The US-CERT is warning about a vulnerability in the WiFi Protected Setup standard that reduces the number of attempts it would take an attacker to brute-force the PIN for a wireless router's setup process. The flaw results in too much information about the PIN being returned to an attacker and makes the PIN quite weak, affecting the security of millions of WiFi routers and access points.
WPS is a method for setting up a new wireless router for a home network and it includes a way for users to set up the network via an external or internal registrar. In this method, the standard requires a PIN to be used during the setup phase. The PIN often is printed somewhere on the wireless router or access point. The vulnerability discovered in WPS makes that PIN highly susceptible to brute force attempts.
"When the PIN authentication fails the access point will send an EAP-NACK message back to the client. The EAP-NACK messages are sent in a way that an attacker is able to determine if the first half of the PIN is correct. Also, the last digit of the PIN is known because it is a checksum for the PIN. This design greatly reduces the number of attempts needed to brute force the PIN. The number of attempts goes from 108 to 104 + 103 which is 11,000 attempts in total," the US-CERT advisory says.Read More...