Unicast packets stop being transmitted to a particular station, under load, when WPA2 is enabled

Adrian Chadd adrian at freebsd.org
Mon May 12 07:53:14 PDT 2014


So the keys aren't bidirectional. There'll be a set of transmit and
receive keys per station, as well as the multicast key.

If you're seeing traffic in other TIDs for a given station, then it's
likely a block-ack tracking issue.

If you only see multicast traffic to the station, but no unicast
traffic, then it could be all the HWQ's are stuck; but it also could
be a key exchange issue. Normally on FreeBSD I'd just do a monitor
mode trace and look at whether I was receiving anything; before I then
dug down to see if the encryption sequence was fine (ie, no CCMP
replays, the key is correct, etc.)

As for ath10k, it's been a while since I was deep in the firmware.
Ideally you'd like to get TX completion notifications from the chip up
to the firmware as that'll at least tell you the frame is making it
out to the air and being ACKed (and is thus not going to be a hung
hardware queue or TID.) I don't know if TX completion notifications
are completely working though; I'll check once I have firmware source


On 11 May 2014 18:57, Avery Pennarun <apenwarr at gmail.com> wrote:
> Version: 3.15-rc1 and ath10k-stable-3.11-8 (both via backports to kernel 3.2.26)
> Firmware: 10.1.467.2-1
> Steps:
> - Configure ath10k as AP on channel 149, width 80 MHz, WPA2 encryption
> - Connect my 2009 macbook
> - Start a ping of in the background from my macbook
> - Generate some traffic.  The trigger varies, but running uTorrent or
> quickly opening a lot of background tabs in Chrome usually seems to
> set it off within a couple of minutes.  iperf and isoping don't seem
> to cause any trouble.
> Expected:
> - ping keeps pinging
> Actual:
> - tcpdump on the ath10k host shows ICMP requests coming in, and
> responses going out.
> - tcpdump on the macbook shows ICMP requests going out, but no
> responses coming back.
> - tcpdump -I (radiotap mode) on the macbook is a little hard to
> understand since it's encrypted, but it shows some packets coming out
> of the ath10k (broadcasts, I think) but no unicast packets to the
> macbook.
> - tcpdump on the macbook *does* show broadcast packets arriving.  For
> example, ARP requests and "ping -b" (my local subnet IP
> address) get through.
> - Disconnecting and then reconnecting the wifi on my macbook fixes the
> problem until it next triggers.
> - Other STAs connected to the AP are not affected when the one STA
> isn't able to communicate (although each one has the potential to
> trigger the problem)
> Disabling encryption makes the problem go away permanently.
> This is pretty quick for me to reproduce, but unfortunately I don't
> have any steps to trigger it instantly, nor any command line tools
> that seem to make it happen.  (For example I tried multiple parallel
> 'curl' processes in a loop, and no lock.)
> Nothing interesting appears in the dmesg or hostapd logs at the time
> of the problem.
> This sounds like it could be a problem with crypto session keys, but I
> don't understand why it would only be wrong in a single direction.  I
> also don't think my keys are rotating this quickly, so this shouldn't
> be a key rotation problem (though I don't understand very well how
> that works).
> It might be my imagination, but it's possible that this triggers more
> quickly if my macbook has been connected for a longer period of time
> before generating the traffic burst.
> Anything I can check to help narrow this down?
> Thanks,
> Avery
> _______________________________________________
> ath10k mailing list
> ath10k at lists.infradead.org
> http://lists.infradead.org/mailman/listinfo/ath10k

More information about the ath10k mailing list