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Caffe Latte attack

The Caffe Latte attack debunks the age old myth that to crack WEP, the attacker needs to be in the RF vicinity of the authorized network, with at least one functional AP up and running. We demonstrate that it is possible to retrieve the WEP key from an isolated Client - the Client can be on the Moon! - using a new technique called "AP-less WEP Cracking". With this discovery Pen-testers will realize that a hacker no longer needs to drive up to a parking lot to crack WEP. Corporations still stuck with using WEP, will realize that their WEP keys can be cracked while one of their employees is transiting through an airport, having a cup of coffee, or is catching some sleep in a hotel room. Interestingly, Caffe Latte also has a great impact on the way Honey-pots work today and takes them to the next level of sophistication.

At its core, the attack uses various behavioral characteristics of the Windows Wireless stack along with already known flaws in WEP to pull off this feat! We have considered all combinations of network configurations and shown how it is possible to retrieve the WEP key in matter of less than 6 minutes in each case. We exploit the shared key authentication flaw and the message modification flaw in 802.11 WEP, to send a flood of encrypted ARP requests to the isolated Client. The Client replies to these requests with a barrage of encrypted ARP responses. We use these ARP responses and plug them into the PTW cryptographic attack and recover the WEP key in less than 6 minutes. It is important to note that though our talk will center on wireless Clients which run a Windows operating system, the core idea presented can be easily used to find similar attacks for other operating systems.

A download of the presentation made at TOORCON9 in San Diego on October 21, 2007 is available here.

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