Wireless encryption secures your wireless network with an authentication protocol. It requires a password or network key when a user or device tries to connect. If your wireless network isn’t secure, unauthorized users could access your network and obtain personal information or use your internet connection for malicious or illegal activity. Your network speed or performance may decrease if people use your network without your knowledge.
General Attack types
- Sniffing– this involves intercepting packets as they are transmitted over a network. The captured data can then be decoded using tools such as Cain & Abel.
- Man in the Middle (MITM) Attack– this involves eavesdropping on a network and capturing sensitive information.
- Denial of Service Attack– the main intent of this attack is to deny legitimate users network resources. Fatajack can be used to perform this type of attack.
Cracking Wireless network WEP/WPA keys
It is possible to crack the WEP/WPA keys used to gain access to a wireless network. Doing so requires software and hardware resources, and patience. The success of such attacks can also depend on how active and inactive the users of the target network are.
We will provide you with basic information that can help you get started. Kali linux is a Linux-based security operating system. It is developed on top of Ubuntu. Kali linux comes with a number of security tools. Kali can be used to gather information, assess vulnerabilities and perform exploits among other things.
Some of the popular tools that kali has includes;
Cracking wireless network keys requires patience and resources mentioned above. At a minimum, you will need the following tools
A wireless network adapter with the capability to inject packets (Hardware)
- Kali Operating System. You can download it from here https://www.kali.org/downloads/
- Be within the target network’s radius. If the users of the target network are actively using and connecting to it, then your chances of cracking it will be significantly improved.
- Sufficient knowledge of Linux based operating systems and working knowledge of Aircrack and its various scripts.
- Patience, cracking the keys may take a bit of sometime depending on a number of factors some of which may be beyond your control. Factors beyond your control include users of the target network using it actively as you sniff data packets.
Hacking Activity: Crack Wireless Password
In this practical scenario, we are going touse Cain and Abel to decode the stored wireless network passwords in Windows. We will also provide useful information that can be used to crack the WEP and WPA keys of wireless networks.
Decoding Wireless network passwords stored in Windows
- Download Cain & Abel from the link provided above.
- Open Cain and Abel
- Ensure that the Decoders tab is selected then click on Wireless Passwords from the navigation menu on the left-hand side
- Click on the button with a plus sign
- Assuming you have connected to a secured wireless network before, you will get results similar to the ones shown below
- The decoder will show you the encryption type, SSID and the password that was used.
How to Secure wireless networks
In minimizing wireless network attacks; an organization can adopt the following policies
- Changing default passwords that come with the hardware
- Enabling the authentication mechanism
- Access to the network can be restricted by allowing only registered MAC addresses.
- Use of strong WEP and WPA-PSK keys, a combination of symbols, number and characters reduce the chance of the keys been cracking using dictionary and brute force attacks.
- Firewall Software can also help reduce unauthorized access.
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