What is Protected Management Frames? [100% Solved]

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This feature protects workstations against Protected Management Frames from other devices that could otherwise disrupt a valid user session.

The MFP is negotiated between the client and the AP. Because the management frameworks are encrypted, WPA / v2 is required to be enabled in the wireless service settings.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA2 ™ with Protected Management Frame and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3 ™ provides protection for unicast and multicast management action frames.

The Unicast management framework is protected from both tapping and forging, and the multicast management action frame is protected from forging. CERTIFIED-ac, WPA3 ™, Passpoint®, Wi-Fi Agile Multiband ™, and Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity ™ devices require a Protected Management Framework.

They enhance existing privacy protections for data frameworks with mechanisms to increase the resilience of mission-critical networks.

Protected Management Frame Best Solution No. 1

The reason it’s not turned on by default is because not all clients support it correctly. The risk is very low.

Sending authorization frames is more of a denial of service attack than an attempt to break-in. No one will really bother trying to hack you WIFI when there is open WIFI.

If you were a company with information worth stealing, but companies with information to steal often have multiple layers of protection.

Protected Management Frame Best Solution No. 2

The Question is : What is protected management frame protection and how does it help secure my wireless infrastructure?

And the answer is: This feature protects workstations against counterfeit protected management frames from other devices that could otherwise disrupt a valid user session.

The MFP is negotiated between the client and the AP. Because the management frameworks are encrypted, wpa / v2 is required to be enabled in the wireless service settings.

If the client and the AP are able to support MFP, RSN information elements (IE) are passed during the authentication phase, the following image shows a client M2 frame that does not support MFP:

Some wireless clients may not work with the MFP enabled, as the clients do not support or understand the additional information included in the MFP encryption. This is known as a message integrity check (MIC).

Whenever possible, it is good practice to test all your known and allowed network client devices on MFP-enabled WLANs before connecting to the network. New implementations, etc.

Protected Management Frames

Protected Management Frames Overview

Wi-Fi is a transmission medium that allows any device to eavesdrop and participate as a legitimate or rogue device.

Wireless clients use management frameworks such as authentication, DE authentication, association, disassociation, beacons, and probes to initiate and remove network service sessions.

Unlike data traffic, which can be encrypted to provide a level of confidentiality, these protected management frames must be heard and understood by all clients and therefore must be transmitted as open or unencrypted.

While these protected management frames cannot be encrypted, they must be protected against forgery to protect the wireless medium from attack. For example, an attacker could spoof AP management frames to attack a client associated with the AP.

The 802.11w protocol applies only to a set of robust protected management frames that are protected by the Protected Management Frame (PMF) service.

These include the dissociation, DE authentication, and robust action frameworks.

The management frameworks that are considered robust action and therefore protected are the following:

  • Vendor-specific Protected
  • QoS
  • Fast BSS Transition
  • DLS
  • Block Ack
  • Radio Measurement
  • SA Query
  • Protected Dual of Public Action
  • Spectrum Management

Protected Management Frame Operation

The 802.11w standard called Protected Management Frames (PMF) that protects the client through a dismount protection mechanism of the Security Association.

PMF requires the cnPilot access point to first verify with the legitimate client by sending a Security Association (SA) inquiry request frame to the legitimate client.

The legitimate 802.11w client must respond with a Security Association (SA) query response frame within a predefined period of time (milliseconds) called the SA query retry time.

If the legitimate client responds in time, then the legitimate client maintains the connection and cnPilot AP sends the rouge client a status code 30 message that says “Association request temporarily rejected; Try it again later “.

This action will prevent the rouge client from connecting and will prevent the legitimate client from disconnecting from the access point.

However, if the legitimate client does not respond in time (milliseconds) to the Security Association (SA) request frame, the cnPilot AP aborts the client session by sending a disassociation message.

PMF only works with WPA2-PSK or 802.1x WPA2-Enterprise security.

cnPilot AP supports 3 PMF options

  1. Disable – Disables 802.11w PMF protection on a WLAN.
  2. Optional– When security is enabled in WLAN, by default PMF will be in Optional Mode. By selecting this option, both 802.11w capable clients and 802.11w non-capable clients can connect.
  3. Mandatory – Only 802.11w capable clients can associate to the WLAN.
cnPilot AP supports 3 PMF
Configuration

1. PMF capability will be visible only in security mode, so select either WPA2-PSK or WPA2-Enterprise security.Goto “Configure >> WLAN >> Security” and Select either WPA2-PSK or WPA2-Enterprise.

2. Goto “Configure >> WLAN >> 802.11w State” and select Disable, Optional or Mandatory state. 

mandatory_pmf.JPG
disable_pmf.JPG

The following Wireshark captures shows the RSNIE capabilities, when PMF is configured with Optional state.

optional_sniffer.JPG

The following Wireshark captures shows the RSNIE capabilities, when PMF is configured with Mandatory state.

Mandatory_sniffer.JPG

The following Wireshark captures shows the RSNIE capabilities in Association Request frame of 802.11w wireless client.

802.11w capable client sniffer.JPG

This is the protected management frames article – After all these idea and configuration are working very well, so you can apply and try these setting and I hope this article helps to you. for more details comment me.

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