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A Billion Open Interfaces for Eve and Mallory: MitM, DoS, and Tracking Attacks on iOS and macOS Through Apple Wireless Direct Link

Stute, Milan and Narain, Sashank and Mariotto, Alex and Heinrich, Alexander and Kreitschmann, David and Noubir, Guevara and Hollick, Matthias (2019):
A Billion Open Interfaces for Eve and Mallory: MitM, DoS, and Tracking Attacks on iOS and macOS Through Apple Wireless Direct Link.
Santa Clara, CA, USA, In: 28th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security '19), Santa Clara, CA, USA, August 14–16, 2019, [Online-Edition: https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity19/presentat...],
[Conference or Workshop Item]

Abstract

Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL) is a key protocol in Apple's ecosystem used by over one billion iOS and macOS devices for device-to-device communications. AWDL is a proprietary extension of the IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standard and integrates with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for providing services such as Apple AirDrop. We conduct the first security and privacy analysis of AWDL and its integration with BLE. We uncover several security and privacy vulnerabilities ranging from design flaws to implementation bugs leading to a man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack enabling stealthy modification of files transmitted via AirDrop, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks preventing communication, privacy leaks that enable user identification and long-term tracking undermining MAC address randomization, and DoS attacks enabling targeted or simultaneous crashing of all neighboring devices. The flaws span across AirDrop's BLE discovery mechanism, AWDL synchronization, UI design, and Wi-Fi driver implementation. Our analysis is based on a combination of reverse engineering of protocols and code supported by analyzing patents. We provide proof-of-concept implementations and demonstrate that the attacks can be mounted using a low-cost ($20) micro:bit device and an off-the-shelf Wi-Fi card. We propose practical and effective countermeasures. While Apple was able to issue a fix for a DoS attack vulnerability after our responsible disclosure, the other security and privacy vulnerabilities require the redesign of some of their services.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Erschienen: 2019
Creators: Stute, Milan and Narain, Sashank and Mariotto, Alex and Heinrich, Alexander and Kreitschmann, David and Noubir, Guevara and Hollick, Matthias
Title: A Billion Open Interfaces for Eve and Mallory: MitM, DoS, and Tracking Attacks on iOS and macOS Through Apple Wireless Direct Link
Language: English
Abstract:

Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL) is a key protocol in Apple's ecosystem used by over one billion iOS and macOS devices for device-to-device communications. AWDL is a proprietary extension of the IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standard and integrates with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for providing services such as Apple AirDrop. We conduct the first security and privacy analysis of AWDL and its integration with BLE. We uncover several security and privacy vulnerabilities ranging from design flaws to implementation bugs leading to a man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack enabling stealthy modification of files transmitted via AirDrop, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks preventing communication, privacy leaks that enable user identification and long-term tracking undermining MAC address randomization, and DoS attacks enabling targeted or simultaneous crashing of all neighboring devices. The flaws span across AirDrop's BLE discovery mechanism, AWDL synchronization, UI design, and Wi-Fi driver implementation. Our analysis is based on a combination of reverse engineering of protocols and code supported by analyzing patents. We provide proof-of-concept implementations and demonstrate that the attacks can be mounted using a low-cost ($20) micro:bit device and an off-the-shelf Wi-Fi card. We propose practical and effective countermeasures. While Apple was able to issue a fix for a DoS attack vulnerability after our responsible disclosure, the other security and privacy vulnerabilities require the redesign of some of their services.

Place of Publication: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Divisions: 20 Department of Computer Science
20 Department of Computer Science > Sichere Mobile Netze
Profile Areas
Profile Areas > Cybersecurity (CYSEC)
LOEWE
LOEWE > LOEWE-Schwerpunkte
LOEWE > LOEWE-Schwerpunkte > NiCER – Networked infrastructureless Cooperation for Emergency Response
LOEWE > LOEWE-Zentren
LOEWE > LOEWE-Zentren > CRISP - Center for Research in Security and Privacy
Event Title: 28th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security '19)
Event Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA
Event Dates: August 14–16, 2019
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 09:56
Official URL: https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity19/presentat...
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