I have an access point that subscribes in the list of connected devices all the devices that try to connect to it, even if they give a wrong password.

The device does not give them an IP address but they are saved as valid devices using their MAC address.

I reported it in my work as a critical security issue but I don't know how to defend my opinion. Can anyone tell me the possible ways to exploit this vulnerability or other tests to do to verify the validity of my work?

For Example, is there a message in the 802.11 standard that broadcasts valuable information to connected devices that the malicious devices can sniff.

  • I'm confused. What do you mean by "subscribe" or "saved as valid devices"? If you are using MAC Address filtering, then the filtering should be based upon separately-known lists of authorized or unauthorized devices. The WiFi system itself should not, without authentication and proof of authorization, be automatically whitelisting devices just because they try to connect. However, the system will probably log their activity and register them in a list of known assets - but presence on this list alone should not imply that the assets are authorized for access. – Iszi Nov 23 '14 at 4:12
  • Example: I have MAC filtering enabled at home, in "whitelist" mode. This means that only the devices I add to the authorization list can connect. However, for ease of use, the system also contains a list of MAC addresses for devices which are trying to connect. This makes it easier for me to add new devices, but does not automatically permit them access even if they have the correct password. – Iszi Nov 23 '14 at 4:14

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you didn't discover any security issue. MAC addresses are a little lower that where WiFi encryption happens. Any device, connected or not, can sniff any and all of the MAC addresses of the devices that use WiFi around it.

What you see on the access point's logs (the MAC address) is a piece of information that anybody can acquire. Devices let the AP know about their MAC addresses before they're actually connected to it.

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