Do you ever wonder if someone has been using the internet that you pay for? Leaving aside that one friend who comes to your house just to use your WiFi, someone else might have access to your WiFi network. Do you people learn how to hack and get into other networks and systems.
In other words, if you wish to get into the world of ethical hacking, the first practical step you can take is to know how to hack into a WiFi.
If someone knows how to hack into your WiFi chances are that they can even compromise the entire computer network security. When that happens you’ll get eager to learn cybersecurity and its importance.
But that’s for some other day. For today, let us learn how to become the hacker.
Accessing a wireless network
As you may know that a wireless network is a network that is connected without using any wires. These are the networks that use radio waves to link computers and other devices together.
To access these networks you’ll need:
- A device that has wireless-network enabled (laptop, smartphone, etc.)
- The device as well as you will need to be within the transmission radius of a wireless network access point (a WiFi router)
- If the network isn’t password protected then you wouldn’t need to do anything further to gain access except click on it. It was asking to get hacked.
- But if the network is password protected like most, then you’ll need its password to gain access.
Wireless Network Authentication WEP & WPA
There are many authentication techniques used in various wireless network devices. These include: WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA3, WPA2 + AES, WPA + AES, WPA + TKIP/AES, WPA + TKIP, and more
WEP and WPA are two of the most commonly used authentication techniques in a wireless network. Understanding these two is good for building a solid foundation before learning how to hack into a wireless network.
It will also help you gather the required information regarding the access point.
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is a security algorithm for IEEE 802. It was developed with the intention to overcome the data confidentiality issues with the traditional wired connection. It gave better data protection by encrypting the data transmitted to avoid eavesdropping.
WEP authentication works using two methods:
- Open System Authentication (OSA) – OSA helps you gain access to any WEP network as well as receive files that aren’t encrypted
- Shared Key Authentication (SKA) – SKA allows a computer equipped with a wireless modem to gain full access to any WEP network and exchange both encrypted and unencrypted data.
The weaknesses found in WEP led to the development of Wi-Fi Protected Access. WPA became the security standard for computing devices with wireless internet connections.
WPA encrypts data on 802.11 WLANs. In addition to this, instead of using the 24-bits that WEP uses, WAP uses 48bits that gives it higher initial values. However, WPA has been reported to get affected by a DDoS attack many times.
General types of attacks
- Man-in-the-middle attack : This refers to intercepting the communication between two individuals to steal data.
- Denial of service (DDoS) : To do this, you have to overwhelm the network with traffic. As a result, it cannot fulfill any requests, leaving the system unusable
- Sniffing : It involves intercepting data packets as they are transmitted over a network.
In addition to the above, there are various types of attacks that can compromise computer network security that can be useful in both types of hacking.
Tools used for hacking wireless networks
Here’s a list of some of the most popular tools used to hamper computer network security:
- Cain & Abel
- Fern WiFi Wireless Cracker
How to hack a wireless network
Finally, let’s get into the step by step tutorial to decode the stored wireless network passwords.
- Firstly, download Cain & Abel from the provided link
- Secondly, ensure that you are in the range of a network that you wish to hack and try and connect.
- Open Cain & Abel
- Select the “Decoders” tab
- From the navigation menu select “Wireless Passwords”
- Click on the plus sign (+) button
- The decoder will show encryption type, SSID and the password that was once used to access the network.
Securing wireless networks
Now that you know how to hack a WiFi network, it’s time to know about a few steps you can take to avoid someone hacking your WiFi. After all, you cannot become an ethical hacker without knowing how to hack and how to prevent a hack.
- Change the default passwords that come with the hardware
- Enable authentication mechanism
- Allowing only registered MAC addresses can restrict Access to the network.
- Using strong WEP and WPA-PSK keys as well as passwords with a combination of symbols, number and characters can reduce the chance of the keys being cracked by the use of a dictionary and brute force attacks
- Firewall Software can help reduce unauthorized access