How to get correct wireless security protocol

Jouni Malinen j
Tue Dec 18 04:36:54 PST 2012

On Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 11:03:01AM +0000, Sam Gardner wrote:
> I am using iwlist to get a list of wireless networks. The access point I am trying to connect to has the security protocol set to WPA2. However, sometimes when I run iwlist it is reporting it as WEP, since it does not report it as WPA2. I have also tried "wpa_cli scan; wpa_cli scan_results" and this sometimes misreports the security protocol too.

I would not use iwlist since it is obsolete. What do you see in "wpa_cli
scan_results" in the valid and invalid case? Please also send "iw wlan0 scan
dump" output from a case where you see incorrect information.

> Is there anyway, to get the correct security protocol for a wireless access point?

Well, that depends on a bit on how the AP is configured, i.e., it is not
always trivial to figure out the exact configuration if certainly
multi-SSID designs are used.

> I've tried "iw dev wlan0 scan", but cannot distinguish between open and WEP enabled access points. How can I do this?

You can figure out it is a WEP network if the capability line includes
Privacy and there is no WPA/RSN element.

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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