hostap + mac filtering

Jouni Malinen jkmaline
Tue Sep 27 20:07:55 PDT 2005

On Tue, Sep 27, 2005 at 10:37:53PM -0400, Bryan Kadzban wrote:

> With our old Orinoco APs, when we configured a MAC ACL, any MAC address
> that wasn't allowed according to that list wasn't even allowed to
> associate.  Sounds like those APs did that in the driver, too.  (They
> used Atheros radios, but I don't know what OS.)

This does not necessarily mean it was done in the driver. As an example,
Host AP driver supports MAC ACL both with and without hostapd. With
hostapd, it is up to hostapd to do filtering and without hostapd, driver
will do this.

> The aforementioned Orinoco APs also had a "MAC access control by RADIUS"
> option (the Ciscos that we use now have the same thing), which works
> similarly -- the AP allows anyone to associate, but if the RADIUS server
> sends an Access-Reject, then that client can't pass traffic through the
> AP.  Sounds vaguely similar to what you're considering here.
> I wonder if a "MAC access control by RADIUS" feature would be helpful in
> hostapd.

It is already supported in hostapd with Prism2. Though, hostapd is doing
this at the same time as the static MAC ACLs, i.e., before association.
In case of madwifi, this could be done by having a way for hostapd to
register a callback for madwifi to ask whether a STA is allowed to

>    The Orinoco APs were configurable; the username was the MAC
> address in one of 4 formats (xx.xx.xx..., xx-xx-xx..., xxxxxx-xxxxxx, or
> one other one that I can't remember anymore), and the password was the
> RADIUS shared secret.  The Cisco APs send a username of xxxxxxxxxx, and
> the password is the same as the username.

> If someone plans on doing this, they might as well come up with as many
> username/password format options as possible, and make it configurable.

This is very much configurable.. In hostapd source code.. ;-) Anyway, I
don't see much point in spending much more time with this kind of

> This isn't very secure (not nearly as secure as certificate or password
> based authentication using 802.1x), but it doesn't require cooperation
> from the STA, either.

This does not really have anything to do with security.

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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