Windows 10 can crash while trying to connect with a Wi-Fi hotspot: Microsoft releases emergency KB5001028 update fix to address WPA3 Wi-Fi connectivity bug

Microsoft Windows 10 WiFi WPA3 Bug
Connecting to Wi-Fi can crash Windows 10? Pic credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

Windows 10 users could experience a system crash while trying to connect to a Wi-Fi router. Microsoft has released an emergency fix to address the strange and concerning WPA3 Wi-Fi connectivity bug.

Microsoft has released an out-of-band update to fix the WPA3 Wi-Fi connection issue. The company is indicating the issue is not significant and limited to a few users. However, affected users can experience sudden Windows 10 OS crashes while trying to connect to Wi-Fi.

Out-of-band KB5001028 update released to address the WPA3 Wi-Fi connection issue that causes Windows 10 to crash:

Microsoft has released an emergency KB5001028 out-of-band update to fix a bug. The bug slipped inside Windows 10 OS through two Cumulative Feature Updates.

Microsoft released KB4598298 on January 21, 2021, and KB4601315 on February 9, 2021. Reports indicate one or both the updates are the root of the WPA3 Wi-Fi connectivity bug.

According to some affected users, the WPA3 Wi-Fi connectivity bug can cause devices to experience a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) crash when attempting to connect to WPA3 Wi-Fi networks. Incidentally not all Wi-Fi routers have the WPA3 Wi-Fi security protocol.

In addition to the out-of-band update, Microsoft also provided the following mitigation steps:

  • Update your device to Windows 10, version 2004 or Windows 10, version 20H2.
  • Connect to a Wi-Fi network using WPA2. To do this you may need to reconfigure your access point or router settings.
  • Connect using a wired ethernet connection.

Needless to add, some or all of the above-mentioned mitigation steps may not be desirable for specific users.

Which Wi-Fi routers and Windows 10 OS systems are vulnerable to the WPA3 Wi-Fi connectivity bug?

According to a new support issue posted to Microsoft’s Windows Message Center, the bug is present inside the Windows 10 1909 and is caused by the cumulative updates mentioned above. However, the issue affects only a small number of modern-day Wi-Fi routers.

Many Wi-Fi routers around the world are still using the older WPA2 security protocol to securely route internet traffic wirelessly on the premises. However, Wi-Fi router manufacturers are now increasingly adopting the WPA3 wireless encryption protocol.

Experts consider WPA3 reliable because it has the strongest security at this time. However, it is this protocol that is at the root of the WPA3 Wi-Fi connectivity bug in the Windows 10 v1909.

Microsoft has admitted the existence of the WPA3 Wi-Fi connectivity bug: “You might receive stop error 0x7E in nwifi.sys with a blue screen when you attempt to use a Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3) connection.”

“You are more likely to encounter this issue when reconnecting to a Wi-Fi network after disconnecting, or when waking from sleep or hibernation. Note Most Wi-Fi networks are currently using WPA2 and are not affected.”

The KB5001028 out-of-band update is currently available through Windows Update, WSUS, and via the Microsoft Update catalog.

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