IEEE 802.11w support in wpa_supplicant ("Management frame protection required, but client did not enable it" error)

Jouni Malinen j at
Sun May 6 05:49:35 EDT 2012

On Sat, May 05, 2012 at 04:43:16PM +0100, Michael Zintakis wrote:
> > I don't think this driver supports IEEE 802.11w.
> >   
> Oh, dear! Do you mean the software driver (which is from TI) or the 
> actual hardware device (wl1251)?

Likely both (or well, it could be possible, in theory, to do something
in firmware).

> This may have something to do with the wpa_supplicant version I am 
> using, which is 5.11 and unfortunately, I don't see a way to 
> replace/upgrade it unless I manage to switch to the Linux wireless stack 
> (compat-wireless) and use the driver supplied there.

That won't work either.. Please keep in mind that the 0.5.x release are
based on early 802.11w draft implementation from 2006, i.e., from three
years before the standard was even published. There has been number of
changes in the protocol since then and that version is not compatible
with the finalized version of 802.11w.

> > I would assume that the driver you used does not support setting of the
> > MFPC/MFPR flags in RSN IE (which is not too surprising taken into
> > account that it does not support IEEE 802.11w).
> >   
> Is there a way to verify this 100%?

Sure, with a sniffer, but I don't think there is much point in
continuing in this effort taken into account the constraints you

> If it is the hardware then that is out of the question, at least for 
> now. If it is the software driver, then I may have a chance as I pointed 
> out above.

I would guess that this ends up requiring firmware and driver changes
and an update to a newer wpa_supplicant. While theoretically doable,
this does not sound exactly practical since the components you are using
are years older than the standard you are trying to implement.

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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