replaying retransmissions of message 3 of the 4-way handshake. By forcing nonce reuse in this manner, the encryption protocol can be attacked, e.g., packets can be replayed, decrypted, and/or forged. The same technique can also be used to attack the group key, PeerKey, TDLS, and fast BSS transition handshake.

Practical impact

In our opinion, the most widespread and practically impactful attack is the key reinstallation attack against the 4-way handshake. We base this judgement on two observations. First, during our own research we found that most clients were affected by it. Second, adversaries can use this attack to decrypt packets sent by clients, allowing them to intercept sensitive information such as passwords or cookies. Decryption of packets is possible because a key reinstallation attack causes the transmit nonces (sometimes also called packet numbers or initialization vectors) to be reset to their initial value. As a result, the same encryption key is used with nonce values that have already been used in the past. In turn, this causes all encryption protocols of WPA2 to reuse keystream when encrypting packets. In case a message that reuses keystream has known content, it becomes trivial to derive the used keystream. This keystream can then be used to decrypt messages with the same nonce. When there is no known content, it is harder to decrypt packets, although still possible in several cases (e.g. English text can still be decrypted). In practice, finding packets with known content is not a problem, so it should be assumed that any packet can be decrypted.

The ability to decrypt packets can be used to decrypt TCP SYN packets. This allows an adversary to obtain the TCP sequence numbers of a connection, and hijack TCP connections. As a result, even though WPA2 is used, the adversary can now perform one of the most common attacks against open Wi-Fi networks: injecting malicious data into unencrypted HTTP connections. For example, an attacker can abuse this to inject ransomware or malware into websites that the victim is visiting.

If the victim uses either the WPA-TKIP or GCMP encryption protocol, instead of AES-CCMP, the impact is especially catastrophic. Against these encryption protocols, nonce reuse enables an adversary to not only decrypt, but also to forge and inject packets. Moreover, because GCMP uses the same authentication key in both communication directions, and this key can be recovered if nonces are reused, it is especially affected. Note that support for GCMP is currently being rolled out under the name Wireless Gigabit (WiGig), and is expected to be adopted at a high rate over the next few years.

The direction in which packets can be decrypted (and possibly forged) depends on the handshake being attacked. Simplified, when attacking the 4-way handshake, we can decrypt (and forge) packets sent by the client. When attacking the Fast BSS Transition (FT) handshake, we can decrypt (and forge) packets sent towards the client. Finally, most of our attacks also allow the replay of unicast, broadcast, and multicast frames. For further details, see Section 6 of our research paper.

Note that our attacks do not recover the password of the Wi-Fi network. They also do not recover (any parts of) the fresh encryption key that is negotiated during the 4-way handshake.

Android and Linux

Our attack is especially catastrophic against version 2.4 and above of wpa_supplicant, a Wi-Fi client commonly used on Linux. Here, the client will install an all-zero encryption key instead of reinstalling the real key. This vulnerability appears to be caused by a remark in the Wi-Fi standard that suggests to clear the encryption key from memory once it has been installed for the first time. When the client now receives a retransmitted message 3 of the 4-way handshake, it will reinstall the now-cleared encryption key, effectively installing an all-zero key. Because Android uses wpa_supplicant, Android 6.0 and above also contains this vulnerability. This makes it trivial to intercept and manipulate traffic sent by these Linux and Android devices. Note that currently 50% of Android devices are vulnerable to this exceptionally devastating variant of our attack.

Assigned CVE identifiers

The following Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) identifiers were assigned to track which products are affected by specific instantiations of our key reinstallation attack:

  • CVE-2017-13077: Reinstallation of the pairwise encryption key (PTK-TK) in the 4-way handshake.
  • CVE-2017-13078: Reinstallation of the group key (GTK) in the 4-way handshake.
  • CVE-2017-13079: Reinstallation of the integrity group key (IGTK) in the 4-way handshake.
  • CVE-2017-13080: Reinstallation of the group key (GTK) in the group key handshake.
  • CVE-2017-13081: Reinstallation of the integrity group key (IGTK) in the group key handshake.
  • CVE-2017-13082: Accepting a retransmitted Fast BSS Transition (FT) Reassociation Request and reinstalling the pairwise encryption key (PTK-TK) while processing it.
  • CVE-2017-13084: Reinstallation of the STK key in the PeerKey handshake.
  • CVE-2017-13086: reinstallation of the Tunneled Direct-Link Setup (TDLS) PeerKey (TPK) key in the TDLS handshake.
  • CVE-2017-13087: reinstallation of the group key (GTK) when processing a Wireless Network Management (WNM) Sleep Mode Response frame.
  • CVE-2017-13088: reinstallation of the integrity group key (IGTK) when processing a Wireless Network Management (WNM) Sleep Mode Response frame.

Note that each CVE identifier represents a specific instantiation of a key reinstallation attack. This means each CVE ID describes a specific protocol vulnerability, and therefore many vendors are affected by each individual CVE ID. You can also read vulnerability note VU#228519 of CERT/CC for additional details on which products are known to be affected.


Our research paper behind the attack is titled Key Reinstallation Attacks: Forcing Nonce Reuse in WPA2 and will be presented at the Computer and Communications Security (CCS) conference on Wednesday 1 November 2017.

Although this paper is made public now, it was already submitted for review on 19 May 2017. After this, only minor changes were made. As a result, the findings in the paper are already several months old. In the meantime, we have found easier techniques to carry out our key reinstallation attack against the 4-way handshake. With our novel attack technique, it is now trivial to exploit implementations that only accept encrypted retransmissions of message 3 of the 4-way handshake. In particular this means that attacking macOS and OpenBSD is significantly easier than discussed in the paper.

We would like to highlight the following addendums and errata:

Addendum: wpa_supplicant v2.6 and Android 6.0+

Linux's wpa_supplicant v2.6 is also vulnerable to the installation of an all-zero encryption key in the 4-way handshake. This was discovered by John A. Van Boxtel. As a result, all Android versions higher than 6.0 are also affected by the attack, and hence can be tricked into installing an all-zero encryption key. The new attack works by injecting a forged message 1, with the same ANonce as used in the original message 1, before forwarding the retransmitted message 3 to the victim.

Addendum: other vulnerable handshakes

After our initial research as reported in the paper, we discovered that the TDLS handshake and WNM Sleep Mode Response frame are also vulnerable to key reinstallation attacks.

Selected errata

  • In Figure 9 at stage 3 of the attack, the frame transmitted from the adversary to the authenticator should say "ReassoReq(ANonce, SNonce, MIC)" instead of "ReassoResp(..)".
  • Section 3.1: figure 3 contains a simplified description of the state machine (not figure 2).
  • Section 4.2: "It is essential that the broadcast frame we replay is sent after (not before) the retransmission of group message 1". A similar change should be made in Section 4.3: "Again it is essential that the broadcast frame we want to replay is sent after (not before) the retransmission of group message 1".

Citation example and bibtex entry

Please cite our research paper and not this website (or cite both). You can use the following example citation or bibtex entry:

Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens. 2017. Key Reinstallation Attacks: Forcing Nonce Reuse in WPA2. In Proceedings of the 24th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS). ACM.

@inproceedings{vanhoef-ccs2017, author = {Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens}, title = {Key Reinstallation Attacks: Forcing Nonce Reuse in {WPA2}}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the 24th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS)}, year = {2017}, publisher = {ACM} }


We have made scripts to detect whether an implementation of the 4-way handshake, group key handshake, or Fast BSS Transition (FT) handshake is vulnerable to key reinstallation attacks. These scripts are available on github, and contain detailed instructions on how to use them.

We also made a proof-of-concept script that exploits the all-zero key (re)installation present in certain Android and Linux devices. This script is the one that we used in the demonstration video. It will be released once everyone has had a reasonable chance to update their devices (and we have had a chance to prepare the code repository for release). We remark that the reliability of our proof-of-concept script may depend on how close the victim is to the real network. If the victim is very close to the real network, the script may fail because the victim will always directly communicate with the real network, even if the victim is (forced) onto a different Wi-Fi channel than this network.


Is there a higher resolution version of the logo?

Yes there is. And a big thank you goes to Darlee Urbiztondo for conceptualizing and designing the logo!

Do we now need WPA3?

No, luckily implementations can be patched in a backwards-compatible manner. This means a patched client can still communicate with an unpatched access point (AP), and vice versa. In other words, a patched client or access point sends exactly the same handshake messages as before, and at exactly the same moment in time. However, the security updates will assure a key is only installed once, preventing our attack. So again, update all your devices once security updates are available. Finally, although an unpatched client can still connect to a patched AP, and vice versa, both the client and AP must be patched to defend against all attacks!

Should I change my Wi-Fi password?

Changing the password of your Wi-Fi network does not prevent (or mitigate) the attack. So you do not have to update the password of your Wi-Fi network. Instead, you should make sure all your devices are updated, and you should also update the firmware of your router. Nevertheless, after updating both your client devices and your router, it's never a bad idea to change the Wi-Fi password.

I'm using WPA2 with only AES. That's also vulnerable?

Yes, that network configuration is also vulnerable. The attack works against both WPA1 and WPA2, against personal and enterprise networks, and against any cipher suite being used (WPA-TKIP, AES-CCMP, and GCMP). So everyone should update their devices to prevent the attack!

You use the word "we" in this website. Who is we?

I use the word "we" because that's what I'm used to writing in papers. In practice, all the work is done by me, with me being Mathy Vanhoef. My awesome supervisor is added under an honorary authorship to the research paper for his excellent general guidance. But all the real work was done on my own. So the author list of academic papers does not represent division of work :)

Is my device vulnerable?

Probably. Any device that uses Wi-Fi is likely vulnerable. Contact your vendor for more information, or consult this community maintained list on GitHub.

What if there are no security updates for my router or access point? Or if it does not support 802.11r?

Routers or access points (APs) are only vulnerable to our attack if they support the Fast BSS Transition (FT) handshake, or if they support client (repeater) functionality. First, the FT handshake is part of 802.11r, and is mainly supported by enterprise networks, and not by home routers or APs. Additionally, most home routers or APs do not support (or will not use) client functionality. In other words, your home router or AP likely does not require security updates. Instead, it are mainly enterprise networks that will have to update their network infrastructure (i.e. their routers and access points).

That said, some vendors discovered implementation-specific security issues while investigating our attack. For example, it was discovered that hostapd reuses the ANonce value in the 4-way handshake during rekeys. Concretely this means that, even if your router or AP does not support 802.11r, and even if it does not support client functionality, it might still have to be updated. Contact your vendor for more details.

Finally, we remark that you can try to mitigate attacks against routers and APs by disabling client functionality (which is for example used in repeater modes) and disabling 802.11r (fast roaming). Additionally, update all your other client devices such as laptops and smartphones. If one or more of your client devices is not receiving updates, you can also try to contact your router's vendor and ask if they have an update that prevents attacks against connected devices.

Is it sufficient to patch only the access point? Or to patch only clients?

Currently, all vulnerable devices should be patched. In other words, patching the AP will not prevent attacks against vulnerable clients. Similarly, patching all clients will not prevent attacks against vulnerable access points. Note that only access points that support the Fast BSS Transition handshake (802.11r) can be vulnerable.

That said, it is possible to modify the access point such that vulnerable clients (when connected to this AP) cannot be attacked. However, these modifications are different from the normal security patches that are being released for vulnerable access points! So unless your access point vendor explicitly mentions that their patches prevent attacks against clients, you must also patch clients.

Can we modify an access point to prevent attacks against the client?

It's possible to modify the access point (router) such that connected clients are not vulnerable to attacks against the 4-way handshake and group key handshake. Note that we consider these two attacks the most serious and widespread security issues we discovered. However, these modifications only prevent attacks when a vulnerable client is connected to such a modified access point. When a vulnerable client connects to a different access point, it can still be attacked.

Technically, this is accomplished by modifying the access point such that it does not retransmit message 3 of the 4-way handshake. Additionally, the access point is modified to not retransmit message 1 of the group key handshake. The hostapd project has such a modification available. They are currently evaluating to which extend this impacts the reliability of these handshakes. We remark that the client-side attacks against the 4-way handshake and group key handshake can also be prevented by retransmitting the above handshake messages using the same (previous) EAPOL-Key replay counter. The attack against the group key handshake can also be prevented by letting the access point install the group key in a delayed fashion, and by assuring the access point only accepts the latest replay counter (see section 4.3 of the paper for details).

On some products, variants or generalizations of the above mitigations can be enabled without having to update products. For example, on some access points retransmissions of all handshake messages can be disabled, preventing client-side attacks against the 4-way and group key handshake (see for example Cisco).

How did you discover these vulnerabilities?

When working on the final (i.e. camera-ready) version of another paper, I was double-checking some claims we made regarding OpenBSD's implementation of the 4-way handshake. In a sense I was slacking off, because I was supposed to be just finishing the paper, instead of staring at code. But there I was, inspecting some code I already read a hundred times, to avoid having to work on the next paragraph. It was at that time that a particular call to ic_set_key caught my attention. This function is called when processing message 3 of the 4-way handshake, and it installs the pairwise key to the driver. While staring at that line of code I thought “Ha. I wonder what happens if that function is called twice”. At the time I (correctly) guessed that calling it twice might reset the nonces associated to the key. And since message 3 can be retransmitted by the Access Point, in practice it might indeed be called twice. “Better make a note of that. Other vendors might also call such a function twice. But let's first finish this paper...”. A few weeks later, after finishing the paper and completing some other work, I investigated this new idea in more detail. And the rest is history.

The 4-way handshake was mathematically proven as secure. How is your attack possible?

The brief answer is that the formal proof does not assure a key is installed only once. Instead, it merely assures the negotiated key remains secret, and that handshake messages cannot be forged.

The longer answer is mentioned in the introduction of our research paper: our attacks do not violate the security properties proven in formal analysis of the 4-way handshake. In particular, these proofs state that the negotiated encryption key remains private, and that the identity of both the client and Access Point (AP) is confirmed. Our attacks do not leak the encryption key. Additionally, although normal data frames can be forged if TKIP or GCMP is used, an attacker cannot forge handshake messages and hence cannot impersonate the client or AP during handshakes. Therefore, the properties that were proven in formal analysis of the 4-way handshake remain true. However, the problem is that the proofs do not model key installation. Put differently, the formal models did not define when a negotiated key should be installed. In practice, this means the same key can be installed multiple times, thereby resetting nonces and replay counters used by the encryption protocol (e.g. by WPA-TKIP or AES-CCMP).

Some attacks in the paper seem hard

We have follow-up work making our attacks (against macOS and OpenBSD for example) significantly more general and easier to execute. So although we agree that some of the attack scenarios in the paper are rather impractical, do not let this fool you into believing key reinstallation attacks cannot be abused in practice.

If an attacker can do a man-in-the-middle attack, why can't they just decrypt all the data?

As mentioned in the demonstration, the attacker first obtains a man-in-the-middle (MitM) position between the victim and the real Wi-Fi network (called a channel-based MitM position). However, this MitM position does not enable the attacker to decrypt packets! This position only allows the attacker to reliably delay, block, or replay encrypted packets. So at this point in the attack, they cannot yet decrypt packets. Instead, the ability to reliably delay and block packets is used to execute a key reinstallation attack. After performing a key reinstallation attack, packets can be decrypted.

Does an attacker to have be near your network in order to attack it?

An adversary has to be within range of both the client being attacked (meaning the smartphone or laptop) and the network itself. This means an adversary on the other side of the world cannot attack you remotely. However, the attacker can still be relatively far way. That's because special antenna can be used to carry out the attack from two miles to up to eight miles in ideal conditions. Additionally, the attacker is not competing with the signal strength of the real Wi-Fi network, but instead uses so-called Channel Switch Announcements to manipulate and attack the client. As a result, it is possible to successfully carry out attacks even when far away from the victim.

Are people exploiting this in the wild?

We are not in a position to determine if this vulnerability has been (or is being) actively exploited in the wild. That said, key reinstallations can actually occur spontaneously without an adversary being present! This may for example happen if the last message of a handshake is lost due to background noise, causing a retransmission of the previous message. When processing this retransmitted message, keys may be reinstalled, resulting in nonce reuse just like in a real attack.

Should I temporarily use WEP until my devices are patched?

NO! Keep using WPA2.

Will the Wi-Fi standard be updated to address this?

There seems to be an agreement that the Wi-Fi standard should be updated to explicitly prevent our attacks. These updates likely will be backwards-compatible with older implementations of WPA2. Time will tell whether and how the standard will be updated.

Is the Wi-Fi Alliance also addressing these vulnerabilities?

For those unfamiliar with Wi-Fi, the Wi-Fi Alliance is an organization which certifies that Wi-Fi devices conform to certain standards of interoperability. Among other things, this assures that Wi-Fi products from different vendors work well together.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has a plan to help remedy the discovered vulnerabilities in WPA2. Summarized, they will:

  • Require testing for this vulnerability within their global certification lab network.
  • Provide a vulnerability detection tool for use by any Wi-Fi Alliance member (this tool is based on my own detection tool that determines if a device is vulnerable to some of the discovered key reinstallation attacks).
  • Broadly communicate details on this vulnerability, including remedies, to device vendors. Additionally, vendors are encouraged to work with their solution providers to rapidly integrate any necessary patches.
  • Communicate the importance for users to ensure they have installed the latest recommended security updates from device manufacturers.

Why did you use as an example in the demonstration video?

Users share a lot of personal information on websites such as So this example highlights all the sensitive information an attacker can obtain, and hopefully with this example people also better realize the potential (personal) impact. We also hope this example makes people aware of all the information these dating websites may be collecting.

How can these types of bugs be prevented?

We need more rigorous inspections of protocol implementations. This requires help and additional research from the academic community! Together with other researchers, we hope to organize workshop(s) to improve and verify the correctness of security protocol implementations.

Why the domain name

First, I'm aware that KRACK attacks is a pleonasm, since KRACK stands for key reinstallation attack and hence already contains the word attack. But the domain name rhymes, so that's why it's used.

Did you get bug bounties for this?

Hackerone has awarded a bug bounty for our research under their Internet Bug Bounty (IBB) award program.

How does this attack compare to other attacks against WPA2?

This is the first attack against the WPA2 protocol that doesn't rely on password guessing. Indeed, other attacks against WPA2-enabled network are against surrounding technologies such as Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), or are attacks against older standards such as WPA-TKIP. Put differently, none of the existing attacks were against the 4-way handshake or against cipher suites defined in the WPA2 protocol. In contrast, our key reinstallation attack against the 4-way handshake (and against other handshakes) highlights vulnerabilities in the WPA2 protocol itself.

Are other protocols also affected by key reinstallation attacks?

We expect that certain implementations of other protocols may be vulnerable to similar attacks. So it's a good idea to audit security protocol implementations with this attack in mind. However, we consider it unlikely that other protocol standards are affected by similar attacks (or at least so we hope). Nevertheless, it's still a good idea to audit other protocols!

When did you first notify vendors about the vulnerability?

We sent out notifications to vendors whose products we tested ourselves around 14 July 2017. After communicating with these vendors, we realized how widespread the weaknesses we discovered are (only then did I truly convince myself it was indeed a protocol weaknesses and not a set of implementation bugs). At that point, we decided to let CERT/CC help with the disclosure of the vulnerabilities. In turn, CERT/CC sent out a broad notification to vendors on 28 August 2017.

Why did OpenBSD silently release a patch before the embargo?

OpenBSD announced an errata on 30 August 2017 that silently prevented our key reinstallation attacks. More specifically, patches were released for both OpenBSD 6.0 and OpenBSD 6.1.

We notified OpenBSD of the vulnerability on 15 July 2017, before CERT/CC was involved in the coordination. Quite quickly, Theo de Raadt replied and critiqued the tentative disclosure deadline: “In the open source world, if a person writes a diff and has to sit on it for a month, that is very discouraging”. Note that I wrote and included a suggested diff for OpenBSD already, and that at the time the tentative disclosure deadline was around the end of August. As a compromise, I allowed them to silently patch the vulnerability. In hindsight this was a bad decision, since others might rediscover the vulnerability by inspecting their silent patch. To avoid this problem in the future, OpenBSD will now receive vulnerability notifications closer to the end of an embargo.

So you expect to find other Wi-Fi vulnerabilities?

“I think we're just getting started.”  — Master Chief, Halo 1

Where can I learn more about key reinstallation attacks?

Good technical information and comments:

Selected newspapers with high-level information:


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Cleans up an already infected computer

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Protects your identity and privacy from hackers

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Protects your documents, financial files from ransomware

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Stops malware that degrades computer performance

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Brute Force and Uninstall Protection*

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Full protection or simple cleanup?

The free version of Malwarebytes for Windows is great for getting rid of existing infections, but some infections, like ransomware, only need a moment to wreak havoc on your PC. To stop infections before they happen, stay one step ahead with the Real-Time Protection of Malwarebytes Premium.

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Don't take our
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“Malwarebytes gives me a sense of protection and lets me stay confident that my systems are being kept safe. I can even relax about my kids surfing habits knowing we have a solid layer of security keeping an eye on things.”

‒ Brian H


“Honestly, it is the first antivirus that I have ever used that has given me full peace of mind. I had tried so many others and had never felt compelled to purchase the product beyond the trial until I heard of Malwarebytes through a friend.”

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Activating Mathematica


Once the installation of Mathematica is complete, upon first launching it you will be presented with the Wolfram Product Activation dialog. There are three methods to activate Mathematica: online activation, manual activation, and connecting to a license server running an appropriate version of MathLM. If you have not yet installed Mathematica, please see "Installing Mathematica".

The default method of activation is online activation. The other activation methods are accessed via the Other ways to activate button.

Activation Key

Online and manual activation both require an activation key. When you purchase Mathematica, you are provided with this key. If you purchased a hard copy of the software, the activation key is provided with your license agreement card or the installation CD. If you downloaded the software online, the key is provided via email.

Alternatively, you may access keys for registered products through the Wolfram User Portal ( To access your activation key, begin by logging in with your Wolfram ID and Password.

Once logged in, navigate to the My Products and Services tab. In this section you will find a table that lists your Wolfram products.

Select the Mathematica product of interest from this table and you will be directed to a page that contains your activation key for this product.

Online Activation

This is the easiest and recommended way to activate Mathematica for most users. The only requirement is that your computer is connected to the internet.

In the field provided, enter your activation key and click the Activate button. The Wolfram Systemwill then automatically generate a Math ID and retrieve a password online through a web service. This process is fully automated and upon successful activation Mathematica will launch.

Manual Activation

If the machine on which you are using Mathematica does not have an internet connection, or if you are experiencing problems with online activation, then you can activate Mathematica manually.

To begin manual activation, click the button Other ways to activate. Then select Manual Activation.

A Math ID number is issued for manual activation and is displayed in the resulting dialog. There are two main steps to activate manually:

    Step 1: Obtain your password

    Step 2: Enter the activation key and password

You can receive your password in one of two ways. In either case, you will need your activation key and Math ID number.

The first option is to contact Wolfram Research. Contact information can be found by clicking the "Wolfram Research" link.

The second way is to use the Wolfram User Portal to generate a password. This is accessed when you click on the link "online password generator". Please note that you will need to sign in to the Wolfram User Portal to access this form. If you do not have a Portal account, you may create one on the Sign In page. On the "Password Generator" form, enter your activation key and Math ID number to generate a password.

Once you have obtained your password, just enter it along with your activation key into the Wolfram Product Activation dialog to activate Mathematica. Upon successful activation, Mathematica will launch.

Connect to a Network License Server

If your license is obtained from MathLM 11, use this method for activation. MathLM 11 must be installed on the license server and activated before client machines with Mathematica can be activated. Please see "Installing MathLM" for more information.

To begin, click the button Other ways to activate. Then select Connect to a Network License Server. In the resulting dialog, enter the name or IP address of the server on which MathLM is running and click the Activate button. Upon successful activation, Mathematica will launch.

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Jacksonville Jaguars -

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it…

C.J. Beathard really does need to be starting somewhere. The guy has been just amazing every time he gets a chance. The Jaguars stole that guy. If I did not have a quarterback, he would be the one I would go after. It's no surprise that Trevor ran back after his injury, that backup is too good to let that happen. Go Jaguars!

You're accurate in your assessment, with perhaps a touch of overzealousness. Quarterback C.J. Beathard, signed as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason, indeed has played very well when given opportunities with the Jaguars. He has proven to be a better game player than practice player, because there definitely were times in training camp and the offseason he did not perform particularly well. But the Jaguars always liked him as the projected backup quarterback this season for precisely the reasons he has looked good when he has played. He always is prepared. He approaches the position professionally. I don't know that his destiny is to be an NFL starter because he hasn't performed as well over long stretches in the NFL as he has so far this season. And I certainly don't think rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence was running to return to the game this past Sunday because he feared losing his job. But Beathard is proving to be a damned good backup quarterback – maybe the perfect backup for Lawrence.

Jerry From a Lonely Outpost in Tampa, FL

How would say our linebacker group looks so far this year? Strength or weakness? I haven't heard much about Jack or Wright lately.

I'm assuming by "linebacker group" you're referencing inside linebacker Myles Jack and Damien Wilson and not outside backers such as Josh Allen, etc. The inside backers for the most part have been fine this season. Wilson is very good against the run and has played that way. Jack seemed to take a few games to adjust to playing inside in this scheme, and the group overall has mirrored the entire defense: Not great at times, really good at times. The defense and this group seem to be coming together and playing better in recent weeks. 

John if the jaguars recievers started catching the balls like the last preseason game against dallas. i mean they caught the back half of the ball with there fingertips, caught ém off there shoestrings. they caught everything...a pass that's almost in the breadbasket should be a sinch.

I get emails like this sometimes.

Hey, O. I promise I'm not getting prematurely angsty about Trevor, but after all the pre-draft "generational QB, safest pick since Andrew Luck" comments bandied about, who looked the more polished, more accurate quarterback halfway through their rookie season? Does Trev still hold up to the Luck comparison? (I know Luck had more weapons around him, but trying to separate that out.)

Luck was better in his rookie season with the Colts in 2012 than Lawrence has been this season. This isn't overly surprising because few observers thought Lawrence was as good a prospect as Luck as much as he was the best prospect since Luck. But I don't really know what "hold up to the Luck comparison" means. Lawrence will be fine. He's improving. He has all tools. He needs to more accurate and that will improve. Again, he will be fine. (You can't separate that.)

Ed from Boynton Beach, FL

Hey John, what's the story with Cisco? Seems since Rudy Ford has now stepped up and is being recognized by the coaching staff ... is Cisco the odd man out?

Not really. Rookie safety Andre Cisco essentially has been playing behind Andrew Wingard. Ford, also a safety, has moved into the team's nickel role – which is different than the role Wingard/Cisco play. I expect Cisco to play this season, and perhaps start at some points. I don't expect that to be imminent with the defense improving dramatically the last two games.

Hey, John! How are the Jaguars game-planning for the referees this week? Which playbook and schemes will the officials use to tilt the scales for the Colts?

I expect the Jaguars will game plan for the officials as they and every sane team in the NFL do each week – by realizing that there is no grand conspiracy or favoritism for (or against) any team, fans' persistent and passionate belief otherwise to the contrary.

_Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA      _

Hi, John. Long-time reader, first-time question submitter. Re: the Jags run defense, how would you compare the rushing attacks of Jonathan Taylor and the Colts to that of Derrick Henry and the Titans (top two rushers in the league)? How much of a test, and a revelation of the defense's apparent improvement, do you think the gam will reveal? Any thoughts on what and how they will do it, and a prediction of what the results will be?

You're not a first-time question submitter. The running attack of the Colts and Titans are similar in effectiveness. Sunday is a big test for the Jaguars' defense because the Colts are a much more balanced offense than the Buffalo Bills – and because the Colts are playing very well offensively in recent weeks. The Jaguars will have to bring players into the box on Sunday to defend Taylor, which will create different dynamic than they faced against a quarterback/pass-oriented Bills team. I expect the Jaguars' defense to play well – though not to be as dominant as it was last week. I expect the Colts to win because I don't know that the Jaguars' offense can score enough to beat a Colts team that likely will score in the high teens or low twenties even if the Jaguars' defense plays very well.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, it's pretty sweet to see a player like Rudy Ford earn his way into our defense, and take advantage of the opportunity. How high of a ceiling do you think Ford might have if he continues to show up the way he did last week?

Josh from Fernandina Beach (via Ft. Lauderdale)

Yo Grizzle: What's the sizzle on J-Rob? Are we going to have him back for the Indy game?

Jaguars running back James Robinson practiced limited Thursday. That's his most extensive work since sustaining a heel injury against Seattle in Week 9. I would project that gives him a much better chance to play against the Colts Sunday than was the case last week. Stay tuned.

Jason from Green Cove Springs, FL

Do you think it would be a good idea to give C.J. Beathard a series or two a game? Trevor is the obviously the future, but he dinks and dunks and really struggles with the deep ball the few times a game he actually tries. Beathard looks comfortable opening up the offense and letting it fly during the preseason and his brief action in the Bills' game. It could help our offense score some much-needed points and maybe help to back some defenders out of the box. What do you think?

I do not think the Jaguars should play Beathard over Lawrence for a series or two a game.

Is it a little concerning it took eight games to realize we are better at zone than man? Isn't that generally something you know by Week 3?

Not really. This is a new coaching staff that is working with a lot of new personnel. Sometimes, as was the case with Ford emerging as a good option at nickel, coaches need to see personnel in game situations and give those players increasing opportunities over a few games to determine what they can do. I suppose you can look at it a couple of ways. One is that the coaches took too long to realize the players were better in zone. The other way is that the defensive coaches were flexible enough to move Ford into the lineup and to adapt to the personnel when they saw what they were doing early wasn't working. Not all coaches would do the latter, so maybe give them some credit for that?

Sometimes I feel like I live in a different reality from everyone else. It seems everyone in the NFL, including a very respected Peter King, is outraged over the Cassius Marsh taunting penalty. There's this narrative that he wasn't taunting, he was just celebrating. I see what he did as an obvious attempt to celebrate towards an opponent, which is certainly taunting. He went several steps out of his way to face and direct his celebration towards essentially the entire Steelers team. How is this any different than picking out one individual player and directing your celebration at them? These rules need to black and white. Don't intentionally celebrate towards an opponent. I don't see the big issue.

I thought it was taunting, too. And unnecessary. Everyone should get off our lawns.

Windows 11 update on a laptop

Microsoft started a phased rollout of Windows 11 earlier this year with a preview version of its flagship OS. But if you're trying to use the earliest version of the software on your existing PC, you might run into some speed bumps due to the system requirements for the new operating system. (Here's how to download Windows 11 and how to create a Windows 11 install drive.) 

If you've tried installing Windows 11 Insider Preview or using the Microsoft PC Health Check app and were greeted with an error message reading, "This PC can't run Windows 11," your system might not have two essential security settings turned on: Secure Boot and TPM 2.0. (Here are two other things you must do before downloading Windows 11.) Many modern computers and processing chips from Intel and AMD have these features built in, and both are now required for all machines running Windows 11. 

Once you've downloaded the PC Health Check app, you can click Check Now to begin the scanning process. The app will tell you whether your computer will support Windows 11, or what it's missing, and you can click See All Results for more information.

If your machine is new enough to support both, enabling TPM (short for Trusted Platform Module) and Secure Boot is often quite easy. No special skills are needed, and you'll just be clicking through menus. If you've never heard the words "BIOS menu" you might feel out of your element, but don't be intimidated. With a little patience, any first-timer can do this. 

Here's what you need to know. 

Read more:Windows 11 review: Microsoft's OS upgrade is subtle, but we like that

Stay current on the latest Microsoft news, plus reviews and advice on Windows PCs.

What are TPM and Secure Boot? 

TPM microchips are small devices known as secure cryptoprocessors. Some TPMs are virtual or firmware varieties but, as a chip, a TPM is attached to your motherboard during the build and designed to enhance hardware security during computer startup. A TPM has been a mandatory piece of tech on Windows machines since 2016, so machines older than this may not have the necessary hardware or firmware. Previously, Microsoft required original equipment manufacturers of all models built to run Windows 10 to ensure that the machines were TPM 1.2-capable. TPM 2.0 is the most recent version required.

TPMs are controversial among security specialists and governments. An updated and enabled TPM is a strong preventative against firmware attacks, which have risen steadily and drawn Microsoft's attention. However, it also allows remote attestation (authorized parties can see when you make certain changes to your computer) and may restrict the kinds of software your machine is allowed to run. TPM-equipped machines generally aren't shipped in countries where western encryption is banned. China uses its state-regulated alternative, TCM. In Russia, TPM use is only allowed with permission from the government. 

Secure Boot is a feature in your computer's software that controls which operating systems are allowed to be active on the machine. It's both a good and bad thing for a Windows machine. On the one hand, it can prevent certain classes of invasive malware from taking over your machine and is a core defense against ransomware. 

On the other hand, it can prevent you from being able to install a second operating system on your machine, giving you two to choose from when you first start up your computer. So, if you wanted to experiment with Linux operating systems, for instance, Secure Boot could stop you. Secure Boot also plays a part in preventing Windows pirating. 


A few words of caution 

Now that you know about the secure technologies you'll be using, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you dive into fixing the issue on your own. 

  • Microsoft confirmed there are four types of problems that might have given you a "This PC can't run Windows 11" error message if you used its PC Health Check tool. If you are missing the hardware or firmware necessary for Windows 11, the instructions below won't help -- you'll need to buy a new device to run the OS.
  • Keep in mind that these instructions are written as broadly as possible. That's because Windows machines vary so much that it's not feasible to cover all the possible ways to enable TPM and Secure Boot across every device. For the most part, though, the process is similar enough across machines that you should be able to use the instructions as a guide and, where your computer differs, still identify the equivalent menu or label in your own system.
  • If your machine is still covered by a warranty, always speak with the manufacturer first before doing anything that could potentially void it. If your machine is owned and maintained by your company or school, it may have a unique security configuration that your IT staff will need to handle. It's also a good idea to get in contact with your local PC repair shop; having a qualified professional on standby is the best way to get back on track if you get turned around or encounter roadblocks.
  • Always back up your important files before making any big changes to your computer. Always. Just do it. You'll thank us later.
  • If this is your first time working in a BIOS menu, stick close to the instructions and don't veer too far from the beaten path. We're on a very simple mission here, and nothing I recommend below will do any damage to your machine or data, but changing firmware settings in your BIOS menu can have a wide-ranging impact. There are few guardrails here, and you can lose a lot of important data very fast. Some mistakes can be permanent and, in most cases, there won't be any polite pop-ups gently asking whether you're sure you want to make those mistakes.

You should definitely look around, explore your options and familiarize yourself with what's under the hood, but avoid changing any settings or saving any of those changes unless you know specifically what's going to happen when you do. 


Is my device capable of TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot? 

If the PC Health Checker suggested that TPM isn't enabled, you should first find out whether that's an accurate diagnosis. Here's how. 

1. From your desktop, press the Windows key next to the spacebar + R. This will bring up a dialog box. 

2. In the text field of the box, type tpm.msc and hit Enter. This should bring up a new window labelled "TPM Management on Local Computer." 

3. Click Status. If you see a message that says "The TPM is ready for use" then the PC Health Checker has misdiagnosed you, and the steps below won't help. At this point, there are several reasons you might be receiving the wrong error message from Microsoft, so your best bet is to get a professional to take a look at your machine.

If you don't see that message, and instead see "Compatible TPM cannot be found" or another message indicating the TPM may be disabled, follow the next steps. 

Now playing:Watch this: How to enable TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot to install Windows...


How do I enable TPM 2.0? 

You're going to need to get to your BIOS menu so you can get to your TPM switch, and there are two ways to do that. We'll cover both here. The first is for much newer PCs, the second method for those a few years older. Regardless of which you choose, though, you're going to need to restart your machine. So save any work and close any open windows or programs before proceeding. 

From Windows 10's Start menu

If you have a newer machine running Windows 10, your boot time may be too fast for you to try the traditional method of hitting a particular key to get to your BIOS menu before Windows can fully load. Here's how to get to it from inside your normal desktop. 


1. Start your computer normally and open the Start menu by clicking on that Windows button on the far left bottom of your screen. Click on the gear-shaped Settings icon on the left side of the menu. 

2. Within the Settings window that appears, click Update & Security. On the left-side pane that appears, click Recovery. Under the Advanced startup header, click Restart now

Your computer will immediately restart, and instead of restarting and bringing you to your normal desktop screen, you'll be brought to a blue screen with a few options. 

3. Click Troubleshoot, followed by Advanced options, followed by UEFI Firmware Settings

Your device will restart again. 

From here, go to Step 2 in the section below and follow the remaining steps. 

From start-up

You're going to need to move very quickly for Step 1. You'll only have a few seconds to get into the BIOS before your operating system loads. If you miss your window, no harm done, you'll just have to restart the computer and try again. After Step 1, though, feel free to take your sweet time.

1. Restart your computer, and as it's booting up you should see a message telling you to press a certain key to enter the BIOS, whether it uses that word or another. On most Dells, for instance, you should see "Press F2 to enter Setup." Other messages might be "Setup = Del" (meaning Delete) or "System Configuration: F2." Press whatever key the prompt tells you to and enter the Setup menu.

Depending on what kind of computer you have, a different key may be needed to enter your Setup menu. It could be F1, F8, F10, F11, Delete or another key. If there's no message on the screen with instructions, the general rule is to hit the key when you see the manufacturer's logo but before Windows loads. To find out which key will get you in, search online for your laptop's make and model along with the phrase "BIOS key." 

2. In the BIOS or UEFI menu, there should be at least one option or tab labelled Security. Using your keyboard, navigate to it and hit Enter. On some systems, you might need to use the + key to expand a submenu instead. 

3. Once you're inside the Security section, you're going to be looking for the TPM settings. This might be clearly labeled "TPM Device," "TPM Security" or some variation. On Intel machines, it will sometimes be labeled "PTT" or "Intel Trusted Platform Technology." It might also appear as "AMD fTPM Switch." 

Warning: Stay alert here. Within most TPM settings menus, you generally have an option to clear your TPM, update it or restore it to factory default. Do not do that right now. Clearing the TPM will cause you to lose all data encrypted by the TPM and all keys to the encryption. This action can not be undone or reversed. 

4. From inside the TPM settings menu, you're on one mission only: Find the switch that turns on the TPM. You're not touching anything else. Look through the options inside this menu for one that shows some form of toggle or switch beside the word "Enable" or "Unavailable" or even just "Off." Use your arrow keys to flip that toggle or switch. 

5. Once you've kicked on the TPM, look around the screen for Save. Once you've saved this setting, restart the computer. 


How do I enable Secure Boot? 

You'll save yourself a headache if you keep one thing in mind about enabling Secure Boot. Sometimes after you enable Secure Boot on a machine that's running software incompatible with Secure Boot, the machine will refuse to load Windows properly on restart. If that happens, don't panic. You didn't break anything. 

No matter which method you've used to get to the boot menu to begin with -- either via Windows 10's Start menu, or by the traditional method of hitting a specific key during start-up -- you can still use the traditional method to get back to the boot menu and disable Secure Boot again. 

From Windows 10's Start menu

Follow the steps above to access the UEFI Firmware Settings

1. Once you're in the UEFI, you're going to be looking for the Secure Boot setting. There are a few possible places this could be -- check under any tabs labelled Boot, Security or Authentication. 

2. Once you've checked the tabs and found the Secure Boot setting, toggle the switch beside it to turn it on or enable it. 

3. Find your Save feature and, after you've saved your changes and exited the menu, your computer should reboot and bring you back to a normal Windows desktop. 

There are some PCs on which you may not be able to readily find the Secure Boot setting. Some computers will load Secure Boot keys under a Custom tab. Some computers won't allow you to enable Secure Boot until certain factory settings are restored. If you're unable to access Secure Boot, or get roadblocked here, it's best to get help from a professional rather than take chances. 

From start-up

If you're not working with UEFI, then you should be able to just enable Secure Boot in BIOS. 

1. Just as you did when enabling your TPM, hit F2 (or whichever key your manufacturer specifies) as your computer is booting up and enter the BIOS menu. 

2. Go to the tab or option that says BIOS Setup, and then select Advanced

3. Next, select Boot Options and a list of them should appear. 

4. In that list, find Secure Boot. Enable it. 

5. Hit Save, exit the menu system, and restart your computer if it does not restart automatically. 

Now playing:Watch this: Windows 11: Top new features in 2021


What if I don't have a TPM chip? 

As noted by CNET sister publication ZDNet back in 2017, motherboard manufacturers sometimes skimp on installing the actual TPM chip and instead send the boards out with only the part that allows the chip to connect to the board. If you find out that you were shorted on your TPM chip when you bought your PC, and you don't have a virtual or firmware TPM version, you still have a few options. 

Your first option is to try to return your machine via your manufacturer warranty. That is, of course, assuming your machine's manufacturer is willing to install the chip it already sold you, or replace your model with one that has a chip. Your second, and most expensive, option is to simply buy a newer machine after verifying that it does, indeed, have an actual TPM 2.0-capable chip. 

If your warranty is already voided, your third option -- less expensive, but perhaps more difficult -- is to buy a whole new motherboard with a TPM 2.0 chip installed, then either swap out the boards yourself or have your local aftermarket repair shop handle the job. Be warned, however, that the ongoing global chip shortage has squeezed the world's supply of motherboards, making them more difficult to find and pushing prices to upward of $300 to $400 dollars for some brands. That's another place your local repair shop may be able to help. 

Finally, either you or your repair shop can try your fourth option: hunting down a TPM chip with the right specifications for your motherboard and installing it. Depending on the type you go with and where you get it from, a TPM 2.0-capable chip can run you anywhere from $70 up. Luckily, the basic structures of the boards and chips are similar enough that -- if you'd like to get your hands dirty under the hood -- it's possible to install a TPM chip yourself. ZDNet has step-by-step instructions (with a helpful gallery of pictures to guide you).

Whichever route you go, we strongly advise you to first consult either your manufacturer or a device repair specialist before you try to take apart your machine. Spending a few moments with a knowledgeable professional could be all it takes to turn your upgrade nightmare into a quick fix, and spare you excessive replacement costs. 

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Cisco ASA and Firepower Threat Defense Reimage Guide


"Timed out" error

At the downloading stage, if the file server is not reachable, it will fail due to a time out.

In this case, make sure the file server is reachable from the ASA. You can verify by pinging the file server.

"Package not found" error

If the file server is reachable, but the file path or name is wrong, the installation fails with a "Package not found" error:

In this case, make sure the FTD package file path and name is correct.

Installation failed with unknown error

When the installation occurs after the system software has been downloaded, the cause is generally displayed as "Installation failed with unknown error". When this error happens, you can troubleshoot the failure by viewing the installation log:

You can also view the upgrade.log, pyos.log, and commandd.log under /var/log/cisco with the same command for boot CLI related issues.


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