What is Wardriving? (Part of the ‘Concise Byte Series’)

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What is Wardriving? (Part of the ‘Concise Byte Series’)

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This is part of our new Concise Bytes Series where we take a look at common InfoSec concepts or indeed any important IT technology, concept or process that can be associated within Information Security. Many within our community, and visitors to our blog, are students hence the reason why we are offering this ‘Bite Size’ resources section! If you are a professional and know the answer then we’d really appreciate your comments below to correct or append this post!

What is Wardriving?
Wardriving is a term used to describe someone, or a group of individuals, that search and scan for WiFi wireless networks. Typically the individual or group will be in a moving vehicle but indeed any mode of transport works. There are other less known types of wardriving called “Wartraining” which is the same but is associated with scanning for WiFi from a moving train. The ‘driving’ in the term ‘wardriving‘ suggests a moving car. There is also ‘warbiking’ and ‘warjogging’ which are all self-explanatory.

What is the point in Wardriving?
Good question! For the uneducated (in an infosec sense!) ‘wardriving’ might just seem like an activity committed by freeloaders, i.e. people that want free WiFi, or worse still, those that indulge in illegal downloads. However, since this is part of the Concise Byte Series, we want to get our facts straight! A true wardriver will not physically connect to a discovered WiFi network, instead, a puritan wardriver will log all the WiFi networks (nodes) that exist in the world and plot them on a GPS. Why? Well, why do people have any type of hobby?

Once a wardriving session is complete the wardrivers typically plot their data in a visual map to share with the community. The ‘wardrivers etiqutte’ is to map all of the wireless access points (WAP) on a map and to color-code red for encryption and green for the opposite.

Three popular software tools that wardrivers are most likely to use are NetStumbler, Air Snort and Kismet. Taking two of these programs further, here are their respective links and a description outlining what they do:

  • Kismit: which is a 802.11 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system.
  • Netstumbler: which is a very well know and popular network scanner

In Summary
We are big fans of anything wireless here at Concise Courses. We have a course titled “How To Exploit, Crack, And Secure Wireless Networks” [Update: no longer offered!] which, as you would imagine, covers everything you would need to know to become a wireless expert. Of interest as well, since you are reading a wireless post, is an event we recently had titled: “Free Tools to Monitor and Secure Your Wi-Fi Network” with Jason Wood.

Amongst other topics, Jason outlined what you should consider when planning a wireless infrastructure. He also spoke at length regarding how to monitor and maintain the security of your wireless network and test the effectiveness of your wireless defenses, i.e. to protect yourself against the ‘evil versions’ of wardrivers!

802.11ac Packet Capture and RF Behavior for Client Device Analysis is another event we had with Joe Bardwell this April 2013 which might be of interest. For those that don’t know 802.11ac is the latest and greatest IEEE Wireless (WiFi technology). This technology will be second nature to any semi-decent wardriver!

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