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I've found that Aircrack-ng is very powerful tool for wireless hacking. But it is a bit complicated to use (even with its documentation). Also, when I run the GUI, it needs to add a "capture file". What is that?

Additionally, it says Windows version is weaker than the Linux version. So how can I get it to run like a Linux version?

What are some step-by-step instructions (to use on Windows XP)?

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"So how can i get it run like a Linux version?" - Really? Run it on Linux (native install, virtual machine, live CD, etc.) – Mike Fitzpatrick Jul 23 '11 at 7:59
If you're worried about getting it installed and configured, you can try a pre-built linux distro that has it installed and ready to go. I would suggest Kali Linux (Used to be Backtrack). The live cd should be able to run Aircrack-ng right from boot. – Will.Beninger May 21 '13 at 17:06
Are you doing this for your job, or your personal interest? You will most likely have to buy an external wifi card in order to do this. – HelpingHand May 21 '13 at 17:25

The capture file holds any handshakes or ivs that aircrack needs to break security,

Aircrack-Ng is a suite of software, the main ones are:


This will switch your wifi card into monitor mode

Aircrack: this breaks wep and wpa ever by calculating for wep or bruteforcing for wpa

Airodump: this listens to all network traffic going through the air and captures wpa handshakes or wep ivs to a capture file. You can use filters to just listen to traffic from specific aps and or channels

Aireplay: this does some nifty tricks, it's main one is arp replay this will decrease drastically the time it takes to crack wep. It can also force ap dissasociations to capture wpa handshakes.

So you switch your card into monitor mode with airmon

start a capture with airodump

While capturing you use aireplay do packet injection tricks.

And you use aircrack to crack the capture file and hopefully get a key out of it.

I'd stay away from windows I heard you have to write your own dlls to get it working with your wifi card.

You can use backtrack it's a penertration testing linux live cd that has aircrack already loaded.

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Ah, thanks a lot for your explanation, Steve. I am a bit clear then before. So am realizing that the best practice would be getting with a Linux, Backtrack. But as i am just a noob with Linux, i have just practiced with Slax (USB Portable O/S). Can i go with Slax? Please suggest me. – Alvin Jul 23 '11 at 22:10
I've never used slax, but you could ever use it's package manager if it had one to install aircrack or build from source but if you new to Linux then stick with ubuntu or fedora there noob friendly and I can give you an easy one line install for both. – squarebear Jul 23 '11 at 22:49

Edit: I didn't see the question was that old, someone bumped it. Anyway:

when i run GUI What? to use on Win XP Don't.

You'll run everything from the terminal on a Linux distribution, there's no (good) GUI, and Windows' support for tools like that is just awful, as the documentation says. The tutorial on WEP cracking is VERY CLEAR.

Run it preferably on Backtrack since you are unfamiliar with *nix. Backtrack comes with the whole aircrack-ng suite pre-installed, as well as other wonderful networks tools such as nmap, wireshark and ettercap. It has no network manager or other processes that usually interfere with aircrack-ng and you are root by default, so you don't have to go through a lot of troubleshooting you would with a general purpose GNU/Linux distribution. It's just a terminal by default but you can issue startx to get a DE and do whatever it is that you want to after you get the WEP keys -- I have to tell you not crack your neighbor's wifi but solely your own, for security testing.

Note: XP is soon to be discontinued and is currently a very insecure OS because of all it's non-updated security vulnerabilities.

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As long as you are only using aircrack-ng to pentest your own network, I will give you this advice.

This advice is for an install on Ubuntu. I do not know how to do this on windows (special drivers, wifi cards, etc...).

You will have to capture packets before you go out cracking the WEP or WPA. You can do this using a tool named tcpdump. Dump the packets into a file, and then run them through aircrack-ng. Make a LiveUSB of the Ubuntu operating system. Install aircrack-ng by typing into the terminal (which can be found by searching it in the dash menu /the little icon in the upper left corner/) : sudo apt-get install aircrack-ng.

Further instructions here.

My friend, if you do not absolutely have to do this, please stay away from it. From the computer knowledge that I assume you have, you should probably start-off doing something easier.


Good luck my friend.

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Also, when I run the GUI, it needs to add a "capture file". What is that?

That is the file that will contain whatever was captured when you are done.

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This doesn't answer his primary question, and probably doesn't help him with the sub-question you did try to answer. If he doesn't know what a Capture File is, he probably doesn't know what's being captured. – Spiff Jul 23 '11 at 10:52

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