Finding Wireless Networks
Locating a wireless network is the first step in trying to exploit it. There are two tools that are commonly used in this regard:
Network Stumbler a.k.a NetStumbler – This Windows based tool easily finds wireless signals being broadcast within range – A must have. It also has ability to determine Signal/Noise info that can be used for site surveys. I actually know of one highly known public wireless hotspot provider that uses this utility for their site surveys.
Kismet – One of the key functional elements missing from NetStumbler is the ability to display Wireless Networks that are not broadcasting their SSID. As a potential wireless security expert, you should realize that Access Points are routinely broadcasting this info; it just isn’t being read/deciphered. Kismet will detect and display SSIDs that are not being broadcast which is very critical in finding wireless networks.
Attaching to the Found Wireless Network
Once you’ve found a wireless network, the next step is to try to connect to it. If the network isn’t using any type of authentication or encryption security, you can simply connect to the SSID. If the SSID isn’t being broadcast, you can create a profile with the name of the SSID that is not being broadcast. Of course you found the non-broadcast SSID with Kismet, right? If the wireless network is using authentication and/or encryption, you may need one of the following tools.
Airsnort – This is a very easy to use tool that can be used to sniff and crack WEP keys. While many people bash the use of WEP, it is certainly better than using nothing at all. Something you’ll find in using this tool is that it takes a lot of sniffed packets to crack the WEP key. There are additional tools and strategies that can be used to force the generation of traffic on the wireless network to shorten the amount of time needed to crack the key, but this feature is not included in Airsnort.
CowPatty – This tool is used as a brute force tool for cracking WPA-PSK, considered the “New WEP” for home Wireless Security. This program simply tries a bunch of different options from a dictionary file to see if one ends up matching what is defined as the Pre-Shared Key.
ASLeap – If a network is using LEAP, this tool can be used to gather the authentication data that is being passed across the network, and these sniffed credentials can be cracked. LEAP doesn’t protect the authentication like other “real” EAP types, which is the main reason why LEAP can be broken.
( Asleap options Screenshot )