Sunday, July 21, 2024

DragonBlood – New Vulnerability in WPA3 Protocol Let Hackers Steal WiFi Password

Security researchers discovered a new vulnerability in WPA3 Protocol named “Dragonblood” which allows hackers to steal the WiFi Password from WP3 enabled WiFi Network.

This serious vulnerability in WPA3 protocol lets cybercriminals crack the password and access the encrypted traffic to steal sensitive data transmitted such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, and emails.

WPA3 protocol was recently announced by Wi-Fi Alliance and claims that it is impossible to crack the password of a network due to the powerful Dragonfly handshake but now it’s proven wrong due to this new Dragonblood vulnerability.

Most of the WiFi networks still use the 14-year-old WP2 protocol which is actually vulnerable to Krack Attacks Since then WPA3-Announced to Improve Security for personal and enterprise Wi-Fi networks.

Design Flaw in WPA3 Dragonblood Vulnerability

In this case, Researchers uncovered 2 different design flaws in WPA3 Protocol, and both vulnerabilities can be abused by the attacker to steal the password in the targetted Wi-Fi network.

1. Downgrade attacks
2. Side-channels leaks

The first flaw is the Downgrade attack on WP3 is due to a transition mode that is implemented in WPA3 by WiFi Alliance allows a network can simultaneously support both WPA2 and WPA3.

Since the WP3-enabled WiFi Network supports both WP2 and WPA3, setting up a rogue Access point that only supports WPA2 lets an attacker connect using WPA2’s 4-way handshake to perform offline Dictionary Attack.

Researchers said, “Although the client detects the downgrade-to-WPA2 during the 4-way handshake, this is too late. The 4-way handshake messages that were exchanged before the downgrade was detected, provide enough information to launch an offline dictionary attack.”


The second flaw, Side-channels leaks allows attackers to perform a Cache-based side-channel attack and Time-Based Side-channel Attack due to the vulnerabilities in the Dragonfly handshake.

Cache-Based Side-Channel Attack CVE-2019-9494. let attackers run unprivileged code on the victim machine and this attack allows us to determine which branch was taken in the first iteration of the password generation algorithm of Dragonfly.

“This information can be abused to perform a password partitioning attack (this is similar to an offline dictionary attack). “

Similarly, the time-based side channel Attack CVE-2019-9494 abuses the password encoding algorithm of Dragonfly handshake to perform the same password partitioning attack, which is similar to an offline dictionary attack.

In this case, Two researchers, Mathy Vanhoef (NYUAD) and Eyal Ronen (Tel Aviv University & KU Leuven)  who discovered this vulnerability made scripts to test for certain Dragonblood vulnerabilities discovered in WPA3 Protocol:

  • Dragonslayer: implements attacks against EAP-pwd (to be released shortly).
  • Dragondrain: this tool can be used to test to which extent an Access Point is vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks against WPA3’s SAE handshake.
  • Dragontime: this is an experimental tool to perform timing attacks against the SAE handshake if MODP group 22, 23, or 24 is used. Note that most WPA3 implementations by default do not enable these groups.
  • Dragonforce: this is an experimental tool that takes the information recovered from our timing or cache-based attacks, and performs a password partitioning attack. This is similar to a dictionary attack.

WiFi Alliance Patched Both Vulnerabilities

Both Vulnerabilities are currently patched and released an update by WiFi Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes Wi-Fi technology and certifies Wi-Fi products for conformity to certain standards of interoperability.

According to WiFi Alliance, There is no evidence of the vulnerability being used against Wi-Fi users maliciously, and Wi-Fi Alliance® has taken immediate steps to ensure users can count on WPA3-Personal to deliver even stronger security protections.”

“These issues can be resolved through a straightforward software update – a process much like the software updates Wi-Fi users regularly perform on their mobile devices.”

You can also read the complete technical details in Whitepaper and also read here.

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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.

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