What is the difference between a MIC and a PTK and how applications like Aircrack-ng and Pyrit are concerned about? note I'm only concerned with WPA2-PSK

From my research, a PTK is the pairwise transient key, and it consists of the Anonce (random prime number), Snonce (nonce from supplicant), essid and pre-shared key (passphrase). Some sources say that these programs create PMKs and compare the PMKs to the PTKs. Is that correct?

Some other sources say that what we are concerned about is the MIC. Some say that the MIC is a hash value and programs like Pyrit and Aircrack create these MIC hashes and compare them to the MIC hash captured in the 4-way handshake.

Which one is "really" correct?

  • Hello and Welcome Adam, I don't see exactly what's your question, both sentences are correct. The difference is that they don't serve the same purpose? The PTK it's used to encrypt the messages once the connection has been established, and the MIC it's used to verify if both parties have the same key and if so, both proceed to install the PTK and use it to communicate to each other. Please clarify your question.
    – Azteca
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 17:33
  • which one is actually used by wireless cracking tools, I have read that programs like cowpatty/genpmk generate PMKs, I have also heard that they generate hashes instead, which one do they? generate PMKs or MIC hashes? how does aircrack-ng and tools like cowpatty actually verify they have successfully cracked the passphrase? do they generate a PMK and compare it to the PTK? or do they create a MIC hash and compare it to the MIC in the handshake?
    – Adam
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 13:38


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