Getting bad MIC when trying ath10k + ath9k IBSS with RSN

Ben Greear greearb at
Thu Apr 9 14:47:43 PDT 2015

On 04/09/2015 01:41 AM, Nicolas Cavallari wrote:
> [re-adding ath10k, sorry for removing it]
> On 09/04/2015 01:25, Ben Greear wrote:
>> On 04/08/2015 07:53 AM, Ben Greear wrote:
>> Ok, the EAPOL seems to work now, as long as I restart both supplicants before
>> I try to connect.
>> It appears now that there is something wrong with setting the keys.  The
>> firmware appears to get a real key, and then shortly after, the keys are
>> removed and encryption is disabled.
>> The supplicant log is below.  I believe the crucial part is this.  Any idea why
>> this would be failing?  (I'll poke in the kernel tomorrow to try to find
>> the reason as well...)
>> 1428534417.236258: wpa_driver_nl80211_set_key: ifindex=131 (wlan0) alg=3 addr=0x2344900 key_idx=1 set_tx=0 seq_len=6 key_len=16
>> 1428534417.236273: nl80211: KEY_DATA - hexdump(len=16): a5 28 f3 02 e9 cb a4 de 87 01 a4 9c c9 d2 a8 89
>> 1428534417.236298: nl80211: KEY_SEQ - hexdump(len=6): 00 00 00 00 00 00
>> 1428534417.236311:    addr=00:0e:8e:3e:8b:96
>> 1428534417.236319:    RSN IBSS RX GTK
>> 1428534417.236355: nl80211: set_key failed; err=-22 Invalid argument)
>> 1428534417.236367: wlan0: WPA: Failed to set GTK to the driver (alg=3 keylen=16 keyidx=1)
>> 1428534417.236376: wlan0: RSN: Failed to install GTK
>> 1428534417.236385: wlan0: RSN: Failed to configure GTK
>> 1428534417.236393: SUPP: supp_deauthenticate (TODO)
>> 1428534417.236419: l2_packet_receive: src=00:0e:8e:3e:8b:96 len=99
> I see this failure with drivers that do not support IBSS-RSN...
> Otherwise, this request must succeed.

Yeah, I thought I had applied Januz's patch to enable this in ath10k,
but I had not.

With that enabled, the system tries to do encrypted traffic, but
it looks like the unicast frames from ath10k are corrupted.

> However, there are other problems in your log:
> 1) There are two NL80211_CMD_JOIN_IBSS events from the kernel, for only
> one join request.
> 2) wpa_supplicant sent a authentication frame at 1428534380.167582 and
> never got any tx_status response from the kernel.  This was before the
> second NL80211_CMD_JOIN_IBSS event.
> Loosing a authentication frame is normally no big deal. It often
> happens. They are even stations that do not support them.  If i remember
> the logic that i implemented in wpa_supplicant, you consider the other
> station as authenticated if you receive an authentication response or an
> authentication request, or after a timeout.
> 3) But this timeout seems buggy: after completing the EAPOL exchange,
> this timer fires:
> 1428534381.168652: RSN: Timeout on waiting Authentication frame response
> from 00:0e:8e:3e:8b:96 - start authenticator
> This timer shouldn't even be present. And even if it did, it shouldn't
> start the authenticator as it is already started.  I didn't track the
> latest changes in wpa_supplicant's IBSS-RSN support, but this seems wrong.
> But it restart the authenticator anyway, which clears the PTK:
> 1428534381.168693: AUTH: auth_set_key(alg=0 addr=00:0e:8e:3e:8b:96
> key_idx=0)
> 1428534381.168703: AUTH: set_key - key - hexdump(len=0): [NULL]
> 1428534381.168737: wpa_driver_nl80211_set_key: ifindex=131 (wlan0) alg=0
> addr=0x2344bb0 key_idx=0 set_tx=1 seq_len=6 key_len=0
> 1428534381.168751: nl80211: KEY_SEQ - hexdump(len=6): 00 00 00 00 00 00
> 1428534381.168761:    addr=00:0e:8e:3e:8b:96
> And mark the station as unauthorized:
> 1428534381.169266: nl80211: Set STA flags - ifname=wlan0
> addr=00:0e:8e:3e:8b:96 total_flags=0x0 flags_or=0x0 flags_and=0xfffffffe
> authorized=0
> 1428534381.169347: AUTH: 00:0e:8e:3e:8b:96 unauthorizing port
> After that, it retries an EAPOL exchange which basically fail: the
> remote station still have an encrypted session, and the logic in
> wpa_supplicant is that you can only reset a encryption session by
> sending an authentication frame.

Ok, this is probably why I have to restart supplicant on each side when
I try to make the stations associate.

I think I'll look at this later, since now my stations are staying
authenticated long enough to do some traffic tests at least.


Ben Greear <greearb at>
Candela Technologies Inc

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