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Thread: Time to crack wireless 'real world'

  1. #1
    Frustrated Mad Scientist
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Time to crack wireless 'real world'

    I was just going to the stationary cupboard when one of our techies walked passed me with a netgear wireless AP. I didn't think anything of it for 5 mins But we don't allow any wireless kit at all so I'm going to find out what's going on.

    It made me think though. How long does it take to break wireless security in the real world?
    Here I would guess I would be able to pick up the signal from my office so I wouldn't need to sit outside in a car.

    How long would I need to gather the required number of packets to breakt he encryption?

    I know this would depend on what type of security they were using (if any) and the length of the pass phrases, performance of my machine etc.

    I just wondered if anyone had ball park times for doing this in the real world?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    no ball park figure is available. too much variation.

    if the person is using no secureity them bam...you are in (which is the case far too often)
    If the person is using wep then it will be -a lot- faster than WPA.

    when cracking WEP it is a game of luck and can really depend on how much traffic is passing through the point you are connected to. if no one is using the network it can take ages to gather enough packets. if there is TONS of traffic and you have a machine good enough to caputer very quickly and then one that can process the log fast enough and it grabs all the right packets (involves alot of luck) you could be done relativly quickly. if they are using WPA we are in a whole new league so Im stopping there.

    In reality, no one will take the time to crack a home network unless they want something on it, why bother when you can drive 5 minutes down the road and have an open network (sad but true) unless they have an actual reason for being on that network no one will take the time to break it. businesses are a different beast becasue people like messing with businesses so its much more worth it to crack those networks. But once again, unless you have something to gain, then chances are people are going to even bother trying to break in.

    ofcourse the exception to the residential netwokrs are if it is your neighbor or somone real close who wants a constant hotspot open to them.
    Everyone is going to die, I am just as good of a reason as any.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    All WEP can be cracked in around 5 minutes, no matter how long the key. The FBI demonstrated it a while ago ( http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Sections-article111.php ) using simple tools that anyone can use. WPA with AES is virtually impossible...

  4. #4
    Some Assembly Required ShagDevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New Jersey
    How long would I need to gather the required number of packets to breakt he encryption?
    I just wondered if anyone had ball park times for doing this in the real world?
    Aspman, like XTC46 mentioned, it all depends on the encryption methods and the awareness of the administrator maintaining the system. If the admin uses WPA-PSK but chooses a weak passphrase, it could easily render the LAN prone to attack.

    You may just want to sit down, pick a type of encryption and start checking out any/all wardriving tools/whitepapers related to that type of encryption. That's what I did in order to learn about WPA-PSK's weaknesses.
    The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his - George Patton

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