Failure due to bad EAPOL-Key descriptor version(3)

Jouni Malinen j
Fri Nov 14 10:14:39 PST 2014

On Wed, Nov 05, 2014 at 08:43:24PM -0800, Ben Greear wrote:

> Any idea what might be the cause of this failure to connect?  I don't know much
> about the setup of the AP at this point.

It would be useful if you would be able to get a wireless capture log
from such a failure case or at least some information about the AP in
question. Based on the OUI, this seems to be a Huawei AP. I've received
a similar report recently with another AP vendor as well, so it looks
likely that there are some interoperability issues in this area.

> sta101: SME: Trying to authenticate with 10:51:72:54:5a:90 (SSID='pmftest' freq=5180 MHz)
> 1415248099.342285: sta101: Trying to associate with 10:51:72:54:5a:90 (SSID='pmftest' freq=5180 MHz)
> 1415248099.354882: sta101: Associated with 10:51:72:54:5a:90
> 1415248099.360457: sta101: WPA: CCMP is used, but EAPOL-Key descriptor version (3) is not 2

Based on the SSID, I'd assume this is an AP misbehavior (selecting
incorrect EAPOL-Key descriptor version) in case the station tries to
negotiate PMF.

> network={
>     ieee80211w=2
>     proto=RSN
>     key_mgmt=WPA-PSK

Please note that this would be a pretty strange configuration for PMF.
When PMF is required (ieee80211w=2), a SHA256-based AKM (WPA-PSK-SHA256)
should be used. With that AKM, EAPOL-Key descriptor version should
indeed be 3, but this configuration is forcing the station to use
SHA1-based AKM and that AKM would use descriptor version 2.

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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