When stealing a WPA2 hash from a packet, why do you need to use brute force to find out the original password instead of just sending the router the hash itself and connect with it to the router?

  • What do you mean by the WPA2 Hash? To connect to a network there's an exchange of information called Four-way handshake, and only these four packets contain information relevant to the connection, not "any packet". And the brute force is to crack the encryption to get the password that was used to generate the key named Password-Based Key Derivation Function 2 (Or PBKDF2 for short)
    – Azteca
    Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


With WPA2, the hash of the WPA2 key is never sent over the network. Instead, the client derives an encryption key from the password, then the access point is able to verify that the client is in possession of the password cryptographically using the key derived from the password and nonces/ephemeral keys to prevent replay attacks. See https://superuser.com/questions/1068126/router-wifi-password-encryption-types-and-why-do-they-matter for more information.

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