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Access network design for branch, remote, outdoor and campus locations with Aruba access points, and mobility controllers.
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Aruba 501 Wireless Bridge Configuration Passphrase Encryption

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  • 1.  Aruba 501 Wireless Bridge Configuration Passphrase Encryption

    Posted Jun 18, 2019 10:14 AM

    We had a customer ask what type of encryption is used on the WPA/WPA2 passphrase in the config.xml file? I looked for it in the documentation, but I was not able to locate the information. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


    Here is an example below:



  • 2.  RE: Aruba 501 Wireless Bridge Configuration Passphrase Encryption

    Posted Jun 19, 2019 01:06 AM

    Not sure in the actual config file. 






    Here is a snippet...

    Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

    Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) was the Wi-Fi Alliance’s direct response and replacement to the increasingly apparent vulnerabilities of the WEP standard. WPA was formally adopted in 2003, a year before WEP was officially retired. The most common WPA configuration is WPA-PSK (Pre-Shared Key). The keys used by WPA are 256-bit, a significant increase over the 64-bit and 128-bit keys used in the WEP system.

    Some of the significant changes implemented with WPA included message integrity checks (to determine if an attacker had captured or altered packets passed between the access point and client) and the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP). TKIP employs a per-packet key system that was radically more secure than the fixed key system used by WEP. The TKIP encryption standard was later superseded by Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

    Despite what a significant improvement WPA was over WEP, the ghost of WEP haunted WPA. TKIP, a core component of WPA,  was designed to be easily rolled out via firmware upgrades onto existing WEP-enabled devices. As such, it had to recycle certain elements used in the WEP system which, ultimately, were also exploited.

    WPA, like its predecessor WEP, has been shown via both proof-of-concept and applied public demonstrations to be vulnerable to intrusion. Interestingly, the process by which WPA is usually breached is not a direct attack on the WPA protocol (although such attacks have been successfully demonstrated), but by attacks on a supplementary system that was rolled out with WPA—Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)—which was designed to make it easy to link devices to modern access points.

    Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2)

    WPA has, as of 2006, been officially superseded by WPA2. One of the most significant changes between WPA and WPA2 is the mandatory use of AES algorithms and the introduction of CCMP (Counter Cipher Mode with Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol) as a replacement for TKIP. However, TKIP is still preserved in WPA2 as a fallback system and for interoperability with WPA.

    Currently, the primary security vulnerability to the actual WPA2 system is an obscure one (and requires the attacker to already have access to the secured Wi-Fi network in order to gain access to certain keys and then perpetuate an attack against other devices on the network). As such, the security implications of the known WPA2 vulnerabilities are limited almost entirely to enterprise level networks and deserve little to no practical consideration in regard to home network security.

    Unfortunately, the same vulnerability that is the biggest hole in the WPA armor—the attack vector through the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)—remains in modern WPA2-capable access points. Although breaking into a WPA/WPA2 secured network using this vulnerability requires anywhere from 2-14 hours of sustained effort with a modern computer, it is still a legitimate security concern. WPS should be disabled and, if possible, the firmware of the access point should be flashed to a distribution that doesn’t even support WPS so the attack vector is entirely removed.


  • 3.  RE: Aruba 501 Wireless Bridge Configuration Passphrase Encryption
    Best Answer

    Posted Jun 19, 2019 09:22 AM

    I have not seen information on how passwords are stored in the configuration of the 501 client bridge. If you need an answer, I think it is best to contact your local Aruba SE and have it verified or check with Aruba TAC if they can find out.