Setting WPA options for a hidden network

Soh Kam Yung sohkamyung
Tue Aug 7 02:25:38 PDT 2007

I am currently writing a front-end to wpa_supplicant, using the
wpa_supplicant control interface, and encountered what appears to be a

One of the requirements of my front-end program is setting up the
WPA-PSK parameters for a 'hidden network'.  The SSID of a network is
usually 'hidden' by setting the 'broadcast SSID' option in a AP to
'disable'.  The assumption here is that the network is using WPA-PSK.

On a (embedded and proprietary) device, this was done by sending a
"SCAN <hidden ssid>" command.  This would scan for and return
information on the hidden ssid, including information on the WPA-PSK
settings being used, like whether it is using WPA or WPA2 and whether
the encryption for pairwise and groupkeys is TKIP or CCMP.

This information is then used to setup the WPA settings on the device
to join the hidden network.

However, the control interface for wpa_supplicant's SCAN command does
not appear to have the option for scanning for a hidden ssid.  Without
the WPA information, I cannot setup wpa_supplicant to join the hidden

The WPA-PSK settings for the hidden network are not supplied by the
user.  The reason for this is to make the device more user friendly:
the user just needs to know the name of the network and that WPA-PSK
is being used on the network.  The device is suppose to find the
actual WPA-PSK settings for the hidden network via the scan result.

Is there a way to find information on a hidden network via
wpa_supplicant?  If not, what can I do in a linux environment to get
this information?

Soh Kam Yung
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