TU Darmstadt / ULB / TUbiblio

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

Stute, Milan ; Narain, Sashank ; Mariotto, Alex ; Heinrich, Alexander ; Kreitschmann, David ; Noubir, Guevara ; Hollick, Matthias (2020)
A Billion Open Interfaces for Eve and Mallory : MitM, DoS, and Tracking Attacks on iOS and macOS Through Apple Wireless Direct Link.
28th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 19). Santa Clara, USA (14.-16.8.2019)
doi: 10.25534/tuprints-00013264
Conference or Workshop Item, Secondary publication, Publisher's Version

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: 2020
Creators: Stute, Milan ; Narain, Sashank ; Mariotto, Alex ; Heinrich, Alexander ; Kreitschmann, David ; Noubir, Guevara ; Hollick, Matthias
Type of entry: Secondary publication
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
Date: 2020
Place of Publication: Darmstadt
Year of primary publication: 2019
Place of primary publication: Berkeley, CA
Publisher: USENIX Association
Book Title: Proceedings of the 28th USENIX Security Symposium
Event Title: 28th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 19)
Event Location: Santa Clara, USA
Event Dates: 14.-16.8.2019
DOI: 10.25534/tuprints-00013264
URL / URN: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/13264
Corresponding Links:
Origin: Secondary publication service
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.

Status: Publisher's Version
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-132644
Classification DDC: 000 Generalities, computers, information > 004 Computer science
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
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2020 12:20
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 11:04
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