Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint Security

// // //
4/12/2019
10:25 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb

New Vulnerabilities Found in WP3 WiFi Standard

Two researchers have made mincemeat of the new WPA3 certification.

One of the researchers who developed the KRACK attack that split open the WPA-2 WiFi protocol is at it again. This time, he and a colleague make mincemeat of the new WPA3 certification.

A press release from the WiFi Alliance tries to put a brave face on things. It says that, "Recently published research identified vulnerabilities in a limited number of early implementations of WPA3™-Personal, where those devices allow collection of side channel information on a device running an attacker's software, do not properly implement certain cryptographic operations, or use unsuitable cryptographic elements. WPA3-Personal is in the early stages of deployment, and the small number of device manufacturers that are affected have already started deploying patches to resolve the issues. These issues can all be mitigated through software updates without any impact on devices' ability to work well together. There is no evidence that these vulnerabilities have been exploited." Nothing to see here folks, move along.

But the researchers, Mathy Vanhoef of New York University Abu Dhabi and Eyal Ronen of Tel Aviv University and KU Leuven, are far less sanguine and forgiving in the paper that the Alliance references.

They say straight off that WPA3's Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) handshake -- which is known as Dragonfly -- is affected by password-partitioning attacks. These resemble dictionary attacks and allow an adversary to recover the password by abusing timing or cache-based side-channel leaks.

They also sneer a bit at the entire WPA3 process. WPA3, they say, "was created without public review, meaning experts could not critique any of WPA3's new features before they were released. Moreover, although the new handshake of WPA3 was designed in an open manner, its security guarantees are unclear. […] WPA3 does not define new protocols, but instead mandates which existing protocols a device must support. This means WPA3 is not a specification, but a certification. Put differently, devices can now become WPA3-certified, which assures they implement certain protocols in an interoperable manner."

The authors also have a website up to explore the problems is a less geeky tone. They note that while the Dragonfly handshake will stop the cracking of a user’s password, that password could still be recovered using the attacks that they have presented. Recovery would mean that attackers can then read information that WPA3 was assumed to safely encrypt.

Because of the interoperability that was designed into WPA3, an adversary could create a rogue network and force clients that support WPA3 into connecting using WPA2. The captured partial WPA2 handshake can be used to recover the password of the network (using brute-force or dictionary attacks). No man-in-the-middle position is required to perform this attack, they say.

They also found a way to force the Dragonfly handshake to use a less secure security group by transmitting numerous "decline" messages while connecting.

On top of it all, they found a way (which they are not releasing just yet) of compromising the EAP-pwd protocol used in WPA2. They say that, "We also discovered serious bugs in most products that implement EAP-pwd. These allow an adversary to impersonate any user, and thereby access the Wi-Fi network, without knowing the user's password."

This is big and serious stuff. They say that they have collaborated with the Wi-Fi Alliance and CERT/CC to notify all affected vendors in a coordinated manner, and have helped with implementing backwards-compatible countermeasures.

It would behoove everyone to keep an eye out for any updates a vendor supplies that relate to this situation.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Improving Enterprise Cybersecurity With XDR
Enterprises are looking at eXtended Detection and Response technologies to improve their abilities to detect, and respond to, threats. While endpoint detection and response is not new to enterprise security, organizations have to improve network visibility, expand data collection and expand threat hunting capabilites if they want their XDR deployments to succeed. This issue of Tech Insights also includes: a market overview for XDR from Omdia, questions to ask before deploying XDR, and an XDR primer.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2022-28803
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-29
In SilverStripe Framework through 2022-04-07, Stored XSS can occur in javascript link tags added via XMLHttpRequest (XHR).
CVE-2022-29269
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-29
In Nagios XI through 5.8.5, in the schedule report function, an authenticated attacker is able to inject HTML tags that lead to the reformatting/editing of emails from an official email address.
CVE-2022-29270
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-29
In Nagios XI through 5.8.5, it is possible for a user without password verification to change his e-mail address.
CVE-2022-29271
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-29
In Nagios XI through 5.8.5, a read-only Nagios user (due to an incorrect permission check) is able to schedule downtime for any host/services. This allows an attacker to permanently disable all monitoring checks.
CVE-2022-29272
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-29
In Nagios XI through 5.8.5, an open redirect vulnerability exists in the login function that could lead to spoofing.