Difference between WPA/WPA2 state machine and EAPOL state machine?

Jouni Malinen j
Thu May 15 05:31:19 PDT 2008

On Thu, May 15, 2008 at 11:31:58AM +0200, Christian Fackroth wrote:

> I have a problem to understand the different task between WPA/WPA2 state machine
> and EAPOL state machine. I think the EAPOL state machine realize the IEEE 802.11i
> state machine for authentication and the WPA state machine do this for the
> IEEE 802.11i / D3.0. But why is the WPA state machine also call WPA2 state machine?
> Also the WPA/WPA2 state machine have a reference to the EAPOL state machine.

WPA is based on IEEE 802.11i/D3.0 and WPA2 is more or less same as IEEE
802.11i-2004 (which is now part of IEEE 802.11-2007). EAPOL state
machines are defined in IEEE 802.1X-2004, not in IEEE 802.11, WPA, or
WPA2. The WPA and WPA2 state machines are quite similar and as such,
they are implemented with the same code. The WPA/WPA2/IEEE 802.11 RSN
state machines interact with EAPOL state machines which is the reason
for references to the EAPOL state machines.

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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