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Predicting, Decrypting, and Abusing WPA2/802.11 Group Keys

This project contains attacks against predictable random number generators (RNGs) used in Wi-Fi Access Points (APs).

This work was the result of the paper Predicting, Decrypting, and Abusing WPA2/802.11 Group Keys (PDF here) presented at USENIX Security 2016. Parts of this work were also presented at the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (33C3).


This project relies on OpenCL, and was tested using an NVidia card on Arch Linux.

Getting started & Demonstration

First compile the project:

$ make packages

In case compilation fails, make sure you have the required libraries and dependencies installed. Based on the displayed error you should be able to google the library you are missing, and find how to install this library on your Linux distribution. Once compiled, you can run the brute-force scripts. To re-run the capture made during my 33C3 presentation, you can run:

$ cd scripts
$ ./

Making your own captures


You are unlikely to recover the GTK of a real MediaTek router: the code has been tuned to work only against a specific firmware version. Nevertheless, to make your own capture, you can do the following:

$ cd scripts
$ wlan0
$ wlan0 $MACROUTER
$ optirun ./ mediatek capture.pcap

Replace wlan0 with your wireless interface, and $MACROUTER with the BSSID of the router (this is commonly the MAC address of the router). This should successfully recover the group key (GTK). On my mobile graphics card this takes less than 5 minutes (GeForce GTX 950M). Note that this is experimental code, so don't be afraid to change things if something doesn't work!

If you want to run it against another firmware version, first compile the target firmware yourself based on open source code. Print the jiffies values that were used in the GenRandom calls, and then modify the file scripts/ at the following locations:

  • In the function predict_gtk_jiffies: supply the correct estimated jiffies.
  • In the function ralink_broadkey_prediction: make sure gmkJiffies is estimated correctly in step 4.

Note 1: a router model can be detected based on the MAC address, the Information Element fingerprint, and how it reacts to certain packets. When it is not possible to differentiate between minor firmware changes, the (custom) script will have try all possible jiffies values for all possible firmware versions. Since the attack is fast, this should not pose a problem.

Note 2: while the attack can be generalized as described above, we did not do this ourselves to dissuade people from abusing it. That is, we restricted ourselves to a proof-of-concept against our device, which is sufficient to demonstrate the weakness and motivate vendors to use a more secure random number generator.


We only simulate an attack against Broadcom, so processing is real capture is not yet supported. If you have a device using the Broadcom time-based RNG, you can always extend the code! Currently a "fake" summary of a capture is provided to our scripts, this has to be changed in a summary extracted from a real capture.


Attacks against weak 802.11 Random Number Generators






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