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I'm trying to "hack" my home wireless network basically to see how easy it is and to learn more about how the process works

There is loads of information out there about it and it's all a bit confusing i have to admit. There seems to be a million different pieces of software

Can anyone recommend some free software for windows to achieve this?

And what is the basic process i.e. is there some software that picks up the available networks, other software that then cracks them etc..

i am a windows programmer and no little about networking, wifi etc...

Thanks for the help

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Hacking Wireless Networks For Dummies –  Zed Aug 30 '09 at 9:35
3  
could this not have been migrated instead of closed? –  grenade Aug 30 '09 at 10:00
    
When you create your super user account you'll need to e-mail team@stackoverflow.com to get this question assigned to it. –  ChrisF Aug 30 '09 at 13:03
    
This always got me in howtohacklife101.blogspot.com/2011/11/… you just needed a lil startup info –  user103944 Nov 3 '11 at 6:44

4 Answers 4

Kismet is one of the main tools that lets you do this, along with Aircrack-ng.

I've had the most luck with Aircrack - this tutorial explains things pretty well.

With all this, wireless cards are not born equally - not all can be used to do this. If you are serious about breaking your own wireless you'll probably need to buy a different brand unless you are lucky.

Just a few take away points that you'll pick up as you play with these:

  1. Hiding the SSID is useless.
  2. MAC filtering is useless, as it's trivial to see who is connected, and then change your MAC address to be the same as one of theirs.
  3. WEP encryption is useless - with 3-4 users connected and a card capable injection you can crack the password easily within an hour.
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Airsnort works with windows if you download a bunch of stuff.

But if I were you (but I'm not, I'm using GNU/Linux), I'd use a Live CD with aircrack-ng. The most popular is Back|Track since it has all the patched drivers and a full set of tools. There is a tutorial on Lifehacker: How to Crack a Wi-Fi Network's WEP Password with BackTrack so even my grandma could do it.

PS: Not just any wireless card will work for this; you need one that supports packet injection.

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There's a good list of software applications on:

http://www.wardrive.net/wardriving/tools

Airsnort is the way to go for many users due to its simplicity. Aircrack is good but it needs Linux

follow this tutorial: http://www.ethicalhacker.net/content/view/16/24/

Please be responsible if you try to use any of these.

If you have a WEP encrypted account, hacking it is easy .. However, WPA protected routers are tough to get into .. THough, there has been an attack published lately on WPA-TKIP .. For security, make sure you use WPA2 or WPA-AES encryption so that others cannot exploit your network and use it for nefarious purposes.

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If you want to learn networking, BackTrack is a all in one security testing live-cd, rather than just a hacking tools to crack wireless, related to the network part, it can also use for packet capturing, Arp poisoning etc..

Besides, WEP can be cracked in 5 mins with modern PC if there is enough traffic (Details), WPA and WPA2 still safe if your key is long and complex enough, since those can only be crack with dictionary attack or brute force up to this moment.

Just more information to talk about, as you say you are a programmer, there is also some tool in BackTrack to perform SQL injection or any other exploit which is good for testing.

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