Cracking is the process of exploiting security weaknesses in wireless networks and gaining unauthorized access. WEP cracking refers to exploits on networks that use WEP to implement security controls. There are basically two types of cracks namely;
- Passive cracking– this type of cracking has no effect on the network traffic until the WEP security has been cracked. It is difficult to detect.
- Active cracking– this type of attack has an increased load effect on the network traffic. It is easy to detect compared to passive cracking. It is more effective compared to passive cracking.
WEP Cracking Tools
- Aircrack– network sniffer and WEP cracker. Can be downloaded from https://www.aircrack-ng.org/
- WEPCrack– this is an open source program for breaking 802.11 WEP secret keys. It is an implementation of the FMS attack. https://wepcrack.sourceforge.net/
- Kismet– this can detector wireless networks both visible and hidden, sniffer packets and detect intrusions. https://www.kismetwireless.net/
- WebDecrypt– this tool uses active dictionary attacks to crack the WEP keys. It has its own key generator and implements packet filters. https://wepdecrypt.sourceforge.net/
WPA uses a 256 pre-shared key or passphrase for authentications. Short passphrases are vulnerable to dictionary attacks and other attacks that can be used to crack passwords. The following tools can be used to crack WPA keys.
- CowPatty– this tool is used to crack pre-shared keys (PSK) using brute force attack. https://wirelessdefence.org/Contents/coWPAttyMain.htm
- Cain & Abel– this tool can be used to decode capture files from other sniffing programs such as wireshark. The capture files may contain WEP or WPA-PSK encoded frames. https://www.oxid.it/cain.html
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. More on this in article
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. Backtrack is a Linux based security operating system. It is developed on top of Ubuntu. Backtrack comes with a number of security tools. Backtrack can be used to gather information, assess vulnerabilities and perform exploits among other things.
Some of the popular tools that backtrack 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)
- Backtrack Operating System. You can download it from here https://www.backtrack-linux.org/downloads/ (Software)
- 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.