[RFC PATCH] pmksa: don't evict active entry when adding new ones

Dan Williams dcbw
Mon Aug 13 10:51:24 PDT 2012

On Fri, 2012-08-10 at 18:11 +0300, Jouni Malinen wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 06, 2012 at 11:30:02AM -0500, Dan Williams wrote:
> > If the PMKSA cache is full (ie, 32 candidates have been seen in scan
> > results and have not yet expired) then any additional entries can
> > potentially evict the current/active entry (if it is the first entry),
> > which triggers a pointless local deauthentication.  The supplicant
> > shouldn't replace the current/active entry if it is still valid, but
> > instead the oldest entry that is *not* the current/active one.
> Agreed.
> > Does this patch look correct?  I haven't runtime tested it yet, but
> > that's in the process of being done.  Somebody double-check my
> > linked-list logic, please :)
> List handling was fine, but this patch is not enough on its own since
> sm->cur_pmksa may be NULL and the check here for an active entry could
> have failed. I applied this and then another commit that updates
> sm->cur_pmksa when adding the initial SA entry. This seemed to address
> the issue.

So one problem with the current code in my testing was that when an
entry is removed, the check inwpa_sm_pmksa_free_cb() that determines
whether or not to deauthenticate checks either the cache entry, or the
PMK itself:

	if (sm->cur_pmksa == entry ||
	    (sm->pmk_len == entry->pmk_len &&
	     os_memcmp(sm->pmk, entry->pmk, sm->pmk_len) == 0)) {

and in my testing, a number of cache entries had the *same* PMK:

1344603539.406323: Selected BSS: 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:90 level=-63
1344603570.520225: RSN: Consider 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:10 for OKC
1344603570.520281: RSN: oldest PMKSA cache entry is 0x19ff450 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:20 PMK 341b7... (32)
1344603570.520332: RSN: current PMKSA cache entry is  0x19def10 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:90 PMK 341b7... (32)
1344603570.520379: RSN: current PMKSA is 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:90 PMK 341b7... (32)
1344603570.520429: RSN: removed the oldest idle PMKSA cache entry (for 00:xx:xx:xx:xx:30) to make room for new one
1344603570.520460: RSN: removed current PMKSA entry

clearly the entry for :30 is neither the current entry, nor is the entry
for the current BSSID (which is :90).  Yet the snippet in
wpa_sm_pmksa_free_cb() just compares the PMK and decides to

So my questions here are:

1) is it normal for multiple cache entries to have the same PMK?  It
seems the answer is "yes", given pmksa_cache_clone_entry() and the
opportunistic caching logic.

2) Shouldn't pmksa_cache_set_current() be honoring the BSSID that's
passed in before falling back to just checking the PMK?  It seems to me
the code should be searching from more specific to less specific.  If
we're passed *both* a PMKID and a BSSID, shouldn't the code make an
effort to find one that matches both, instead of just the PMKID?
Otherwise we end up with sm->cur_pmksa pointing to a BSSID that we're
not associated with.

Something like this maybe?  I'd argue that if both the PMKID and BSSID
are passed, and an exact match is not found, that's a failure.  If only
one of the two is passed, then we can't find an exact match, so try for
something close.  But give the BSSID priority since that's most likely
what we're currently associated with?  I don't pretend to know much
about OKC operationally though.

	sm->cur_pmksa = NULL;
	if (pmkid && bssid) {
		/* exact match requested; if we cannot provide it we fail */
		sm->cur_pmksa = pmksa_cache_get(pmksa, bssid, pmkid,
	} else {
		/* Fuzzy matching; one of BSSID or PMKID not known */
		if (bssid)
			sm->cur_pmksa = pmksa_cache_get(pmksa, bssid, NULL,
		if (sm->cur_pmksa == NULL && try_opportunistic && bssid)
			sm->cur_pmksa = pmksa_cache_get_opportunistic(pmksa,
		if (sm->cur_pmksa == NULL && pmkid)
			sm->cur_pmksa = pmksa_cache_get(pmksa, NULL, pmkid,


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