Skip to content
Fuzzing of the sae handshake in hostapd via libFuzzer
C Makefile
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Fuzzing SAE in hostap

This fuzzing test with libFuzzer is built on the existing fuzzing test found in hostap/tests/fuzzing/ap-mgmt.

Even though both tests use the same fuzzing target function - ieee802_11_mgmt() - the existing test cannot properly target the SAE auth functionality. The reason is that hostap/tests/fuzzing/ap-mgmt is compiled without SAE support and that the hapd hostap data structure does not have all required fields set.

// SAE specific hapd configuration
os_memcpy(hapd->sae_token_key, "\xe1\x06\x03\xab\x05\x26\x07\x08", 8);
hapd->dot11RSNASAERetransPeriod = 10; //ms

hapd->conf->wpa_key_mgmt = WPA_KEY_MGMT_SAE;
hapd->conf->wpa = WPA_PROTO_RSN;
hapd->conf->auth_algs = WPA_AUTH_ALG_SAE;

This fuzzzing test supports fuzzing all SAE functionality found in hostap/src/common/sae.c and MLME logic found in hostap/src/ap/ieee802_11.c.

Therefore, we needed to modify the compilation process in order to provide SAE support.

Another problem was the SAE queuing mechanism. Each new incoming SAE auth commit message is handled only after i*10ms later, where i is the number of pending auth commit messages. This requires a couple of fixes in the hostap source code in order to make fuzzing faster.

Furthermore, there is another major problem with memory leaks. There are a couple of zalloc()'s in sae_set_group() that allocate memory without freeing. This will abort the fuzzer after a couple of minutes due to too much leaked memory.

Patch hostap

Before compiling the fuzzer, several locations in hostap need to be patched in order to increase the fuzzing speed. All changes are happening in hostap/src/ieee802_11.c:

Change eloop_register_timeout to

eloop_register_timeout(0, 0, auth_sae_process_commit,
			       hapd, NULL);

in the function auth_sae_process_commit() and in the function auth_sae_queue.

This will invoke the sae parsing/processing functionality immediately, thus speeding up the fuzzing.


First download the most recent version of hostap.

git clone git://

Then change into the directory with the fuzzing tests

cd hostap/tests/fuzzing/

Then download this repository and change into the dir:

git clone && cd fuzz_sae_hostap

Change hostap/tests/fuzzing/rules.include to

FUZZ_FLAGS ?= -fsanitize=fuzzer,address,signed-integer-overflow,unsigned-integer-overflow

Clean and compile the fuzzing test:

export CC='clang-8'

make clean


after a couple of moments the fuzzer should be compiled and ready.


Now you may run the fuzzer with a command:

./sae sae_corpus_2 -detect_leaks=0 -max_len=1050 -print_final_stats=1

If you want to check what functionality was reached during fuzzing, you can set hostapd debug level to 0(DEBUG):

export WPADEBUG=0

If you don't want to see any ouput while fuzzing, set to export WPADEBUG=0.

Open issues

  1. Fix memory leaks that prevent fuzzing for more than 5 minutes. I honestly don't know if this is an issue from hostapd or because fuzzing is stopped forcefully after 50 microseconds via
eloop_register_timeout(0, 50, sae_auth_terminate, &ctx, NULL);
You can’t perform that action at this time.