Tag Archives: Onlookers

What Is Wardriving And How Can You Prevent It

Imagine a car equipped with nothing more than a laptop computer, a portable GPS receiver, and a wireless network card slowly strolls through your neighborhood. Unknown to any onlookers, this is no ordinary vehicle; rather, it is a wardriving machine. As the car strolls past homes and businesses, a wireless network card (available at any electronics store for as low as $25) scans for any wireless access points. Anyone with a wireless network (and there are many out there) is vulnerable. The computer is looking for what is called an SSID. An SSID is your wireless network name and it is being constantly transmitted by your access point, letting computers know of its presence. The wardriver uses software such as Netstumbler (for windows) or Cismet (for linux) to scan the airwaves for SSIDs. The program can track various access points at once and monitor the signal strength. These programs can also check to see if the network is encrypted. The wardriver will generally configure his or her software to log any strong unencrypted signals. Using the GPS receiver, the coordinates of the strong signal will be recorded. After this preliminary drive, the wardriver can return to the locations that were recorded, and connect to the access point. Once connected to an unencrypted network, the wardriver can use the victim’s internet access, and can also explore computers on the network. If files are being shared within someone’s private network, all of that information is susceptible to a wardriver. Furthermore, once in the network, a wardriver can sniff network traffic and can view any information such as passwords and credit card numbers you send out to the internet