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FragAttacks: Fragmentation & Aggregation Attacks

1. Introduction

This repository contains the FragAttacks tool. It can test Wi-Fi clients and access points for fragmentation and aggregation attacks. These vulnerabilities affect all protected Wi-Fi networks. For more information about these vulnerabilities see fragattacks.com.

The following additional resources are available:

See the change log for a detailed overview of updates to the tool made since 11 August 2020. This change log also contains information on which version of hostap the FragAttacks tool is based on.

Note that the attacks are identical against WPA2 and WPA3 because their CCMP and GCMP encryption ciphers are identical. Older WPA networks by default use TKIP for encryption, and the applicability of the attacks against TKIP are discussed in the paper and on the website. To illustrate that Wi-Fi has been vulnerable since its creation, the paper and website also briefly discusses the applicability of the attacks against WEP.

2. Supported Network Cards

Only specific wireless network cards are supported. This is because some network cards may overwrite the sequence or fragment number of injected frames, or may reorder frames of different priority, and this interferes with the test tool (i.e. the tool might say a device is secure although it's not). I have confirmed that the following network cards work properly:

Network Card USB 5GHz mixed mode injection mode
Technoethical N150 HGA Yes No patched driver/firmware patched driver/firmware
TP-Link TL-WN722N v1.x Yes No patched driver/firmware patched driver/firmware
Alfa AWUS036NHA Yes No patched driver/firmware patched driver/firmware
Intel Wireless-AC 8265 No Yes patched driver yes
Intel Wireless-AC 3160 No Yes patched driver yes
Alfa AWUS036ACM Yes Yes patched driver yes
Netgear WN111v2 Yes No patched driver yes
Alfa AWUS036ACH Yes Yes no yes

The last two columns signify:

  1. Mixed mode: whether the network card can be used in the recommended mixed mode.

  2. Injection mode: whether the network card can be used as a second interface to inject frames in injection mode.

Yes indicates the card works out-of-the-box in the given mode. Patched driver/firmware means that the card is compatible when used with patched drivers and/or firmware. No means this mode is not supported by the network card. I recommend using the test tool in mixed mode.

Note that USB devices can be used inside a virtual machine, and the modified drivers and/or firmware can be installed in this virtual machine. However, I found that the usage of virtual machines can make network cards less reliable, and I instead recommend the usage of a live USB image if you cannot install the modified drivers/firmware natively.

My experience with the above network cards can be found here. Summarized:

  • The AWUS036ACM in mixed mode appears reliable with our latest drivers and is the one I recommend. A cheaper but almost identical device is one with a MT7612U chipset. See more info here.

  • I previously recommended the Technoethical N150 HGA in mixed mode. This dongle is identical to the TP-Link TL-WN722N v1.x and requires the usage of patched drivers and firmware. This is one of the most well-tested dongles, but it's hard to get. That's why I now recommend the AWUS036ACM instead.

  • The Intel 3160 and 8265 are supported and extensively tested. Sometimes their firmware crashed but a reboot makes the network card usable again. The Intel AX200 is not compatible with the test tool.

  • The WN111v2 seems to work well, although I did not test it extensively.

  • The driver for the AWUS036ACH is not part of the Linux kernel and requires the installation of a separate driver. On Kali you can install this driver through the package manager. This card was not extensivly tested.

If you are unable to find one of the above network cards, you can search for alternative network cards that have a high chance of also working. When using a network card that is not explicitly supported I strongly recommend to first run the injection tests before using it, and using the tool against a known-vulnerable implementation to confirm the tool works properly.

3. Prerequisites

The test tool was tested on Ubuntu 20.04 using kernel 5.8. If you use another Linux distribution, please note that only kernel versions below or equal to 5.12 are supported.

Ubuntu 20.04 specific

When using Ubuntu 20.04 you will first have to install kernel 5.8 as follows. Note that your existing kernel will keep being installed and will also keep being used by default:

sudo apt install linux-image-5.8.0-63-generic linux-headers-5.8.0-63-generic linux-hwe-5.8-headers-5.8.0-63 \
	linux-modules-5.8.0-63-generic linux-modules-extra-5.8.0-63-generic

Now reboot Ubuntu, hold the shift key while booting, select "Advanced options for Ubuntu", and then start kernel 5.8 by picking "Ubuntu, with Linux 5.8.0-63-generic". You can edit your GRUB config so Ubuntu will use this kernel version by default. Continue the next instructions under this now-running kernel.

General Instructions

Install the required dependencies:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libnl-3-dev libnl-genl-3-dev libnl-route-3-dev libssl-dev \
	libdbus-1-dev git pkg-config build-essential macchanger net-tools python3-venv \
	aircrack-ng rfkill firmware-ath9k-htc
# Note: on Kali linux use the package firmware-atheros instead of firmware-ath9k-htc

Now clone this repository, build the tools, and configure a virtual python3 environment:

git clone https://github.com/vanhoefm/fragattacks.git fragattacks
cd fragattacks/research
./build.sh
./pysetup.sh

The above instructions only have to be executed once. After pulling in new code using git you do have to execute ./build.sh and ./pysetup.sh again.

4. Patched Drivers

Install patched drivers using:

sudo apt-get install bison flex linux-headers-$(uname -r)
git clone https://github.com/vanhoefm/fragattacks-drivers58.git fragattacks-drivers58
cd fragattacks-drivers58
make defconfig-wifi
make -j 4
sudo make install

This compiles the drivers for most network cards supported by Linux. If you only want to compile the drivers for network cards I explicitly tested, use make defconfig-experiments instead. During the install command you may get several warnings containing .. needs unknown symbol ... You can ignore these warning as long they do not contain the directory /lib/modules/*/updates/ and the compiled drivers are working.

Now install patched ath9k_htc firmware:

cd research/ath9k-firmware/
./install.sh
# Now reboot

The ./install.sh script assumes the ath9k_htc firmware images are located in the directory /lib/firmware/ath9k_htc. If this is not the case on your system you have to manually copy htc_7010.fw and htc_9271.fw to the appropriate directory.

After installing the patched drivers and firmware you must unplug your Wi-Fi dongles and reboot your system. The above instructions have to be executed again if your Linux kernel gets updated or if the patched drivers get updated.

Note that even when your device works out of the box, I still recommend to install the modified drivers, as this assures there are no unexpected regressions in kernel and driver code.

In case you cannot install the modified drivers/firmware natively, you can download a live USB image that contains the modified drivers/firmware along with our test tool. Alternatively, you can use a virtual machine with USB network cards, although I found that using a virtual machine is less reliable in pratice.

5. Before every usage

Every time you want to use the test tool, you first have to load the virtual python environment as root. This can be done using:

cd research
sudo su
source venv/bin/activate

You should now disable Wi-Fi in your network manager so it will not interfere with the test tool. Also make sure no other network services are causing outgoing traffic. You can assure this by using iptables to block traffic by executing ./droptraffic.sh (you can revert this by rebooting). Optionally check using sudo airmon-ng check to see which other processes might be using the wireless network card and might interfere with our tool.

The test tool can test both clients and APs:

  • Testing APs: configure the AP you want to test by editing research/client.conf. This is a standard wpa_supplicant configuration file, see the hostap documentation for an overview of all the options it supports.

  • Testing clients: you must execute the test tool with the --ap parameter (see below). This instructs the tool into creating an AP with as name testnetwork and password abcdefgh. Connect to this network with the client you want to test. By default the client must request an IP using DHCP. To edit properties of the created AP, such as the channel it's created on, you can edit research/hostapd.conf.

6. Interface Modes

6.1. Mixed mode

This mode requires only one wireless network card, but generally requires a patched driver and/or firmware. See Patched Drivers on how to install patched drivers/firmware, and Supported Network Cards for compatible network cards. Execute the test tool in this mode using:

./fragattack.py wlan0 [--ap] $COMMAND

Possible values of $COMMAND are listed in testing for vulnerabilities and extended vulnerability tests.

One advantage of this mode is that it works fairly well when testing clients that may enter a sleep state. Nevertheless, if possible, I recommend disabling sleep functionality of the client being tested, see Handling sleep mode.

6.2. Injection mode

This mode requires two wireless network cards: one will act as an AP or the client, and the other one will be used to inject frames. The advantage is that this mode way work without requiring patched drivers. Execute the test tool in this mode using:

./fragattack.py wlan0 --inject wlan1 [--ap] $COMMAND

Here interface wlan0 will act as a legitimate client or AP, and wlan1 will be used to inject frames. For wlan0, any card that supports normal client or AP mode on Linux can be used. For wlan1, a card must be used that supports injection mode according to Supported Network Cards.

When testing clients in this mode, injected frames may be sent when the client is in a sleep state. This causes attacks to fail, so you must make sure the client will not enter a sleep state.

6.3. Hwsim mode

This mode is experimental and only for research purposes. See hwsim mode details for more information.

7. Testing for Vulnerabilities

You can test devices by running the test tool as discussed in interface modes and replacing $COMMAND with one of the commands in the table blow. We assume that clients will request an IP using DHCP (if this is not the case see static IP configuration). All commands work against both clients and APs unless noted otherwise.

The tool outputs TEST COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY if the device is vulnerable to the attack corresponding to the given $COMMAND, and outputs Test timed out! Retry to be sure, or manually check result if the device is not vulnerable. After the test completed you can close the test tool using CTRL+C. Most attacks have several slight variants represented by different $COMMAND values.

Verifying the result of some tests requires running tcpdump or wireshark on the device under test (the table below states if tcpdump has to be used). This tcpdump packet capture must only include packets that passed PHY and MAC layer processing. For instance, on Linux this capture should be made while the wireless interface is in "managed" or "ap" mode, not in monitor mode, meaning the capture will only contain packets that passed processing at the Wi-Fi layer. See avoiding tcpdump on APs for a discussion on how some tests can nevertheless be performed without having to run tcpdump on APs.

To verify your test setup, the first command in the table below performs a normal ping that must succeed. The second command sends the ping as two fragmented Wi-Fi frames, and should only fail in the rare case that the tested device doesn't support fragmentation. In case one of these tests is not working, follow the instructions in network card injection test to assure your network card is properly injecting frames. If the client being tested might enter sleep mode, see Handling sleep mode.

The third, fourth, and fifth commands are not attacks but verify basic defragmentation behaviour of a device and are further discussed below the table.

Command Short description
ping Send a normal ping.
ping I,E,E Send a normal fragmented ping.
ping I,E,E --delay 5 Send a normal fragmented ping with a 5 second delay between fragments.
ping-frag-sep Send a normal fragmented ping with fragments separated by another frame.
ping-frag-sep --pn-per-qos Same as above, but also works if the target only accepts consecutive PNs.
ping I,E --amsdu Send a ping encapsulated in a normal (non SPP protected) A-MSDU frame.
amsdu-inject Simulate attack: send A-MSDU frame whose start is also a valid rfc1042 header.
amsdu-inject-bad Same as above, but against targets that incorrectly parse the frame.
ping I,F,BE,AE Inject two fragments encrypted under a different key.
ping I,F,BE,AE --pn-per-qos Same as above, but also works if the target only accepts consecutive PNs.
ping I,E,R,AE Inject a fragment, try triggering a reassociation, and inject second fragment.
ping I,E,R,E Same as above, but with a longer delay before sending the second fragment.
ping I,E,R,AE --full-recon Inject a fragment, deauthenticate and reconnect, then inject second fragment.
ping I,E,R,E --full-recon Same as above, but with a longer delay before sending the second fragment.
ping I,E,E --inc-pn 2 Send a fragmented ping with non-consecutive packet numbers.
ping I,E,P Send a fragmented ping: first fragment encrypted, second fragment in plaintext.
ping I,P,E Send a fragmented ping: first fragment in plaintext, send fragment encrypted.
ping I,P Send a plaintext ping.
ping I,P,P Send a fragmented ping: both fragments are sent in plaintext.
linux-plain Mixed plaintext/encrypted fragmentation attack specific to Linux.
ping I,D,P --bcast-ra Send a unicast ping in a plaintext broadcasted 2nd fragment once connected.
ping D,BP --bcast-ra Same as above, but frame is sent during 4-way handshake (check with tcpdump).
eapol-amsdu I,P Send a plaintext A-MSDU containing a ping request cloacked as an EAPOL frame.
eapol-amsdu BP Same as above, but the frame is sent during the handshake (check with tcpdump).
eapol-amsdu-bad I,P Send malformed plain. A-MSDU containing a ping req. cloacked as EAPOL frame.
eapol-amsdu-bad BP Same as above, but the frame is sent while connecting (check with tcpdump).

How commands match to CVEs is listed below. Note that for implementation flaws we list a reference CVE identifier, however, vendors may use different CVEs because an implementation vulnerability normally receives a unique CVE for each affected codebase. We nevertheless recommend to always refer to these reference CVEs as a way to easily refer to each type of discovered implementation flaw.

7.1. Sanity checks

  • ping: This test must always succeed. If it fails, something is wrong with the test setup.

  • ping I,E,E: This test should succeed against all modern laptops, smartphones, and APs. If it fails, something is likely wrong with the test setup. Try adding the --icmp-size 100 parameter as a fix. If it works with this extra parameter, you have to execute all other tests with this extra parameter as well. The only time I encountered this test failing for valid reasons is when the tested device doesn't support receiving fragmented frames, which can be the case on lightweight IoT devices and, for example, OpenBSD.

7.2. Basic device behaviour

  • ping I,E,E --delay 5: This test is used to check the maximum accepted delay between two fragments. If this test doesn't work, try it again with --delay 1.5 or lower. For instance, Linux removes fragments from memory after 2 seconds, meaning a delay of 1.8 will work while 2.2 will result in no reply. In case the maximum accepted delay is low, all fragments sent in other tests must be sent within this maximum accepted delay. Otherwise, tests will trivially fail and you might conclude a device isn't vulnerable to an attack even though it actually is.

  • ping-frag-sep: This tests sends a fragmented Wi-Fi frame that is seperated by an unrelated frame. That is, it sends the first fragment, then a (normal) unrelated Wi-Fi frame, and finally the second fragment. In case this test fails, the (default) mixed key attack and cache attack will likely also fail (since they require sending other frames between two fragments). This test will also fail in case the reciever checks whether fragments have consecutive packet numbers (see the next test ping-frag-sep --pn-per-qos).

  • ping-frag-sep --pn-per-qos: Same as above, but adding the --pn-per-qos parameter assures both fragments of the ping request have a consecutive Packet Number (PN). This is something that a reciever should be verifying in order to be secure. Unfortunately, before the disclosure of our results, many implementations don't verify whether PNs are consecutive. This test might fail in case the reciever doesn't track the latest received packet counter per QoS TID, in which case you can ignore other tests that contain the --pn-per-qos parameter.

7.3. A-MSDU attack tests (§3 -- CVE-2020-24588)

The test ping I,E --amsdu checks if an implementation supports non-SPP A-MSDUs (it doesn't check if the device is vulnerable to CVE-2020-24588). To prevent attacks, ideally the network must mandate the usage of SPP A-MSDUs and drop all non-SPP A-MSDUs. However, most vendors are currently implementing ad-hoc mitigations instead (see Section 7.2 of the paper). Because of this, you must use the following two tests to check whether a device is vulnerable to aggregation (A-MSDU) attacks (CVE-2020-24588):

  • amsdu-inject: This test simulates the A-MSDU injection attack described in Section 3.2 of the paper. In particular, it sends an A-MSDU frame whose start is also a valid LLC/SNAP header (since this is also what happens in our reference attack). If this test succeeds, the device is vulnerable to CVE-2020-24588.

  • amsdu-inject-bad: Some devices incorrectly parse A-MSDU frames that start with a valid LLC/SNAP header causing the above test to fail. In that case try amsdu-inject-bad instead (see Section 3.6 in the paper). Note that if this test succeeds, the impact of the attack is effectively identical to implementations that correctly parse such frames, meaing the device is vulnerable to CVE-2020-24588.

7.4. Mixed key attack tests (§4 -- CVE-2020-24587)

  • When running the mixed key test against an AP, the AP must be configured to regularly (e.g. every minute) renew the session key (PTK) by executing a new 4-way handshake. The tool will display Client cannot force rekey. Waiting on AP to start PTK rekey when waiting for this PTK rekey handshake. Against a low number of APs, the test tool can also request to renew the PTK by adding the --rekey-req parameter, meaning there is no need to configure the AP to periodically renew the key.

  • Some APs cannot be configured to regularly renew the session key (PTK). Against these APs you can instead try a cache attack test. In case the AP is vulnerable to cache attacks, then it is likely also vulnerable to mixed key attacks (unless these is strong evidence that contradict this, e.g., a code audit indicates mixed key attacks are prevented). If the AP isn't vulnerable to cache attacks, then we cannot say anything about its susceptibility to mixed key attacks, and in that case I recommend doing a code audit instead.

  • ping I,F,BE,AE --pn-per-qos: The extra --pn-per-qos parameter assures that both injected fragments have consecutive packet numbers, which is required for the mixed key attack to succeed against certain devices (e.g. against Linux).

  • Several devices implement the 4-way handshake differently and this will impact whether these tests will succeed or not. In case the tests fail, it is recommended to also perform the mixed key attack tests listed in Extended Vulnerability Tests.

7.5. Cache attack tests (§5 -- CVE-2020-24586)

  • When testing an AP, the tool sends a first fragment, then tries to reassociate with the AP, and finally sends the second fragment. However, not all APs properly support the reassociation process. In that case, add the --full-reconnect option as shown in the table, which makes the test tool to deauthenticate after sending the first fragment.

  • When testing a client, the tools sends a first fragment, disassociates the client, and once the client has reconnected will send the second fragment. Ideally the client will immediately reconnect after sending the disassociation frame. This may require disabling all other networks in the client being tested. I also found that some clients don't seem to properly handle the disassocation, and in that case you can add the --full-reconnect option as shown in the table to send a deauthentication frame instead.

  • I have found that it's best to execute each cache attack test several times. Sometimes a cache attack test might fail although the implementation is vulnerable. This can be due to background noise, other devices sending frames to the tested device, etc.

  • ping I,E,R,AE [--full-recon]: Here the second fragment is sent immediately after reconnecting with the device under test, which is important in case the device clears fragments from memory after a short time. Note that full-recon is a shorthand of full-reconnect.

  • ping I,E,R,E [--full-recon]: Here the second fragment is sent 1 second after reconnecting with the device under test, which can be useful in case there is a small delay between completion of the handshake and installing the negotiated key.

  • Overall it can be tedious to test if a device is vulnerable to cache attacks. Therefore I also recommend to perform a code audit to check if fragments stay in the memory after disassociating or deauthenticating from a network or after reassociating (this can also be dynamically checking using debug prints). If fragments stay in memory, you should consider this as a risk, even if it's unknown whether it can be exploited. This is similar to knowing an implementation has a buffer overflow but not (yet) knowing how to exploit it.

7.6. Non-consecutive PNs attack (§6.2 -- CVE-2020-26146)

In our experiments, this test only failed against Linux and against devices that don't support fragmentation.

7.7. Mixed plain/encrypt attack (§6.3 -- CVE-2020-26147/26140/26143)

  • ping I,E,P and linux-plain: if this test succeeds the resulting attacks are described in Section 6.3 of the paper. Summarized, in combintation with the A-MSDU or cache vulnerability, it can be exploited to inject packets. When not combined with any other vulnerabilities the impact is implementation-specific (CVE-2020-26147).

  • ping I,P,E: if this test succeeds it is trivial to inject plaintext frames towards the device if fragmentation is being used by the network (CVE-2020-26147).

  • ping I,P: if this tests succeeds the implementation accepts plaintext frames in a protected Wi-Fi network, allowing trivial packet injection (CVE-2020-26140).

  • ping I,P,P: if this test succeeds the implementation accepts fragmented plaintext frames in a protected Wi-Fi network, allowing trivial packet injection (CVE-2020-26143).

7.8. Broadcast fragment attack tests (§6.4 -- CVE-2020-26145)

The following two tests send broadcast frames, which are not automatically retransmitted, and it is therefore recommended to execute them several times. This is because background noise may prevent the tested devices from receiving the injected broadcast frame. In my experiments, mainly clients were affected (out of the tested APs only Free/NetBSD ones were affected).

  • ping I,D,P --bcast-ra: Send a unicast ping in a plaintext broadcasted 2nd fragment once connected. The result of this variant of the attack is checked automatically by the test tool.

  • ping D,BP --bcast-ra: Here the above frame is sent while connecting to the network (i.e. during the 4-way handshake). This is important because several clients and APs are only vulnerable before completing the 4-way handshake. To confirm the result of this test you have to run wireshark or tcpdump on the victim, and monitor whether the injected ping request is received by the victim. In tcpdump you can use the filter icmp and in wireshark you can also use the filter frame contains "test_ping_icmp" to more easily detect this ping request. In my experiments mainly clients were affected.

7.9. A-MSDU EAPOL attack tests (§6.5 -- CVE-2020-26144)

  • eapol-amsdu I,P: This is the standard test for the implementation-specific vulnerability discussed in Section 6.5 of the paper. Both clients and APs can be vulnerable. Its result is checked automatically by the test tool.

  • Tests ending on BP (eapol-amsdu BP and eapol-amsdu-bad BP): These tests inject the malicious frame during the execution of the 4-way handshake. To confirm the result of this test you have to run wireshark or tcpdump on the victim, and monitor whether the injected ping request is received by the victim. In tcpdump you can use the filter icmp and in wireshark you can also use the filter frame contains "test_ping_icmp" to more easily detect this ping request.

  • Tests starting with eapol-amsdu-bad (eapol-amsdu-bad BP and eapol-amsdu-bad I,P): Several implementations incorrectly process A-MSDU frames whose first 6 bytes also equal a valid RFC1042 header for EAPOL. To test these implementations, you have to use the eapol-amsdu-bad test variant. Note that if this tests succeeds, the impact of the attack is identical to implementations that correctly parse such frames (for details see Section 3.6 and 6.6 in the paper).

7.10. Troubleshooting checklist

In case the test tool doesn't appear to be working, check the following:

  1. Check that no other process is using the network card (e.g. kill your network manager).

  2. If everything worked previously, try unplugging your Wi-Fi dongle, restart your computer or virtual machine, and then try again. Also try to disable hardware encryption using the disable-hwcrypto.sh script (reboot your computer after executing this script).

  3. Assure the device you are testing doesn't enter a sleep state (causing it to miss injected frames). I recommend running the test tool in mixed mode since this better handles clients that may go into a sleep state.

  4. Run the injection tests to make sure injection is working properly. Also assure that a 20 MHz channel is used, injection on other channels is untested.

  5. Check that your machine isn't generating background traffic that interferes with the tests. In particular, disable networking in your OS, manually kill your DHCP client/server, etc. See also Before every usage.

  6. Confirm that you are connecting to the correct network. Double-check client.conf.

  7. Make sure the AP being tested is using (AES-)CCMP as the encryption algorithm. Other encryption algorithms such as TKIP or GCMP are not supported.

  8. If you updated the code using git, execute ./build.sh and ./pysetup.sh again (see Prerequisites). In case the patched drivers got updated, remember to recompile them as well.

  9. If you are using a virtual machine, try to run the test tool from a live USB image instead.

  10. Check that the tested device doesn't block ICMP ping requests. In case it doesn't reply to pings, you can run tcpdump or wireshark on the device, or you can try any of the other methods listed in No ICMP Support.

  11. Run the tool with the extra parameter --debug 2 to get extra debug output from wpa_supplicant or hostapd and from the test tool itself.

  12. Confirm using a second monitor interface that no other frames are sent in between fragments. For instance, I found that my Intel device sometimes sends Block Ack Response Action frames between fragments, and this interfered with the defragmentation process of the device under test.

  13. Double-check that you are using modified firmware if needed for your wireless network card. The test tool already checks this automatically for ath9k_htc devices. The test tool also automatically checks if you are using modified drivers, though it might be good to manually double-check this on your specific Linux distribution.

  14. It may help to add a delay between getting the IP address and the transmission of the first fragment/frame. Do this using the --pre-test-delay parameter.

8. Extended Vulnerability Tests

Due to implementation variations it can be difficult to confirm/exploit certain vulnerabilities, in particular the mixed key and cache attack can be non-trivial to confirm in practice. Therefore, I recommend to only consider a device secure if there are explicit checks in the code to prevent these attacks. Additionally, if time permits, I also recommend the following more advanced tests. These have a lower chance of uncovering new vulnerabilities, but might reveal attack variants or particular device behaviour that the normal tests can't detect.

If the normal tests in Testing for Vulnerabilities have already confirmed the presence of a certain vulnerability class, there is little need to test the other attack variants of that vulnerability. All commands work against both clients and APs unless noted otherwise.

Command Short description
ping I,E --amsdu-fake If this test succeeds, the A-MSDU flag is ignored (§3.5).
ping I,E --amsdu-fake --amsdu-spp Check if the A-MSDU flag is authenticated but then ignored (§3.5).
ping I,F,BE,E In case the new key is installed relatively late.
ping I,E,F,AE Variant if no data frames are accepted during the rekey handshake.
ping I,E,F,AE --rekey-plain If the device performs the rekey handshake in plaintext.
ping I,E,F,AE --rekey-plain --rekey-req Same as above, and actively request a rekey as client.
ping I,E,F,AE --rekey-early-install Install the new key after sending message 3 of the 4-way handshake.
ping I,E,F,E [--rekey-pl] [--rekey-req] Same as above 4 tests, but with longer delay before 2nd fragment.
ping I,F,BE,AE --freebsd Mixed key attack against FreeBSD or similar implementations.
ping I,E,R,AE --freebsd [--full-reconnect] Cache attack specific to FreeBSD implementations.
ping I,E,R,AP --freebsd [--full-reconnect] Cache attack specific to FreeBSD implementations.
ping I,E,R,AP [--full-reconnect] Cache attack test where 2nd fragment is sent in plaintext.
ping I,E,E --amsdu Send a normal ping as a fragmented A-MSDU frame.
ping I,E,P,E Ping with first frag. encrypted, second plaintext, third encrypted.
linux-plain 3 Same as linux-plain but decoy fragment is sent using QoS priority 3.
ping I,P --bcast-ra Ping in a plaintext broadcast frame after 4-way HS.
ping BP --bcast-ra [--bcast-dst] Ping in plaintext broadcast frame during 4-way HS (use tcpdump).
ping BP [--bcast-dst] Ping in a plaintext frame during the 4-way handshake (use tcpdump).
eapfrag BP,BP Experimental broadcast fragment attack (use tcpdump).
eapol-amsdu[-bad] BP --bcast-dst Same as eapol-amsdu BP but easier to verify against APs (use tcpdump).
eapol-inject 00:11:22:33:44:55 Test if AP forwards EAPOL frames before authenticated (use tcpdump).
eapol-inject-large 00:11:22:33:44:55 Make AP send fragmented frames by EAPOL injection (use tcpdump).
ping I,D,E Send ping inside an encrypted second fragment (no 1st fragment).
ping I,E,D Send ping inside an encrypted first fragment (no 2nd fragment).

8.1. A-MSDU attack tests (§3 -- CVE-2020-24588)

It is only useful to execute these two tests if the main test ping I,E --amsdu fails and you want to better understand how the tested device handles A-MSDU frames:

  • ping I,E --amsdu-fake: If this tests succeeds, the receiver treats all frames as normal frames (meaning it doesn't support A-MSDU frames). This behaviour is not ideal, although it is unlikely that an attacker can abuse this in practice (see Section 3.5 in the paper).

  • ping I,E --amsdu-fake --amsdu-spp: If this tests succeeds, the receiver authenticates the QoS A-MSDU flag of every received frame (i.e. it will not mask it to zero on reception) but then treats all received frames as normal frames (meaning it does not support the reception of real A-MSDU frames). This behaviour is not ideal, although it is unlikely that an attacker can abuse this in practice (see Section 3.5 in the paper).

8.2. Mixed key attack tests (§4 -- CVE-2020-24587)

Most devices I tested are vulnerable to mixed key attacks. In case the normal mixed key attack tests indicate that a device is not vulnerable, but the test ping-frag-sep does succeed, it is highly recommended to try these alternative mixed key attack tests.

As a general remark, when testing an AP, you can add the --rekey-req parameter to any of the mixed key attack tests to actively request a rekey handshake. A low number of APs will then perform the rekey handshake. Most APs will ignore this request though, and have to be explicitly configured to regularly renew the session key (PTK).

Some notes regarding the tests:

  • ping I,F,BE,E and ping I,E,F,AE: These are fairly straightforward mixed key attack tests where both fragments are injected at different times.

  • ping I,E,F,AE --rekey-plain: Some drivers (e.g. MediaTek) will perform the rekey handshake in plaintext. To test devices that use such a driver you must add the --rekey-plain parameter.

  • ping I,E,F,AE --rekey-plain --rekey-req: This particular combination is useful to test routers that use a MediaTek driver. These routers perform the rekey handshake in plaintext, and the client can actively request a rekey handshake.

  • ping I,E,F,AE --rekey-early-install: A low number of clients (incorrectly) install the key too early during a pairwise session rekey. To reliably test these clients, add the --rekey-early-install parameter. This test is not meaningfull against APs.

  • ping I,E,F,E [--rekey-pl] [--rekey-req]: This test variant is the same as the previous ping I,E,F,AE * tests, except that the second fragment is send 1 second after the 4-way handshake. This can be important because in a low number of devices there is a small delay before the new key is installed. Note that --rekey-pl is a shorthand of --rekey-plain.

Finally, in case the test ping-frag-sep doesn't succeed, you should try the following mixed key attack test:

  • ping I,F,BE,AE --freebsd: This essentially performs the rekey handshake against a FreeBSD implementation, or a driver that borrows code from FreeBSD, without affecting the defragmentation process of data frames. See Appendix E in the paper for details.

8.3. Cache attack tests (§5 -- CVE-2020-24586)

  • ping I,E,R,AE --freebsd --full-reconnect: This test can be used to check if a FreeBSD AP, or a driver that borrows code from FreeBSD, is vulnerable to a cache attack. See Appendix E in the paper for details on how this test works. You should also try this test without the --full-reconnect parameter. The test also works against clients, but these are unlikely to be affected.

  • ping I,E,R,AP --freebsd --full-reconnect: This test is a variant against FreeBSD APs, or against a driver that borrows code from FreeBSD, where the second fragment is sent in plaintext after reconnecting with the AP. Against some dongles on FreeBSD this test was more reliable and still proves that old fragments remain in the AP's memory after reconnecting. You should also try this test without the --full-reconnect parameter. The test also works against clients, but these are unlikely to be affected.

  • ping I,E,R,AP [--full-reconnect]: In this test the second fragment is sent in plaintext. This can be useful if the device being tested doesn't immediately install the key after the 4-way handshake. If this tests succeeds, it shows that the device keeps fragments in memory after (re)connecting to a network, meaning its vulnerable to cache attacks. Unlike the above two commands, this one is also useful to perform against clients (as well as APs).

8.4. Mixed plain/encrypt attack (§6.3 -- CVE-2020-26147)

  • ping I,E,E --amsdu: This test sends a fragmented A-MSDU frame, which not all devices can properly receive. It does not test for a vulnerability. Instead, this test is useful to determine the practical exploitability of the "Mixed plain/encrypt attack". Namely, if this tests succeeds, it's easier to attack the device if the second fragment can be sent in plaintext (test ping I,E,P). See Section 6.3 of the paper for details.

  • ping I,E,P,E and linux-plain 3: If all the other mixed plain/encrypt attack tests didn't succeed, you can try these two extra tests as well. I think it's quite unlikely this will uncover a new vulnerability.

8.5. Broadcast fragment attack tests (extensions of §6.4)

Most of the following tests send broadcast frames, which are not automatically retransmitted, and it is therefore recommended to execute them several times. This is because background noise may prevent the tested devices from receiving the injected broadcast frame. In my experiments, mainly clients were affected. Most clients are only vulnerable while connecting to the network (i.e. during the execution of the 4-way handshake).

  • ping I,P --bcast-ra: this sends a unicast ICMP ping request inside a plaintext broadcast Wi-Fi frame (CVE-2020-26145). This test can be performed against both clients and APs.

  • ping BP --bcast-ra: similar to the above test ping I,P --bcast-ra, but the ping is sent before the client has authenticated with the network, i.e., during the execution of the 4-way handshake (CVE-2020-26145). You must run tcpdump or wireshark to check if the client accepts the frame. In tcpdump you can use the filter icmp and in wireshark you can also use the filter frame contains "test_ping_icmp" to more easily detect this ping request.

  • ping BP --bcast-ra --bcast-dst: this test is the same as the previous one, but is useful if you cannot run tcpdump on the target AP. Note that this test is only meaningfull against APs. The extra --bcast-dst parameter in this test causes a vulnerable AP to broadcast the injected ping request to all connected clients. In other words, to check if an AP is vulnerable, execute this command, and listen for broadcast Wi-Fi frames on a second device that is connected to the AP by using the filter icmp or frame contains "test_ping_icmp".

  • ping BP [--bcast-dst]: this is a variant of the above two tests ping BP --bcast-ra [--bcast-dst], except that the ping request is now sent in a plaintext unicast frame instead of a broadcast one (no CVE is allocated yet - it's related to CVE-2020-26145). This test must be performed against both clients and APs. The ping is sent before the client has authenticated with the network (i.e. during the execution of the 4-way handshake), meaning you must run tcpdump or wireshark to check if the device accepts this frame. Alternatively, when testing APs, you can add the --bcast-dst parameter similar to the above test, and then use tcpdump or wireshark on a second device that is connected to the AP by using the filter icmp or frame contains "test_ping_icmp".

  • eapfrag BP,BP: this is a specialization of the above broadcast fragment tests that is performed before the client has authenticated. It is a very experimental attack based on the analysis of leaked code. It first sends a plaintext fragment that starts with an EAPOL header, which is accepted because the 4-way handshake is still being executed. Then it sends a second broadcast fragment with the same sequence number. Based on the analysis of leaked code some devices may now accept this fragment (because the previous fragment was allowed), but the subsequent code will process it as a normal frame (because the fragment is broadcasted). You must use tcpdump or wireshark on the victim to determine whether the frame is properly received, for example using the filter icmp or frame contains "test_ping_icmp". An alternative variant is eapfrag BP,AE in case the normal variant doesn't work.

8.6. A-MSDU EAPOL attack tests (§6.5 -- CVE-2020-26144)

This test can be used in case you want to execute the eapol-amsdu[-bad] BP tests but cannot run tcpdump or wireshark on the AP. This test is only meaningfull against APs: the command eapol-amsdu[-bad] BP --bcast-dst causes a vulnerable AP to broadcast the injected ping request to all connected clients. In other words, to check if an AP is vulnerable, execute this command, and listen for broadcast Wi-Fi frames on a second device that is connected to the AP by using the filter icmp or frame contains "test_ping_icmp".

8.7. AP forwards EAPOL attack tests (§6.6 -- CVE-2020-26139)

  • eapol-inject 00:11:22:33:44:55: This test is only meaningfull against APs. To perform this test you have to connect to the network using a second device and replace the MAC address 00:11:22:33:44:55 with the MAC address of this second device. Before being authenticated, the test tool will send an EAPOL frame to the AP with as final destination this second device. If the AP forwards the EAPOL frame to the second device, the AP is considered vulnerable. To confirm if the AP forwards the EAPOL frame you must run tcpdump or wireshark on the second device. You can use the wireshark filter frame contains "forwarded_data" when monitoring decrypted traffic on the wireless interface of the second device (or the tcpdump filter ether proto 0x888e to monitor all EAPOL frames). See Section 6.6 of the paper for the details and impact of this.

  • eapol-inject-lage 00:11:22:33:44:55: In case the above eapol-inject test succeeds, you can also try eapol-inject-large to see if this vulnerability can be abused to force the transmission of encrypted fragments. You again have to use tcpdump or wireshark to check this. Use the wireshark or tshark filter (wlan.fc.frag == 1) || (wlan.frag > 0) to detect fragmented frames. I found it very rare for this attack to work.

8.8. No fragmentation support attack test (§6.8 -- CVE-2020-26142)

  • ping I,D,E: If this test succeeds, the client or AP doesn't support (de)fragmentation, but is still vulnerable to attacks. The problem is that the receiver treats the last fragment as a full frame. See Section 6.8 in the paper for details and how this can be exploited.

  • ping I,E,D: If this test succeeds, then the client or AP treats the first fragment as a full frame. Although this behaviour is not ideal, it's currently unknown whether this, on its own, can be exploited in practice.

9. Advanced Usage

9.1. Network card injection tests

Injection mode

The script test-injection.py can be used to test whether frames are properly injected when using injection mode:

./test-injection.py wlan0 wlan1

Here we test if the network card wlan0 properly injects frames and we use network card wlan1 to monitor whether frames are properly injected. Note that both interfaces need to support monitor mode for this test script to work.

In case you do not have a second network card, you can execute a partial injection test using:

./test-injection.py wlan0

Unfortunately, the above test can only test if the kernel overwrites fields of injected frames, it cannot test whether the firmware or wireless chip itself overwrites fields.

Mixed mode

To test whether a network card properly injects frames in mixed mode, which is the mode I recommend to use, you can execute the following two commands:

./fragattack.py wlan0 ping --inject-test wlan1
./fragattack.py wlan0 ping --inject-test wlan1 --ap

Here we test whether wlan0 properly injects frames by monitoring the injected frames using the second network card wlan1. The first command tests if frames are properly injected when using mixed mode while acting as a client, and the second command when using mixed mode while acting as an AP. In order to start the test, the client must be able to connect to a network, and the AP waits until a client is connecting before starting the injection tests (see Before every usage for configuring the connection setup of the client and AP).

If you also want to test the retransmission behaviour of wlan0 in mixed mode you can execute:

./fragattack.py wlan0 ping --inject-test-postauth wlan1
./fragattack.py wlan0 ping --inject-test-postauth wlan1 --ap

In case you do not have a second network card, you can execute a partial mixed mode injection test using:

./fragattack.py wlan0 ping --inject-test[-postauth] self
./fragattack.py wlan0 ping --inject-test[-postauth] self --ap

Unfortunately, the above tests can only test if the kernel overwrites fields of injected frames, it cannot test whether the firmware or wireless chip itself overwrites fields.

Interpreting test results

The test script will give detailed output on which tests succeeded or failed, and will conclude by outputting either ==> The most important tests have been passed successfully or a message indicating that either important tests failed or that it couldn't capture certain injected frames.

Note that the injection scripts only test the most important behaviour. The best way to confirm that injection is properly working is to perform the vulnerability tests against devices that are known to be vulnerable, and confirming that the tool correctly identifies the device(s) as vulnerable.

When certain injected frames could not be captured, this may either be because of background noise, or because the network card being tested is unable to properly inject certain frames (e.g. the firmware of the Intel AX200 crashes when injecting fragmented frames). It could also be that frames are in fact properly injected, but that the network card used to monitor whether frames are injected properly (wlan1 in the above examples) is not reliable and is, for example, missing most frames due to background noise. Try running the tests on a different channel as well.

When the injection tests are working, but you have problems reliably performing the attack tests, this may be because the devices you are testing are entering sleep mode. See Handling sleep mode for additional notes on this problem.

Manual checks notes

When using wireshark to inspect the injection behaviour of a device it is recommended to use a second device in monitor mode to see how frames are injected.

In case you open the interface used to inject frames then you should see injected frames twice: (1) first you see the frame as injected by whatever tool is sending it, and then (2) a second time by how the frame was injected by the driver. These two frames may slightly differ if the kernel overwrote certain fields. If you only see an injected frame once it may have been dropped by the kernel.

9.2. Static IP Configuration

In case the device you are testing doesn't support DHCP, you can manually specify the IP addresses that the test tool should use. For example:

./fragattack.py wlan0 [--ap] ping --inject wlan1 --ip 192.168.100.10 --peerip 192.168.100.1

Here the test tool will use IP address 192.168.100.10, and it will inject a ping request to the peer IP address 192.168.100.1.

When a test sends IP packets before obtaining IP addresses using DHCP, it will use the default IP address 127.0.0.1. To use different (default) IP addresses, you can also use the --ip and -peerip parameters.

9.3. No ICMP Support

Most attack tests work by sending ICMP ping requests in special manners, and seeing wether we receive an ICMP ping response. In case the device being tested does not support ICMP pings you can instead use ARP requests by adding the --arp parameter to all tests. In case a test doesn't support sending ARP requests the tool will display the error Cannot override request type of the selected test, in which case the specific test can only be executed using ICMP ping requests.

TODO: When acting as a client we can also inject DHCP requests intead.

9.4. Alternative network cards

In case you cannot get access to one of the recommended wireless network cards, a second option is to get a network card that uses the same drivers on Linux. In particular, you can try:

  1. Network cards that use ath9k_htc

  2. Network cards that use carl9170

  3. Network cards that use iwlmvm.

I recommend cards based on ath9k_htc. Not all cards that use iwlmvm will be compatible. When using an alternative network card, I strongly recommend to first run the injection tests to confirm that the network card is compatible.

9.5. 5 GHz support

In order to use the test tool on 5 GHz channels the network card being used must allow the injection of frames in the 5 GHz channel. Unfortunately, this is not always possible due to regulatory constraints. To see on which channels you can inject frames you can execute iw list and look under Frequencies for channels that are not marked as disabled, no IR, or radar detection. Note that these conditions may depend on your network card, the current configured country, and the AP you are connected to. For more information see, for example, the Arch Linux documentation.

Note that a device may use different drivers to handle the 2.4 and 5 GHz band. As a result, it is important to test devices in both these bands, since a device may behave differently depending on which frequency band is being used.

Note that in mixed mode the Linux kernel may not allow the injection of frames even though it is allowed to send normal frames. This is because in the function ieee80211_monitor_start_xmit the kernel refuses to inject frames when cfg80211_reg_can_beacon returns false. As a result, Linux may refuse to inject frames even though this is actually allowed. Making cfg80211_reg_can_beacon return true under the correct conditions prevents this bug.

In practice, some people have found that you must first manually set the wireless network card to the 5GHz channel that the AP is operating on. See this GitHub issue for details.

9.6. Handling sleep mode

Devices such as mobile phones or IoT gadgets may put their Wi-Fi radio in sleep mode to reduce energy usage. When in sleep mode, these devices are unable to receive Wi-Fi frames, which may interfere with our tests. There are some options to try to mitigate this problem:

  1. Try to disable sleep mode on the device being tested. This is the most reliable solution, but unfortunately not always possible.

  2. Run the test tool in mixed mode. Most network cards will then queue injected frames until the device being tested is awake again.

  3. Try a different network card to perform the tests. I found that different network cards will inject frames at (slightly) different times, and this may be the difference between injected frame properly arriving or being missed. For instance, against a Pixel 4 XL the test tool was unreliable when using a TL-WN722N but worked reliably with an Intel 8265.

  4. Assign static IPs to the device under test and let the test tool use static IPs (see Static IP Configuration). With many tests this can be more reliable because the test tool can then immediately send the test frame instead of first having to use/wait on DHCP.

9.7. Avoiding tcpdump on APs

Some vulnerabilities can only be exploited while the device under test is connecting to the network, i.e., when it's executing the 4-way handshake. This makes them harder to test automatically and typically means that tcpdump or similar has to be used on the device under test. However, APs can be tested without running tcpdump on it. In particular, the broadcast fragment attack tests (CVE-2020-26145) and A-MSDU EAPOL attack tests (CVE-2020-26144) can be performed without running tcpdump on the device under test. Instead, tcpdump has to run on another client connected to the AP. Concretely, the following commands can be used:

  • ping I,P --bcast-ra --bcast-dst and ping BP --bcast-ra --bcast-dst

  • eapol-amsdu BP --bcast-dst and eapol-amsdu-bad BP --bcast-dst

With these commands, you can monitor for the ping request on another client that is connected to the AP. In case the ping request is received on this independent client, the AP under test is vulnerable. Unfortunately, currently, it appears hard to test clients against these attack variants without running tcpdump on the client.

9.8. Notes on device support

AWUS036ACM

If for some reason Linux does not automatically recognize this dongle, execute sudo modprobe mt76x2u to manually load the driver. This dongle seems reliable with our latest drivers. If the dongle is unreliable, create the file /etc/modprobe.d/mt76.conf with the following content:

options mt76_usb disable_usb_sg=1

Then reboot your machine. Also be sure to use a good USB cable with this dongle! I previously encountered unreliable behavior with this dongle, which was caused by a bad USB 3.0 cable. So if you experience issues, it may help to directly plug in the dongle without using a cable.

When using VirtualBox, make sure you enable USB3.0 so that the dongle gets recognized. See this issue for details.

The AWUS036ACM internally uses a MT7612U chipset. There are now also dongles with a MT7612UN chipset that are also reliable with our testing tool. An example is the CSL Wireless Network Adaptor.

ath9k_htc

The Technoethical N150 HGA, TP-Link TL-WN722N v1.x, and Alfa AWUS036NHA, all use the ath9k_htc driver.

For me these devices worked fairly well in a virtual machine, although like with all devices they are more reliable when used natively. When using a VM, I recommend to configure the VM to use a USB2.0 controller, since that appeared more stable (at least with VirtualBox).

In recent kernels there was a (now fixed) regression with the ath9k_htc driver causing it not to work. Simply use an up-to-date kernel or our patched drivers to avoid this issue.

AWUS036ACH

This device is generally not supported by default in most Linux distributions and requires manual installation of drivers. On Kali Linux you can install the driver using sudo apt install realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms. To install the driver on other distributions check your package manager or follow the installation instructions on GitHub. Before plugging in the device, it is recommended to execute modprobe 88XXau rtw_monitor_retransmit=1.

Unfortunately, this device doesn't work in mixed mode, which is the recommended mode, and is difficult to use in combination with our modified drivers. In practice, you will have to uninstall the modified drivers and then run the test tool using the parameters --no-drivercheck and using --inject wlan0 where wlan0 refers to the AWUS036ACH card. Because of these limitations this device is not recommended.

Intel AX200

I tested the Intel AX200 and found that it is not compatible with the test tool: its firmware crashes after injecting a frame with the More Fragments flag set. If an Intel developer is reading this, please update the firmware and make it possible to inject fragmented frames.

RT5572-based chips

I tested this chipset using the general CSL USB 2.0 WLAN Adapter 300Mbit adapter. After disabling hardware decryption by executing the disable-hwcrypto.sh script I was able to perform a basic ping test (ping). A fragmented ping test (ping I,E,E) was very unreliable but sometimes worked.

The current conclusion is that RT5572 chips might work with the test tool after disabling hardware encryption. But extra experiments are needed to confirm this (feedback is welcome).

9.9. Hwsim mode details

Warning: this is currently an experimental mode, only use it for research purposes.

This mode requires only one network card that supports monitor mode, and in contrast to mixed mode, the network card does not have to support virtual interfaces. The disadvantage is that in this mode frames are handled a bit slower, and it is not reliable when the network card does not acknowledge frames:

  • Due to commit 1672c0e31917 ("mac80211: start auth/assoc timeout on frame status") authentication as a client will instantly timeout, meaning we cannot use hwsim mode as a client currently. TODO: We need to patch the kernel to avoid this timeout.

  • If we test a client that uses commit 1672c0e31917 ("mac80211: start auth/assoc timeout on frame status") we (as an AP) must acknowledge frames sent towards us. Otherwise the client being tested will be unable to connected. TODO: Test which devices acknowledge frames in monitor mode, and test iw set wlanX monitor active.

  • Certain APs will also require that authentication and association frames are acknowlegded by the client. This means that we (as a client) must again acknowledge frames sent towards us. TODO: Test which devices acknowledge frames in monitor mode, and test iw set wlanX monitor active.

  • For some strange reason, the Intel/mvm cannot receive data frames from Android/iPhone/iPad after 4-way HS? This is a very strange bug. TODO: Investigate this further.

Before using this mode, create two virtual network cards:

./hwsim.sh

This will output the two created virtual "hwsim" interfaces, for example wlan1 and wlan2. When testing an AP in this mode, you must first search for the channel of the AP, and put the real network card on this channel:

./scan.sh wlan0
ifconfig wlan0 down
iw wlan0 set type monitor
ifconfig wlan0 up
# Pick the channel that the AP is on (in this example 11)
iw wlan0 set channel 11

Here wlan0 refers to the real network card (not an interface created by hwsim.sh). hen testing a client, do do not first have to configure the channel (it is taken from hostapd.conf). You can now start the test tool as follows:

./fragattack.py	 wlan0 --hwsim wlan1,wlan2 [--ap] $COMMAND

After the tool executed, you can directly run it again with a new $COMMAND.

9.10. Testing WPA3 and SAE devices

You can test a WPA3/SAE AP by including the following two lines in client.conf:

key_mgmt=SAE
ieee80211w=1

To test WPA3/SAE clients you can modify hostapd.conf and set the parameters:

wpa_key_mgmt=SAE
ieee80211w=2

We tested the above with an Intel 8265, Intel 3160, Netgear WN111v2 (carl9170), TP-Link TL-WN722N (ath9k_htc) and WNDA3200 (ath9k_htc). With those devices I was able to connect with the AP and run some tests. So it seems this should work with all already supported dongles. Note that I haven't tested this in detail: my assumption has been that whether a device is operating in WPA2 or WPA3 mode won't impact test results.

The provided client.conf by default enables both the hunting-and-pecking method and the hash-to-element method. To set up an AP that supports hash-to-element (and thereby test the latest WPA3/SAE clients) you can modify hostapd.conf and set the parameter:

sae_pwe=2

By setting this value the AP will accept both the hunting-and-pecking method and the hash-to-element method.

9.11. Live USB image

Download the live USB image and write it to USB using:

# Unmount in case there's an old partition on the USB
sudo umount /dev/sdb*
# Copy the image
sudo dd bs=4M if=ubuntu-20.04.2-fragattacks-1.3.3-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdb conv=fdatasync status=progress

The sha256sum of the image is 4b973452a08b981778285a33accfd4ce58625a91e8e0eab20941facf54904bba. Replace /dev/sdb with your USB stick. If you're not running Linux, search online how to write an ISO image to your USB stick.

When starting the live image click on "Try Ubuntu" during startup. Start a terminal by right clicking on the desktop and selecting "Open in Terminal" and execute:

cd ~/fragattacks/research
sudo su
nmcli radio wifi off
source venv/bin/activate

You can now run ./fragattacks.py and follow the normal instructions in this README. Remember to disable Wi-Fi using nmcli radio wifi off as shown above, otherwise the network manager of Ubuntu will interfere with the test tool. This README is also present on the live image at ~/fragattacks/README.md.

Note that airmon-ng may be unreliable on the live image and it's better to use iw.

10. Design notes

The arguments given to the ping command define which actions the test tool will perform and when these actions are performed. Each action is separated by a comma (,). By default an action is performed after the client connected, and in that case a single letter represents which action is performed. Note that this is implemented in the stract2action function. Possible actions are:

  • I: obtain an IP address. By default is is done using DHCP, unless an IP address is explicitly provided using the --ip and --peerip arguments, in which case nothing is done.
  • E: inject an encrypted packet/fragment of the ping request.
  • P: inject a plaintext packet/fragment of the ping request.
  • F: refresh the session key by initiation the 4-way handshake (as an AP) or waiting for the 4-way handshake (as a client).
  • R: let the client reconnect to the network.
  • D: this is a special "meta action". Treat this like an empty fragment of the ping request that is not actually sent.

If there is only a single E or P action, then the ping request is injected as a single frame. If there are multiple E, P actions, then the ping request is fragmented, where the number of fragments equal the number of E or P actions. If there is the special D action, then the ping request is fragmented over the remaining E or P actions (see the examples in the table). This fragmentation behavior is implemented in the PingTest class.

A letter can be put in front of the above actions to change when the action should be performed:

  • S: the action is performed on the 1st or 2nd message of the 4-way handshake.
  • B: the action is performed on the 3rd or 4th message of the 4-way handshake.
  • A: the action is performed immediately after the 4-way handshake completed.
  • C: the action is performed 1 second after the 4-way handshake completed. The amount of seconds to wait can be changed by using the --connected-delay parameter.

For example see the above two tables with commands.

11. Change log

Version 1.3.4 (under progress)::

  • Always encrypt EAPOL (Rekey) Request frames, even when --rekey-plaintext is used.

  • The client now accepts replayed EAPOL frames. This assures that rekeys work even when the AP being tested implements rekeys incorrectly.

  • Updated wpa_supplicant to re-enable connecting to Enterprise networks that use MS-CHAPv2. Previously, when the OS uses OpenSSL 3.0 or higher, MD4 was disabled by default, meaning MS-CHAPv2 could not be used.

  • Added the --pre-test-delay parameter. This adds a delay between getting an IP address and the transmission of the first fragments/frames. See the pull request by Michael Trimarchi and Angelo Compagnucci.

  • Updated the modified drivers so they compile on Linux kernel 5.13 as well. This is experimental.

  • Made the injection test more reliable by waiting longer for frames in the reorder test.

  • Made several minor changes to make the code easier to compile on older platforms (that have older Python version and OpenSSL libraries).

  • Updated the README with an example on how to install an older supported kernel on Ubuntu 20.04. Added design notes. Now recommending the AWUS036ACM.

Version 1.3.3 (11 May 2021):

  • Updated the modified drivers so they compile on Linux kernel 5.10, 5.11, and 5.12.

  • Updated firmware for ath9k_htc devices (should have no impact on tests).

  • Restructured the repository for pubic release. Removed internal documents and slides to instead reference the public versions of these documents.

  • Basic support for 40 MHz channels when using --inject-test[-postauth] parameter to test injection. In actual vulnerability tests, the usage of 40 MHz channels is untested (use disable_ht40 in client.conf if needed).

Version 1.3.2 (8 March 2021):

  • Added presentation handouts and a summary of each vulnerability's root cause and impact.

  • Updated this README to explain that the parameter --icmp-size 100 or similar can be added to all tests that send fragmented frames if the device under test only accepts fragments of a certain minimum size.

  • Fixed minor typos in this README.

Version 1.3.1 (1 March 2021):

  • Added the test ping BP [--bcast-dst] to this README. It injects a plaintext ping while connecting (i.e. during the 4-way handshake). Both clients and APs can be vulnerable to this attack.

  • Updated the attack overview with new examples on how packet injection vulnerabilities can be abused in practice. This includes techniques to trick IPv4-only clients into using a malicious DNS server and techniques to directly communicate with devices behind a NAT/firewall (to e.g. exploit local services).

  • Clarified that broadcast fragment tests can be performed against both clients and APs.

  • The test tool will now check whether the expected version of the Python Scapy library has been loaded.

  • Fixed some references to the paper in this README (now properly references sections 6.4, 6.6, and 6.8).

  • Updated to draft version 3 of the paper. There are no major changes compared to draft version 2, only minor textual and structural tweaks. Content-wise this is now the final version of the paper.

Version 1.3 (20 January 2021):

  • This version is based on hostap commit a337c1d7c ("New TWT operations and attributes to TWT Setup and Nudge").

  • Added an overview of attacks and their preconditions and created these slides to better illustrate how the aggregation attack (CVE-2020-24588) works in practice.

  • Added instructions on how to test WPA3/SAE devices using either the hunting-and-pecking or hash-to-element method. This also implies that Management Frame Protection (MFP) is supported by the test tool.

  • Added a clarification to this README on how to use tcpdump to verify the result of certain tests.

  • Added the extra test ping BP --bcast-ra --bcast-dst to this README to be able to test for CVE-2020-26145 against APs that cannot run tcpdump (with this test tcpdump has to be run on an independent connected client).

  • Added the extra tests ping I,E,F,E [--rekey-pl] [--rekey-req] to this README to better detect mixed key attacks (CVE-2020-24587) in certain devices.

  • Fixed injection of fragmented frames when using ath9k_htc dongles in combination with 802.11n.

  • The pysetup.sh script has been added to create the python virtual environment. This script also fixes a bug in the scapy library when used with Python 3.9.

  • The patched drivers have been updated to properly compile on Linux 5.9.0.

  • Fixed the ping-frag-sep test. Previously it behaved like ping-frag-sep --pn-per-qos. Note that this test is not used to detect vulnerabilities but only to better understand implementations.

Version 1.2 (15 November 2020):

  • This version (and lower) is based on hostap commit 1c67a0760 ("tests: Add basic power saving tests for ap_open").

  • Tool will automatically quit after a test completed or timed out.

  • Tool detects if the 4-way handshake is looping or if there is no reply to a rekey request (--rekey-req).

  • When using an external DHCP server, the tool will now always send EAPOL frames with as destination address the AP (instead of the DHCP server). This is important in mixed key and cache attack tests when using an external DHCP server.

  • When testing an AP using --rekey-req the tool will now send EAPOL Rekey Request with a Replay Counter of one instead of zero.

  • Debug output now shows the correct (group) key when encrypting broadcast/multicast frames. This does not influence any test results, it only changes the output of the test tool.

  • Clarified that all commands in this README can test both clients and APs unless noted otherwise.

  • Clarified the description of cache attacks, Broadcast fragment, and A-MSDU EAPOL attack tests in this README.

  • Clarified that it's important to test both the 2.4 and 5 GHz band in this README.

Version 1.1 (20 October 2020):

  • Fixed a bug where the command ping I,E,D would send a normal encrypted ping request. It now sends an encrypted ping request with the More Fragments flag set in the header.

  • Moved the amsdu-inject-[bad] commands to Section 7 of this README. These simulate real attacks and can be used to verify whether temporary mitigations are working (see Section 7.2 in the paper).

  • Fixed spelling of A-MSDU SPPs in this README and the test tool. The new argument --amsdu-spp is now a synonym of the old --amsdu-ssp argument.

Version 1.0 (11 August 2020):

  • Prepared initial release for usage during the embargo.