Cracking of wireless networks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Cracking of wireless networks is the defeating of security devices in Wireless local- area networks. Wireless local- area networks(WLANs) вЂ“ also called Wi- Fi networks are inherently vulnerable to security lapses that wired networks are exempt from.Cracking is a kind of information network attack that is akin to a direct intrusion.
There are two basic types of vulnerabilities associated with WLANs: those caused by poor configuration and those caused by weak encryption. Wireless network basicsWireless local- area networks are based on IEEE 8. This is a set of standards defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.8. By default, people refer to infrastructure networks. Infrastructure networks are composed of one or more access points that coordinate the wireless traffic between the nodes and often connect the nodes to a wired network, acting as a bridge or a router. Each access point constitutes a network that is named a basic service set or BSS.
A BSS is identified by a BSSID, usually the MAC address of the access point. Each access point is part of an extended service set or ESS, which is identified by an ESSID or SSID in short, usually a character string.
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A basic service set consists of one access point and several wireless clients. An extended service set is a configuration with multiple access points and roaming capabilities for the clients. An independent basic service set or IBSS is the ad hoc configuration. This configuration allows wireless clients to connect to each other directly, without an access point as a central manager.Access points broadcast a signal regularly to make the network known to clients. They relay traffic from one wireless client to another. Access points may determine which clients may connect, and when clients do, they are said to be associated with the access point.
To obtain access to an access point, both the BSSID and the SSID are required.Ad hoc networks have no access point for central coordination. Each node connects in a peer- to- peer way. This configuration is an independent basic service set or IBSS. Ad hoc networks also have an SSID.Wireless network frames8.
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Data frames convey the real data, and are similar to those of Ethernet. Management frames maintain both network configuration and connectivity. Control frames manage access to the ether and prevent access points and clients from interfering with each other in the ether. Some information on management frames will be helpful to better understand what programs for reconnaissance do.
Beacon frames are used primarily in reconnaissance. They advertise the existence and basic configuration of the network. Each frame contains the BSSID, the SSID, and some information on basic authentication and encryption.
Clients use the flow of beacon frames to monitor the signal strength of their access point. Probe request frames are almost the same as the beacon frames. A probe request frame is sent from a client when it wants to connect to a wireless network. It contains information about the requested network. Probe response frames are sent to clients to answer probe request frames. One response frame answers each request frame, and it contains information on the capabilities and configurations of the network. Useful for reconnaissance.
Authentication request frames are sent by clients when they want to connect to a network. Authentication precedes association in infrastructure networks.
Either open authentication or shared key authentication is possible. After serious flaws were found in shared key authentication, most networks switched to open authentication, combined with a stronger authentication method applied after the association phase. Authentication response frames are sent to clients to answer authentication request frames. There is one answer to each request, and it contains either status information or a challenge related to shared key authentication. Association request frames are sent by clients to associate with the network. An association request frame contains much of the same information as the probe request contains, and it must have the SSID.
This can be used to obtain the SSID when a network is configured to hide the SSID in beacon frames. Association response frames are sent to clients to answer an association request frame. They contain a bit of network information and indicate whether the association was successful.
Deauthentication and disassociation frames are sent to a node to notify that an authentication or an association has failed and must be established anew.Reconnaissance of wireless networksWardriving is a common method of wireless network reconnaissance. A well- equipped wardriver uses a laptop computer with a wireless card, an antenna mounted on the car, a power inverter, a connected GPS receiver, and can connect to the internet wirelessly. The purpose of wardriving is to locate a wireless network and to collect information about its configuration and associated clients. The laptop computer and the wireless card must support a mode called monitor or rfmon.NetstumblerNetstumbler is a network discovery program for Windows. It is free. Netstumbler has become one of the most popular programs for wardriving and wireless reconnaissance, although it has a disadvantage. It can be detected easily by most wireless intrusion detection systems, because it actively probes a network to collect information.
Netstumbler has integrated support for a GPS unit. With this support, Netstumbler displays GPS coordinate information next to the information about each discovered network, which can be useful for finding specific networks again after having sorted out collected data.The latest release of Netstumbler is of 1 April 2. It does not work well with 6. Windows XP or Windows Vista.in.
SSIDer is a Wi- Fi network scanner for the 3. Windows XP, Vista, 7, Windows 8 and Android.[1. It is free and open source. The software uses the current wireless card or a wireless USB adapter and supports most GPS devices (namely those that use NMEA 2.
Its graphical user interface shows MAC address, SSID, signal strength, hardware brand, security, and network type of nearby Wi- Fi networks. It can also track the strength of the signals and show them in a time graph.[1.
Kismet is a wireless network traffic analyser for OS X, Linux, Open. BSD, Net. BSD, and Free. BSD. It is free and open source. Kismet has become the most popular program for serious wardrivers. It offers a rich set of features, including deep analysis of captured traffic.[1.
WiresharkWireshark is a packet sniffer and network traffic analyser that can run on all popular operating systems, but support for the capture of wireless traffic is limited. It is free and open source. Decoding and analysing wireless traffic is not the foremost function of Wireshark, but it can give results that cannot be obtained with other programs. Wireshark requires sufficient knowledge of the network protocols to obtain a full analysis of the traffic, however.[1. Analysers of Air. MagnetAir. Magnet Laptop Analyser and Air. Magnet Handheld Analyser are wireless network analysis tools made by Air.
Magnet. The company started with the Handheld Analyser, which was very suitable for surveying sites where wireless networks were deployed as well as for finding rogue access points. The Laptop Analyser was released because the hand- held product was impractical for the reconnaissance of wide areas. These commercial analysers probably offer the best combination of powerful analysis and simple user interface. However, they are not as well adapted to the needs of a wardriver as some of the free programs.[1. AiropeekAiropeek is a packet sniffer and network traffic analyser made by Wildpackets. This commercial program supports Windows and works with most wireless network interface cards.
It has become the industrial standard for capturing and analysing wireless traffic. However, like Wireshark, Airopeek requires thorough knowledge of the protocols to use it to its ability.[1. Kis. Mac is a program for the discovery of wireless networks that runs on the OS X operating system. The functionality of Kis. Mac includes GPS support with mapping, SSID decloaking, deauthentication attacks, and WEP cracking.[1. Penetration of a wireless networkThere are two basic types of vulnerabilities associated with WLANs: those caused by poor configuration and those caused by poor encryption. Poor configuration causes many vulnerabilities.
Wireless networks are often put into use with no or insufficient security settings. With no security settings вЂ“ the default configuration вЂ“ access is obtained simply by association. With insufficient security settings as cloaking and/or MAC address filtering, security is easily defeated. Poor encryption causes the remaining vulnerabilities. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is defective and can be defeated in several ways.
Wi- Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Cisco's Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol (LEAP) are vulnerable to dictionary attacks.[1. Encryption types and their attacksWired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)WEP was the encryption standard firstly available for wireless networks. It can be deployed in 6. WEP has a secret key of 4. WEP. 1. 28 bit WEP has a secret key of 1. WEP. Association is possible using a password, an ASCII key, or a hexadecimal key.
There are two methods for cracking WEP: the FMS attack and the chopping attack. The FMS attack вЂ“ named after Fluhrer, Mantin, and Shamir вЂ“ is based on a weakness of the RC4 encryption algorithm . The researchers found that 9. To crack the WEP key in most cases, 5 million encrypted packets must be captured to collect about 3. In some cases 1. 50.
The weak initialisation vectors are supplied to the Key Scheduling Algorithm (KSA) and the Pseudo Random Generator (PRNG) to determine the first byte of the WEP key.