Today’s world is filled with technology that has evolved at an exponential rate. It was just a few years ago that the idea of the internet without wires was nothing more than a pipe dream. Today, virtually all businesses run on high-speed, wireless internet.
Cybercriminals are out there, waiting for any opportunity. And one of the best ways to stop them is with WIFI Pentesting which is referred to as wireless penetration testing.
What is WIFI Pentesting?
WIFI Pentesting is the process in which you’ll be able to find every potential vulnerability in your WIFI network and keep it safe. It’s a deep-diving process in which we have to find all the information related to the security of the WIFI network and how many devices are connected to it, as well as any vulnerabilities that exist.
Let’s understand WIFI Pentesting in more detail.
How to conduct a proper WIFI Pentesting?
A WIFI Pentesting is a type of pen test that is specifically focused on examining the security of a wireless network. It differs from typical pen tests in that it analyzes the security of a wireless network and not another type of vulnerability, such as a web application.
The process of conducting a pen test requires gathering information, launching an attack, and reporting on the results.
Important steps to execute WIFI Pentesting
WIFI Pentesting processes are divided into multiple steps let’s understand them one by one.
Step #1: Reconnaissance
The first step of every Pentesting is reconnaissance in which we have to gather as much information as possible to understand our target even better.
When it comes to a WIFI Pentesting, it’s important to understand what networks are being used or related to the business you’re targeting. This stage of the process depends heavily on proximity and geographical location.
As a Pentester we must have to identity:
- All WIFI network which is owned by our target.
- Identify all WIFI network in which business devices are being connected.
- Other WIFI networks for personal devices being connected.
- All other WIFI networks for the nearby devices.
This stage is less about looking at every detail and analyzing it in depth. The purpose of this stage is to establish a general overview of the WIFI network. So, that more detailed analysis can be done later.
Step #2: Identification of Networks
The next step of WIFI Pentesting is to narrow down the list generated in the reconnaissance step.
A pen tester needs to create individual profiles of each network they have identified. This is the preliminary stage of WIFI hacking that sets up the pen tester for success.
These are some of the important things which we need to know before attacking any WIFI network:
- Name of WIFI network and the devices that connect with those networks.
- Traffic and usage patterns of the devices & individual networks.
- Channel number, ports and division within the network.
All this information will be very helpful in the next step to develop a dataset targeting and prioritizing specific weaknesses.
Step #3: Finding Vulnerability
Identifying vulnerability is the final step to successful WIFI hacking before carrying out the attack. This step determines which networks to attack, and how to get into them.
For attackers, the next step is to do a more detailed analysis on wireless networks, looking for any and all vulnerabilities that could be exploited. If he manages to find any weak link that can be compromised it would lead to control over the entire system.
The attacker scans the data generated by the previous stages, as well as other public and proprietary datasets, to determine what vulnerabilities should exist.
Once initial attacking scans of the client’s system have been completed, a list of potential weaknesses will be generated. This list will then be prioritized and the most dangerous ones attacked first
After getting all the information required, it’s now time to start the attack.
Step #4: Exploitation of the Wireless Network
This is the stage where we will use all the information and planning of the prior stages.
The exploitation phase of a pen test is the actual attack. It’s the execution of ethical hacking to seize control of a client’s cyber assets.
The pen tester in any kind of pen test will use this stage to breach the system as quickly as possible, plunge as deeply as they can within the system, and exit.
This stage consists of some combination of the following:
- Taking advantage of the weakness in the WIFI connection to enter the system.
- Doubling for additional paths for the first entry and testing afterwards.
- Pursuing one path as far as it goes, seizing as much control as possible.
- Opening up additional avenues for future exploitation within the system
Once the hacker has exhausted all possible ways of attacking a system or has reached a limit determined in the negotiation of scope, the exploitation is complete.
Step #5: Proper reporting of results
After following the steps in this guide, the attacker should have collected all the necessary information needed for their attack. At this stage, they will categorize and store it according to the goals set out at the beginning of this guide.
The aggregate data is broken down into individual reports or sections with details:
- The client’s security infrastructure’s topography and quality.
- A comprehensive list of risks, as well as their distribution and significance
- A record of how, where, and why WIFI-related risks cause others to suffer.
Pen testing might not reveal every issue, but it’s a great start. A thorough testing agent will work with the client to produce a plan of action for correcting errors and strengthening cyber defences.
Step #6: Targeted Correction & Recommendation
After attacking the system, the attacker will end the pen test by saving all of the information to a report. All vulnerabilities found and all exploitations completed become fodder for a recovery plan that will be generated on behalf of the client.
This cybersecurity plan should involve multiple processes that can patch gaps in existing armour and add additional layers to confound attackers. Ideally, the solutions will cover both short-term and long-term fixes.
Top 5 Tools Used in WIFI Pentesting
There are many wifi Pentesting tools are there and with these wireless pen-testing tools, you can uncover rogue access points and weak passwords.
But that’s not all! These wifi hacking tools can also help you see who is doing what in your network by analysing their network packets.
Tool #1: Aircrack-ng
Aircrack is an open-source wireless security tool used for hacking WEP and WPA wifi passwords. It uses some of the most intelligent algorithms, first capturing network packets and then employing a variety of techniques to crack passwords.
Before using this tool, make sure your wireless card can inject packets. Then start the WPA cracking process. Read the tutorial on the website to learn more about what this tool does. If you follow these steps, you should be able to crack WEP & WPA protected WIFI networks.
Download Aircrack-ng here: http://www.aircrack-ng.org/
Tool #2: Wifite
Wifite is a Python script that you can use to simplify your wireless security auditing. It runs the different wireless hacking tools for you, eliminating the need to remember or use the different tools with all of their various options. This software is perfect for both beginners and professionals.
Wifite2 is a complete re-write of the original Wifite tool that has been updated to work on Kali and Parrot Security Linux distros.
It is designed to work on supported attacks, and it is recommended to install the optional tool as they are important for running some supported attacks.
Download Wifite2 here: https://github.com/derv82/wifite2
Tool #3: Kismet
Kismet is a powerful, wireless network sniffer that will help you detect even hidden Wi-Fi networks. It passively collects packets being broadcast in its vicinity and analyzes them to find the wireless networks that exist near you.
Kismet has been supported on all operating systems since its inception and is actively supported with new updates. The 2020 release re-architected the system to improve performance and add new features.
Download Kismet here: http://www.kismetwireless.net/
Tool #4: Wifiphisher
Wifiphisher is an open-source tool that can be used to perform man-in-the-middle attacks by tricking wireless users into connecting to the rogue access point.
Once connected, Wifiphisher will provide the attacker with the ability to intercept and monitor or modify their wireless traffic.
Wifiphisher is a software suite that enables an attacker to conduct phishing attacks over wireless networks.
These can be used to collect user credentials for third-party sites or Wi-Fi network credentials, and the software is designed with a modular framework that enables advanced users to write their custom code to expand its capabilities.
Download Wifiphisher here: https://github.com/wifiphisher/wifiphisher
Tool #5: Airgeddon
Airgeddon is a multi-purpose tool for wireless network security analysis. Combining various tools into one, Airgeddon offers a single interface with the fastest way to analyze and test your wireless network.
Airgeddon is a CLI (command-line interface) for wireless auditing and security. This helps reduce the complexity of performing Wi-Fi security audits, as it walks you through the process and handles interactions with all of the underlying tools.
Download Airgeddon here: https://github.com/v1s1t0r1sh3r3/airgeddon
Operating System for WIFI Pentesting
Undoubtedly my answer will be Linux, Linux is the perfect OS for hackers because it’s a network operating system, which means when it comes to wifi hacking, you’re hacking the network connection.
To talk to a network, we must need an Operating System like Linux which can perform Handshake with that particular Network to get access to the network. It sounds easy but it’s not actually. There are various scenarios you need to go through before actually attacking the network.
Linux is a graphical desktop OS that relies on the terminal to perform most tasks. You’ll need to know all the basic commands before you can begin using them in the terminal and cracking passwords.
When you’re doing something suspicious, it’s important to know how to cover your tracks. Linux has a bunch of pre-installed tools that can be used to change your IP or location, so you can stay hidden.
For wifi hacking, several tools come preinstalled on Linux. These tools allow you to hack wifi or crack wifi connections.
But Windows and Mac cannot do this due to the lack of networking capabilities through the OS, but Linux seems to manage it very well.
Linux is the perfect OS to use for hacking into a wifi network. It’s lightweight, open-source, and free to use. You should never waste your time on Windows or Mac when you can have Linux instead!
Here is a great video on WIFI Pentesting by Seytonic, it’s totally worth watching.
Wireless networks are just as vulnerable to security breaches as wired networks. Wireless penetration testing is a way to see how secure your network is. This includes determining the best encryption and authentication methods to use.
Wireless penetration testing is still performed using software tools. It differs from a standard penetration test, as it requires more hardware equipment. Kali Linux is one of the most popular operating systems for wireless penetration testing and Airplay-NG is one of the industry’s infamous tool.
In this article, I’ve tried to cover everything you need to know about WIFI Pentesting. There might be chances that I’ve missed something. In that case, you can suggest me in the comments and I will update this article as soon as possible.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful and you might have learnt something new today. Kindly give me your feedback or suggestions in the comments or post your question I’ll be very happy to help you.