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Association Attacks in IEEE 802.11: Exploiting WiFi Usability Features

Conference paper
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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11739)

Abstract

Association attacks in IEEE 802.11 aim to manipulate wireless clients into associating with a malicious access point, usually by exploiting usability features that are implemented on the network managers of modern operating systems. In this paper we review known association attacks in IEEE 802.11 and we provide a taxonomy to classify them according to the network manager features that each attack exploits. In addition, we analyze the current applicability status of association attacks, by implementing them using the well-known Wifiphisher tool and we review the security posture of modern network managers against known association attacks and their variations. Our results show that association attacks still pose an active threat. In particular, we analyze various strategies that may be implemented by an adversary in order to increase the success rate of association attacks, and we show that even though network managers have hampered the effectiveness of some known attacks (e.g. KARMA), other techniques (e.g. Known Beacons) are still an active threat.

Notes

Acknowledgement

This research has been co-financed by the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH-CREATE-INNOVATE (project code: T1EDK-01958).

This work has been partly supported by the University of Piraeus Research Center.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SecLab, Department of InformaticsUniversity of PiraeusPireasGreece

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