Disruption and Protection of Online Synchronous Learning Environments via 802.11 Manipulation

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

2021 IEEE International IOT, Electronics and Mechatronics Conference (IEMTRONICS) Proceeding




Online learning environments are vulnerable to disruption due to the present state of Wi-Fi security on the common at-home router. Current WPA2-protected devices are susceptible to a type of attack that uses disassociation and deauthentication packets to remove all connected users and prevent new users from connecting to the target access point. This paper seeks to display an example of this attack in the context of online learning environments, showing the disruptive potential of this vulnerability and the impact it could have on online instruction. We begin with target discovery and information gathering, then move on to executing the attack while an instructor and several students are connected to various video conferencing platforms. We conclude by discussing potential mitigation and prevention strategies, such as using protected management frames and upgrading to WPA3 when possible.


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