KRACK Wi-Fi attacks shouldn't harm updated Windows PCs

Microsoft quietly updated Windows PCs October 10—so grab that update now if you haven't already.

The bad news: A severe WPA2 protocol vulnerability dubbed KRACK holds the potential to break Wi-Fi security for virtually all wireless devices or networks, allowing attackers to snoop on your Internet traffic or even inject malicious code into websites you visit. The good news: If you’re running a Windows PC, you’re already safe—at least if you automatically apply new updates.

Microsoft quietly released a KRACK-smashing update as part of last week’s Patch Tuesday blitz, the company confirmed to Windows Central and other websites. Phew! Here is the company’s statement:

“Microsoft released security updates on October 10th and customers who have Windows Update enabled and applied the security updates, are protected automatically. We updated to protect customers as soon as possible, but as a responsible industry partner, we withheld disclosure until other vendors could develop and release updates.”

And now for the even better news: Fixes for KRACK can be backward-compatible, per Mathy Vanhoef, the researcher who discovered the Wi-Fi flaw. That means if you’ve updated your PC with Microsoft’s KRACK patch, you can likely connect to wireless networks running on unpatched routers without fear. We’ve reached out to Microsoft to confirm whether that’s the case with this patch for Windows devices.

windows update Brad Chacos/IDG

A screenshot of Windows 10's Windows Update status screen.

So if you haven’t applied last week’s Windows updates yet, do so now. You can force the issue in Windows 10 by opening the Start menu and heading to Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update. The status at the top tells you if your device is up to date, and when its status was last checked. If it’s been awhile, click the “Check for updates” button to scan for the Patch Tuesday updates.

Macs, iPhones, Android phones, Linux PCs, routers, and other devices still need patches to protect against the far-ranging vulnerability. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself in the interim, from sticking to secure websites to running a VPN and more. Check out PCWorld’s guide to staying safe from the KRACK Wi-Fi attack for everything you need to know, including the latest info on incoming patches for other devices.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Windows 10

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?