Android Authentication Problem

I have an off-brand Android phone (Alcatel) using Tracfone as my service provider.  For the last couple of weeks I have been having authentication problems after a Norton alert that "my connection was compromised".  I checked all of the router settings, rebooted the phone and now can no longer connect the phone to my home wi-fi network.  I just get the message "Authentication Problem" after an attempt to connect.  I have restarted the phone numerous times, I have rebooted the router a couple of times, and I have Forgotten the connection and re-added it as a new connection numerous times, but it will not connect properly.

My two daughters have exactly the same phone, and they can connect without a problem.

I can connect my phone to the wireless network at work without a problem.

Short of resetting the phone to its factory defaults, is there anything I can try to resolve this?
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Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAsked:
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Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
Try to remove the Norton app.
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
No luck.  I uninstalled the Norton app, rebooted, selected and "forgot" the network, rebooted and tried connecting by entering the password.  There is still an authentication problem.

I will check in again when I am home this evening for further ideas.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Check the TCP/IP stings of your phone to see if Norton left something behind, most especially a proxy server to redirect traffic to it's service.  Have you tried  connecting to some other WiFi to see if that gives you the same problem?
Look at the bottom of this article:
https://help.vostronet.com/hc/en-us/articles/115009386187-How-to-reset-your-TCP-IP-Settings
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Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Proxy settings = None, IPv4 settings = DHCP.  I have no trouble connecting to the wireless network at work, but cannot connect at home.  (Also see my earlier comment about my daughters' phones.)
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
Have you checked whether Norton is still listed as a Device Administrator app?
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Yes, I checked.  Norton appears to be completely gone.  How can I specifically check Device Administrator apps?
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
Diable Wi-Fii -> Turn on Airplane mode -> Turn off Airplane mode -> Enable Wifi and connect to the wireless router again.

Source: https://community.norton.com/en/forums/network-compromised-0?page=2#comments
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
I tried toggling as suggested, but the problem is still unresolved.  The thread for the Norton Community doesn't give a clear solution, but includes many "me too" postings.  There are a couple of mentions for updating the Android OS, if available, but none are available for my older phone.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
I think, then, that you are at the point of doing the factory reset.
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
What is the Android OS version?
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Jackie, my Android OS version is 4.4.4, with security patch level 2016-01-01.  I'm just about ready to do a factory reset, unless you can talk me off the ledge and back in the window.
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
I just did a factory reset and I still have an authentication problem with my Wi-Fi network at home.  I am in the process of resyncing my two email accounts, contact lists and a small number of apps.

I still need assistance resolving this issue, which now appears to be on my network.  I've already changed my network password, and I think I changed to a different wireless channel.  Do I also need to change my SSID and deal with all of the other devices on the network (notebook computers, tablets, phones and portable game consoles)?  Or can I do something to wrestle control of my phone back?
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
What is the authentication type for the WiFi?  Lots of older devices hate WPA2 and lots of newer ones hate WEP.
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
While there are several choices, "WPA-PSK (TKIP) and WPA2-PSK (AES)" combined is the one that is operational now.  My daughters have the same phone model and have no problems.  Mine worked fine for a couple of weeks when I first got it, but after Norton Mobile Security balked my phone no longer worked.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
You have a very weird problem!  The factory reset should have dumped everything from the phone, starting it completely fresh.
Does your router have a "cloud connection"? (Meaning something Norton could have altered)
Have you checked it to see if MAC address filtering is disabled? (Most routers will let you block connections from specific MAC addresses which is analogous to the serial number of the network port)
Does the router have a "GUEST" network option and have you tried turning it on?
Have you unplugged the power to the router for at least 5 minutes and then plugged it back in?  (Some router settings will only reset that way excepting cable company devices where there is also a telephone port and then you have to use the reset button on the back of the router/modem)
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
I agree, this is a weird problem!  I do have MAC address filtering enabled, but I'll double-check that my phone is still there (and that the address is the same as what I set up when I got the phone).

My "router" is a 2-Wire 3801HGV gateway from AT&T U-Verse.  I have restarted it a couple of times, but I haven't tried turning it off for 5 minutes; that's worth a shot.  (That will also disable the main phone, but hey, it's Saturday.)  I'll post back with the results.

Thanks for your help Davis.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
On most of the cable modem routers with telephone you have to press the reset button for one second and it is in a hole near the power adapter connector. (10 seconds does a factory reset so don't hold it down for a long time and a toothpick works great)
I would turn off mac address  filtering temporarily to test the phone.
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
As a result of rebooting the router and clearing the device list I erased the MAC filtering table.  With that done, I tested my phone and could not connect.  I re-enabled filtering added back all of the devices I need into the filtering table.  Using the DOS arp command I verified that my phone is not listed, and only those devices that are currently active are listed.

What do you suggest next?  Do you think this is a problem on the phone side or the router side of the connection?
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Is there any chance that your phone is running a different version of the Android O/S than the other two?
Its in settings.
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
The Android version is the same (4.4.4), as are the Baseband Version and Kernel Version.

However, my Build Number is 03001, and my daughter's Build Number is 02001.  Additionally, I have an "Android security patch level" of 2016-01-01, and hers does not have a "security patch".

Looking at this from strictly a data viewpoint, is there a table in my router that is remembering and flagging my phone's MAC address as a problem?  What data is involved in authentication, other than the MAC address and a network password?
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
It is a problem of the router.

What is the wireless security level of your router? WPA2-Personal?
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Jackie, "WPA-PSK (TKIP) and WPA2-PSK (AES)" combined is the setting that is operational now.
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
Can you change it to WPA2-PSK (AES)?
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Jackie and Alan,
I think its a problem with that security patch and it may be a good thing, too.
Android 4.4.4 is from 2014 so those phones are really due to be replaced.  They should start to have rendering problems in the not too distant future simply because the O/S is outdated.
Last November, the KRACK vulnerability was discovered which allowed hackers to see all of the traffic to and from unpatched android versions up to 7.1.2 and this may be the source of the issue.  Each time you connect to WiFi, your phone reaches out and touches clients3.google.com as part of the connection process and I think that is being rejected or failing for some reason.  I found an article which said to add an internet filter to block http://clients3.google.com and that end runs the problem; but, it still leaves the vulnerability which is far more problematical for your daughter, IMHO.
I think it's time to replace those phones.
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Excellent, some actionable intelligence.  Thanks Davis!  I'll give the Internet filter a try tonight when I get home, and we'll start shopping for updated phones as well.  I'll report back with the results.
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
No luck.  I tried three different apps to root the phone, only to find out that when I finally got to the hosts file, I couldn't save changes because of restrictions put on by the service provider that sold it to me (Tracfone).  Time to shop for a new phone, probably also a new provider.

Thanks for your time, everyone.  I'm sorry I couldn't award any points, but my issue is permanent.

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Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Just curious if this article relates at all to my phone problem; I think the timing was about the same...

https://knowledge.symantec.com/support/mpki-for-ssl-support/index?page=content&id=ALERT2566&actp=LIST&viewlocale=en_US
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
The article from Symantec is not related to your problem.

The problem is from the setting of the router.

"WPA-PSK (TKIP) and WPA2-PSK (AES)" combined is the setting that is operational now."

Is the password of the SSID numeric or alpha numeric?
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Jackie, my SSID password is 10-digit numeric, FWIW.
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
You need to change the wireless security to wpa2 and change the password to an alphanumeric one.
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
I tried three different apps to root the phone, only to find out that when I finally got to the hosts file, I couldn't save changes because of restrictions put on by the service provider that sold it to me (Tracfone).  I couldn't award any points because my issue is permanent.
Alan VargaAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
To Jackie and Davis, I must apologize for wasting your time.  I was extremely stupid and was trying to use my router password instead of the wireless network key to connect my phone.

After ordering a slightly newer phone and having an authentication failure there too, I called AT&T support, which got me straightened out in 5 minutes.  This was a case of PIBCAC.  I am really embarrassed to have made such a rookie error and not checked that out earlier.

Thanks again for your time.
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Hey; it's not the first time and I'm glad you got it sorted out!
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