EAP-pwd and NT-Password

Christian Strauf strauf at rz.tu-clausthal.de
Fri Oct 7 08:44:22 CEST 2016

Hi Brian!

Dan Harkins (one of the authors of RFC 5931) is currently working on reference implementations for


for wpa_supplicant and hostapd which should bring full support for salted and hashed passwords. He also talked about a reference implementation for FreeRADIUS so that should be good news.

> However, when testing with my phone (Android 5.1): it is able to EAP-pwd authenticate with a cleartext password:
> steve   Cleartext-Password := "testing"
> but not when using the MS hash:
> steve  NT-Password := 0x7c53cfa5ea7d0f9b3b968aa0fb51a3f5
It's very likely that wpa_supplicant currently can't deal with this. But I'm not entirely sure what the exact current status of the implementation is.

> A Mac (OSX 10.11.6) doesn't seem to be able to do EAP-pwd at all. I only have an old (ubuntu 14.04) laptop lying around, which also doesn't do EAP-pwd.
macOS doesn't support EAP-PWD, same goes for iOS (current versions). However, Linux does support it, so does Android. There's also a plugin (it's not a whole supplicant) for the Windows 802.1x stack that supports EAP-PWD (it's included in the eduroam CAT (cat.eduroam.org) and it's provided by Aruba / HP Enterprise). However, I'm not sure what the licensing terms for this plugin are and I'm not aware of an official download link.

> Do you happen to know if EAP-pwd has any important weaknesses which would make EAP-EKE preferable?
Theoretically, EAP-PWD should be quite robust because it should be immune to the most common attack vectors (see RFC 5931, section 1.3). Dan Harkins is author of the IKE RFC and it's very likely that with his experiences he did a thorough design. Looking at RFC 5931 at least  convinced us that it's a secure protocol. But I'm by no means an expert, please don't take my word for it. :) We've been using EAP-PWD for eduroam with Android devices for about half a year now (and we'll be starting to use it for Linux and Windows soon) and we're very happy with it, especially because we can stop juggling with X.509 certs and also because the amount of RADIUS packets that are exchanged for EAP-PWD is much less than for PEAP + MSCHAPv2. This makes it nicer to use in roaming situations.

Kind regards,
Christian Strauf
Dipl.-Math. Christian Strauf
Clausthal Univ. of Technology   E-Mail: strauf at rz.tu-clausthal.de
Rechenzentrum                   Web:    www.rz.tu-clausthal.de
Erzstra├če 51                    Tel.:   +49-5323-72-2086 Fax: -992086
D-38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld

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