Wardriving explained

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Because KDS and Nadia asked what the hell the last entry was about, here's some extra information.

If you've got a wireless network at home, you want your wireless device (laptop for instance, or PDA) to connect somewhere, right? The connection is made to the Access Point (AP) which may also double as a switch, router, DSL modem. The connection between the client and the AP can be protected using a number of techniques, of which WEP is probably the one known by most people. WEP encryption is not secure, and if possible it would be better to use WPA or WPA2. Thruth be said that even WEP provides a basic security and while it can be "cracked" it'll take a while to do so because you'll need a number of packets before one can crack the key.

But I digress because WEP, WPA and WPA2 have nothing to do with wardriving. As you may know, your AP may advertise it's presence by broadcasting it's SSID, so others can see it. What the SSID is set to doesn't really matter, and some people leave it at the default, or change it to something funny or anything that makes sense to them. It's also possible to stop your AP from broadcasting it's SSID, but that doesn't mean the signal can't be picked up.

Now, when wardriving, we use a mobile device (usually, it's a bit more difficult to walk or drive around with a full desktop on the seat next to you) such as a laptop or PDA. In the device a wireless network card is present and usually an external antenna is connected to it so the range of detection goes up. The antenna picks up the signals from Access Points present pretty much everywhere and displays them on screen, and/or logs them to a file. I use netstumbler to scan, but KisMac or Kismet are also available, iIt all depends what operating system your scanning device runs. We do NOT log in to networks, crack WEP keys or access the (often open) network in any way! We just drive around and map the area, just as if you were to walk around your neighborhood and write down the names of the people next to their doorbell. You don't ring the doorbell in order to do so, nor do you push the door open or break it down. You just see who's around and what information they're giving out.

In order to make wardriving more interesting, you can attach a GPS device to the setup, so coordinates can be logged as well, and you can later put all the found AP's onto a nice map. For the time being, I've not done this yet, as I lack a GPS device :(

So, to answer KDS's question "Why was it good for you?" : because I'm a Geek at heart and only now realize how much radiowaves are sent through the air without most people knowing ;)

1 Comment

OK, got it. Seems fun...

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on July 11, 2006 9:12 AM.

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