deauthentication and disassociation nl80211 commands

Maxim Levitsky maximlevitsky
Thu Oct 15 04:45:12 PDT 2009

On Mon, 2009-10-12 at 09:52 +0300, Jouni Malinen wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 05, 2009 at 04:11:47AM +0200, Maxim Levitsky wrote:
> > Today kernel explicitly requests the driver to perform both
> > disassociation and deauthentication in that order.
> I hope that deauthentication alone would be enough since that is
> supposed to implicitly first take care of disassociation as far as the
> IEEE 802.11 standard is concerned. It should also be noted that "kernel"
> here is referring to mac80211; most other drivers/IEEE 802.11 stacks
> do not have this type of restriction.
> > However, currently wpa_supplicant assumes that once it called
> > wpa_drv_disassociate it can again start the complete connect sequence
> > from the authentication.
> Actually, wpa_supplicant assume that it can authenticate again at any
> point, i.e., even without first calling wpa_drv_disassociate.
> > In fact I have carefully studied the code and found that calls to
> > wpa_supplicant_deauthenticate (which is the only user of
> > wpa_drv_deauthenticate) only happen at deinitialization of wireless
> > interface and when wpa_supplicant really has to do it, that is if there
> > is a failure (mic failure for example).
> Yes, wpa_supplicant tries to follow the operations as defined in IEEE
> 802.11 and does not unnecessarily deauthenticate. In addition, when
> reassociating back to the same AP (e.g., to change some parameters),
> there will be no deauthentication/disassociation at all.
> > My hacky patch that was rejected on the grounds that it is not right to
> > introduce the driver dependent behavior might actually be the correct
> > solution. It just makes the wpa_supplicant_disassociate do both
> > disassociation and deauthentication, as was always assumed by the
> > wpa_supplicant core.
> There is no such assumption and the patch is not correct.

Thanks for explanation, then this is a kernel issue.

> > Or kernel should became smarter and do the work for wpa_supplicant. 
> No, it should not do that either. Rather, it should allow valid IEEE
> 802.11 operations to be performed (authentication while authenticated is
> allowed)..
> > If mac80211 is already authenticated to the AP that was requested, it
> > should just return success.
> No. It should start new authentication in that case.
> > If it isn't authenticated to new AP then, new authentication should be
> > made.
> > (and old one can be kept, but removed after a timeout)
> That should be done regardless of the current authentication/association
> state.
> > When do you plan to switch officially the wpa_supplicant to
> > driver_nl80211?
> To whom is this "you" referring? wpa_supplicant does support both WEXT
> and nl80211. It is up to the user (of wpa_supplicant; e.g., NM) to
> decide which driver wrapper it wants to use.

I mean, the general community, distributions, NM, ...

> As far as working out this issue is concerned, I committed a following
> change to wpa_supplicant:
> I cannot day that I exactly like this due to the required extra code in
> events.c, but the part in driver_nl80211.c shows how this type of
> driver-specific cases should be handled in general. Anyway, I hope that
> this can be eventually removed from wpa_supplicant.
Me nether, now I am sure that this is kernel issue, and should be done

Thanks a lot,
	Maxim Levitsky

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