802.11 Protocol Chaos

Author(s): Andres Blanco
Category: Vulnerability Research
Duration: 45
Summary: Over the last few years, IEEE 802.11 standard for wireless connectivity usage has turned massive. Wireless devices are everywhere, from your smartphone to the printer that is in your office.

IEEE 802.11 standard has many versions and 3rd party extensions bringing new features that add complexity to the protocol. Modern devices support several specifications such as Cisco Client Extensions, WiFi Protected Setup, WiFi Direct, AirPlay and AirDrop (just to mention a couple of them). This complexity makes platform implementations more intricate, opening opportunities for attackers.

This presentation will show how attackers could use these specifications to fingerprint devices, abuse of bad implementations to access devices and get internal network information without even connecting to the network.

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How is this talk different? This seems like well-worn ground.


This presentation shows how 802.11 specifications and extensions extend the attack surface and how some implementations could expose devices to attacks. I demonstrate this with vulnerabilities I found the last couple of years and with some tools I wrote.