On August 4, 2018, Jens Steube from the Hashcat project published an article introducing a new method to obtain cryptographic information from wireless traffic that can then be used by an attacker to attempt the offline recovery of the preshared key (PSK) used to secure a Wi-Fi network.
Both the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and the Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) protocols are known to be susceptible to offline cryptographic attacks when a PSK is used as an authentication mechanism. This is not a new vulnerability or a new attack against these protocols. This is a new vector that allows an attacker to obtain the information required to attempt an offline attack against the PSK.
This new method is different from the existing attacks against the PSK because it does not require an attacker to wait for an Extensible Authentication Protocol over LAN (EAPOL) authentication exchange, capture it, and proceed to attempt an offline PSK recovery. This new vector allows an attacker to extract the required information from a single wireless frame transmitted during a roaming event. The following conditions for this capture apply:
- The frame contains a Robust Security Network-Pairwise Master Key Identification (RSN-PMKID) option
- The wireless infrastructure is configured to use WPA2 with a PSK mode of authentication
- The wireless infrastructure supports the Proactive Key Caching (PKC) fast roaming option (PMKID roaming)
The wireless frame can be acquired by passively listening to traffic from the wireless network during the roaming.
It is important to note that this method does not make it easier or faster to recover the PSK for a Wi-Fi network. Instead, it is easier for an attacker to collect the information required to conduct a subsequent offline cryptographic attack. The likelihood of a successful recovery of the PSK is highly dependent on the complexity of the PSK in use.
This advisory is available at the following link:
Security Impact Rating: Informational