Apple has officially started the process of rolling out new firmware versions for its Wi-Fi base stations. The update, which is propagating through to compatible devices right now, takes Apple’s 802.11ac base stations to firmware version 7.7.9 and its 802.11n base stations to firmware version 7.6.9.
Consumers who are in ownership of one of Apple’s base stations, whether that be AirPort Express, AirPort Time Capsule, or AirPort Extreme, may have been dismayed to learn approximately twelve months ago that the company was allegedly calling it a day on the development of this hardware range. This may mean that no new hardware is going into development or likely to hit the market but the company is clearly still providing support for existing devices, which includes security updates.
Apple hasn’t provided any official release notes or changelog with the 7.7.9 and 7.6.9 updates but each version does come with its own support document hosted online which provides additional information about the security content of each update. Notably, both support documents confirm that the recently reported, and widely discussed, KRACK WPA2 vulnerability has been patched with each release:
Impact: An attacker in Wi-Fi range may force nonce reuse in WPA multicast/GTK clients (Key Reinstallation Attacks – KRACK)
Apple has also used the release of both firmware versions to rectify an issue whereby “a logic issue existed in the handling of state transitions.” To mitigate this problem, the new releases were addressed with what Apple is calling “improved state management.”
Anyone who is still using one of Apple’s Wi-Fi base stations can download the latest firmware revisions and install it directly to the device using the AirPort Utility app available for iOS and macOS, which comes pre-installed as part of Apple’s desktop OS.
Let’s hope Apple continues to offer support like this for its Wi-Fi routers even if the company has no plans for releasing new hardware.
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