Key Reinstallation Attacks: Forcing Nonce Reuse in WPA2

On October 16th, 2017, a research paper with the title of “Key Reinstallation Attacks: Forcing Nonce Reuse in WPA2” was made publicly available.

This paper discusses seven vulnerabilities affecting session key negotiation in both the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocols. These vulnerabilities may allow the reinstallation of a pairwise transient key, a group key, or an integrity key on either a wireless client or a  wireless access point. Additional research also led to the discovery of three additional vulnerabilities (not discussed in the original paper) affecting wireless supplicant supporting either the 802.11z (Extensions to Direct-Link Setup) standard or the 802.11v (Wireless Network Management) standard.

The three additional vulnerabilities could also allow the reinstallation of a pairwise key, group key, or integrity group key.

An attacker within range of a victim can exploit these weaknesses using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs). This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and so on.

The weaknesses are in the Wi-Fi standard itself, and not in individual products or implementations. Therefore, any correct implementation of WPA2 is likely affected. To prevent the attack, users must update affected products as soon as security updates become available.


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Debashis Pal
Information Security Specialist