WiFi adapters card-to-card packet injection test

Update: I made something which I call aircrack-db. It contains the actual results of my hardware testing for the Wi-Fi attacks and it is kept up to date. Consider this article to be obsolete.

As I started working on the Offensive Security Wireless Attacks (WiFu) course, I needed to know which of the wireless interfaces that I own is capable of doing the job. Turns out that the information is hard to find, even coming from fellow pentesters.

I’ve to admit, my wireless attacking skills were next to null before starting this course. I had to read a lot of stuff before getting some hardware. I had the surprise to see that the most capable wireless interface, so far, is the one that came with my really-really-really-really old notebook which I use as lab environment.

I bought an Unex DNUA-93F because it has the same chipset as ALFA AWUS036NHA (*), but unfortunately it doesn’t support (yet?) the fragmentation attacks. Anyway, the card is really discreet and it may be a good choice for some inconspicuous testing. I also have an ALFA AWUS051NH (**) mostly because it supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. I don’t really care about 802.11a, but 802.11n works on both frequency bands.

Here are the results for the card-to-card packet injection test:

ASUS A6M built in (miniPCI): Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller (rev 02)

Driver: b43

Attack -0: OK
Attack -1 (open): OK
Attack -1 (psk): OK
Attack -2/-3/-4/-6: OK
Attack -5/-7: OK

Unex DNUA-93F: ID 0cf3:9271 Atheros Communications, Inc. AR9271 802.11n

Driver: ath9k_htc

Attack -0: OK
Attack -1 (open): OK
Attack -1 (psk): OK
Attack -2/-3/-4/-6: OK
Attack -5/-7: Failed

ALFA AWUS051NH ID 148f:2770 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT2770 Wireless Adapter

Driver: rt2800usb

Attack -0: OK
Attack -1 (open): OK
Attack -1 (psk): OK
Attack -2/-3/-4/-6: OK
Attack -5/-7: Failed

I borrowed some interfaces just to extend the test.

Canyon CNP-WF518N1 ID 148f:3070 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT2870/RT3070 Wireless Adapter

Driver: rt2800usb

Attack -0: OK
Attack -1 (open): OK
Attack -1 (psk): OK
Attack -2/-3/-4/-6: OK
Attack -5/-7: Failed

ID 0bda:8176 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8188CUS 802.11n WLAN Adapter

Driver: rtl8192cu

Attack -0: OK
Attack -1 (open): OK
Attack -1 (psk): OK
Attack -2/-3/-4/-6: Failed
Attack -5/-7: Failed

Don’t know the manufacturer of this Realtek card. It was sold naked (just the board with a soldered USB interface) for the reason that it worked OOTB with Raspbian. To state the obvious, RTL8188CUS is basically useless beyond deauth and fake auth.

The -1 to -9 are, of course, the aireplay-ng attack flags. My cards were tested with both the drivers that came with the latest Kali 1.0.8 / Linux 3.14.5-1 and with the compat-wireless compat-drivers backports package (guys, pick a name that sticks) 3.16.2-1. The borrowed cards were tested only with the backports drivers. I also used the mac80211.compat patch for the backport package provided by aircrack-ng with Mathy Vanhoef’s compatdrivers_chan_qos_frag patch, with some fixes from Devil_D. This patch can be merged with “patch -p1 -F3” as it fails to match the offsets.

I didn’t get the fixed channel issue with aireplay-ng until I started to do more stuff with it, with or without updated drivers. Even though I applied various patches, I found out that the issue is triggered by Gnome’s Network Manager if the service is restarted. It reconnects ALL of the installed wireless interfaces if it has a device profile for that particular interface. If it’s started again while a VAP is monitor mode is running, I get a fixed channel issue. Sometimes it sticks to -1, sometimes it sticks to 7. The channel of the interface can’t be changed after that.

iw and iwconfig silently fail to change the channel. A reboot solves the issue. Presumably, removing the modules with rmmod and loading them back in also fixes the channel issue. Adding the –ignore-negative-one flag to aireplay-ng doesn’t do anything useful and the attacks still fail. I am running the latest aircrack-ng suite, so the “it was patched against this” doesn’t apply here. I think the lesson here is: don’t start network-manager if a VAP created by airmon-ng is running. airmon-zc doesn’t solve the problem, as opposed to which is stated on aircrack’s issue tracker.

The conclusion is: I am waiting for an ALFA AWUS036H.

Update: the fixed channel issue appears when the network-manager daemon is restarted. This happens with or without the presence of the monitoring VAP. However, my hunch was correct. Unloading the driver with rmmod and loading it back with modprobe solves the fixed channel issue and the attacks may resume.

__________
(*) AWUS036NHA – something that people had “no issues with it”, while Unex DNUA-93F is an adapter which is endorsed by FSF as it needs “completely free software for operating”
(**) also, something that people had “no issues with it”, but I guess they didn’t try the fragmentation attacks with it

3 thoughts on “WiFi adapters card-to-card packet injection test

  1. Shi

    Sorry, didn’t see that you tested it with backports. However it was more than a year ago. Could you please test if RTL8188CUS is now okay?
    Thanks

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