Wireless hacking is referred to as the unauthorized access of a wireless network. There are a lot of ways through which a wireless network can be accessed or penetrated. These methods are highly varied in terms of complexity and expertise, and also the ease of use. After entering a network, a skilled hacker can gain access to the software, network setting and other security features.
There are several attacking techniques that are being used these days:
- WEP Cracking Technique – WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is cracked by capturing data packets.
- WPA/WPA2 Cracking Technique – WPA stands for Wireless Protected Access and WPA2 is the second version of WPA. Stored passwords in devices are identified by de-authenticating all the devices on the network. Once the devices try to auto-connect with the help of 4-way handshake, the handshake gets recorded and provides the hashed password.
- WPS Cracking – WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) technology enables connection to a wireless router by using an eight digit pin. This pin, when brute forced, gives the access to the router. The key is usually identified in a couple of hours with this technique.
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Tools Used in Wireless Hacking
Aircrack is among the most popular tools used for testing, attacking and cracking Wi-Fi networks. This tool supports servers such as Windows, Linux and OS X. This tool is generally used for attacking and cracking WPA and WEP.
AirSnort is a software that hacks Wi-Fi by capturing the packets and then decrypting the keys. The tool supports platforms such as Windows and Linux.
Kismet is a software written in C++ which is used to identify TCP, UDP, DHCP and ARP packets. It is capable of finding hidden networks and is majorly used in war driving tasks. The tool does not interact with the network directly, rather works passively. Kismet is available for platforms such as Windows and Linux.
- Cain & Abel
Cain & Abel is the most popular tool used for cracking passwords. The tool identifies the networks, crack encrypted passwords with the help of password cracking techniques and perform cryptanalysis attacks. It also recovers wireless network keys with the help of routing protocols.
CoWPAtty is a Linux based tool that performs attacks in the pre-shared keys for WPA networks. The tool consists of a command line interface and performs dictionary attacks on a wireless network.
OmniPeek is developed by the Savvis organization and is used as a packet sniffer and protocol analyzer. The tool is used widely among people having a good understanding of protocols. The captured packets are stored in the SQL database and are then further decoded and analyzed if required.
Airjack is used to receive and insert raw packets in the wireless network. This enables hackers to execute denial of service attacks by overloading the network with unwanted packets.
SSID highlighted in the name itself tells you about the features of this tool. inSSIDer is a wireless scanner tool that works on Windows and OS X. The tool fetches information from wireless cards and enables you to choose the best available channel.
NetSlumber helps you find open Wi-Fi networks. It also enables you to identify rogue access points, network misconfigurations, poor connectivity areas, etc., during activities such as war driving and war walking. The tool has not been updated lately, so one may come across compatibility issues.
WireShark is the most common network protocol analyzer. It uses captured packets and enables you to check the network traffic. Wireshark is a GUI based tool and supports Linux, Mac and Windows. The tool is extremely useful for those who know what they are looking for.
These are the tools used by the majority of people but there are many more available in the market. These tools are used by both, people involved in protecting the networks as well as those involved in penetrating and gaining unauthorized access. Most of the times, two or more tools are required to accomplish a particular task, as a single tool may not prove enough. To become a proficient ethical hacker, one needs to have a good understanding of and a ready access to all the tools that may be required for a particular task.