5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Reference for the True Wardriver
If you are looking for something to help you break into other peoples wireless networks, look somewhere else. This is the first book I have read about wireless security that doesn't fall into the trap of trying to scare people. Instead, the authors methodically show you how to secure your wireless network. The authors also present a wealth of information on the tools...
Published on May 23 2004 by James Norton
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent book on a narrow but relevant topic
If you want to learn how to wardrive using Kismet or NetStumbler (and variants), "WarDriving" is for you. The book does a good job debunking certain myths, such as the prevalence of "warchalking" or the widespread use of "Pringles can antennas." I found the practical advice, like disabling the TCP/IP stack on Windows prior to wardriving,...
Published on April 27 2004 by Richard Bejtlich
Most Helpful First | Newest First
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need in one place - no searching the net,
This review is from: WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security (Paperback)This book literally contains everything you might need to know to successfully engage in WarDriving. Starting from the most basic setup of homemade components to purchase and use of commercial ones it is one of the most thorough books available today on the subject. The authors wisely start out the book with defining what WarDriving is and what it is not. They define WarDriving as moving around a specific area and mapping the wireless access points for statistical purposes. It does not include actually accessing these points without prior permission. As such, the purpose of WarDriving is to raise awareness of the security issues related to wireless networks.
The first section of the book covers setting up both a laptop and a PDA for WarDriving purposes. This includes important general concepts like antenna types and their advantages and disadvantages, and connecting antenna to a wireless NIC. It also includes very specific information like specific NIC cards that work well and are conducive to the connection of external antennas and the like.
Once your hardware is set up you have to turn your attention to appropriate software. The authors detail both Windows and Linux software (free and commercial products) available to discover access points. It includes how to use NetStumbler, MiniStumbler, and Kismet to locate wireless LANs, the various options, and how to interpret the results. These are very detailed chapters and explain both the concepts and actual product use very well. Each of these chapters ends with additional software available to actually map the access points.
The final section of the book covers the details of attacking wireless networks. It includes information on finding cloaked points, hijacking, man-in-the-middle attacks, defeating MAC address filtering, and even attacking encrypted networks. In addition they include the details of enabling security on several specific models of Linksys and D-Link access points. The last part of the book covers advanced security information including configuring WiFi Protected Access, Wireless Gateway, VPN setup, RADIUS, and LEAP.
This is clearly one of the best books available on the subject of WarDriving. It provides a thorough examination of the subject, detailed explanations and instructions, and pretty much everything you need to know in this area. "WarDriving, Drive, Detect, Defend" is a very highly recommended book for anyone interested in wardriving.
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Reference for the True Wardriver,
This review is from: WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security (Paperback)If you are looking for something to help you break into other peoples wireless networks, look somewhere else. This is the first book I have read about wireless security that doesn't fall into the trap of trying to scare people. Instead, the authors methodically show you how to secure your wireless network. The authors also present a wealth of information on the tools used by the true Wardriver. If you are not a linux guru but want to use Kismet, this book is for you. If you want to learn to use the latest version of Netstumbler, it's in there. Plus, the history of organized Wardriving chapter is one of the coolest I have ever read. If these things are important to you, buy this book. It's great.
1.0 out of 5 stars Who ARE these people giving 5 star reviews?,
This review is from: WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security (Paperback)The short review of this book is that if you're interested enough in the subject to buy this book, then you're unlikely to find anything - and I mean ANYTHING - new in this book.
It takes two seperate chapters: one on installing the Windows utility Netstumbler (with pages and pages of screen shots, when a simple "click on the icon" would do), and one on using - not "advanced options" or anything, just using - Netstumbler. Similarly, three whole chapters are dedicated to the excruciating details of installation and use of the Linux tool Kismet, but again, nothing which couldn't be found in the README files or on the website which hosts the utility. They have a chapter on how to convert Kismet and Netstumbler logfiles to maps: if you already know about Stumbverter, WiGLE, and DiGLE (or can use Google), there's nothing new here. The authors pine on for a chapter about the wardrives that they've organized. If you've ever listened to your grandparents talk about the war, it's a lot like that. Then, they have a chapter on WiFi "attacks" - if you know how to manually set your SSID and MAC, and if you've ever even heard of Airsnort, you probably won't need this nontechnical, sub-script-kiddie, Windows screen-shot-laden chapter.
If you're interested in war driving, or if you're interested in Wi-Fi security, then you're probably already conversant with the tools covered in this book. There is no real technical depth, as this book is written to a "manager's level" of technical competence. ("Click OK to continue.") Their chapter on Wi-Fi network defense essentially boils down to "change default SSID" and "use WEP"; there's a couple of pages on VPN, firewalls, and using authentication, but again, nothing to justify the purchase price of this book.
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money,
By A Customer
This review is from: WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security (Paperback)This book touched very little on antennas. Then he pretty much just re-wrote instructions and how-tos for NetStumbler and Kismet, which is about half the book. Having war drove at Def-Con, he includes a whole chapter on how to organize a war-drive. Then still not having enough for a whole book, he decides to give one chapter on how to use a couple bad-boy tools, (of course all this can be found in the READMEs of the tools themselves). Just to be sure the book was heavy, he decides to describe WEP, LEAP, Etc. This book reminds me of a High School Student's paper who didn't have enough to really fill the required amount of pages. The subject matter is not well known so none of the publishers would really know if this was a good book or not. Hey, I guess anyone would endorse it for the right amount of money, or just status. The other good reviews, have to be people the author knows, no one could think very highly of this book, much less giving it 5 stars! If you have every worked with wireless before, know what Def-Con is, or know how to use the Internet to find information pass this one by, its all common knowledge. But bravo to you Roamer, Thorn and Mother for pulling the wool over Syngress and making some money at it.
4.0 out of 5 stars No WarChalking!,
This review is from: WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security (Paperback)WarDriving is a (sub)cultural phenomenon that has emerged with the rapid growth in WiFi networks. As these have increasingly been adopted by the great unwashed, the vendors have gone to great lengths to simplify the WiFi access setup. Often, this has led to people turning off any encryption, and choosing the vendor's default settings, including for passwords. Hence, as the author points out, some hackers use their computers in cars and cruise around a city, looking for any open access points.
This book has two audiences. The first is those who want to WarDrive. Here, you find all necessary nuts and bolts information about configuring your computer, be it running MS Windows or Linux. Plus descriptions of antennas. Enough to get you up and running, or driving, as the case probably is. You should find it quite facile, if you follow the book's guidelines.
The other audience is those of you running a WiFi net, or planning to. By squinting a little at the text, you get simple and effective advice on preventing unwanted access.
Did I say 2 audiences? There is a third, which may have some intersection with the others. Suppose you just want to learn more about WarDriving, perhaps out of pure curiosity. This book is ideal for that. The author is the organiser of the first 3 WWWarDrives. Well qualified to expound on this subject. The chapter on WWWarDrives will be good in later years, from a historical viewpoint.
As a bonus, Hurley "exposes" WarChalking. This is a meme that spread widely in 2002. Hurley claims that amongst actual WarDrivers, few actually do this. Basically, WarChalking is a cute, easy to understand idea, especially because it is so visual. Which undoubtedly helped the general media latch onto it and spread it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for hackers and enthusiasts,
This review is from: WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security (Paperback)This is a great book for Wi-Fi enthusiasts, and people who want to secure their wireless networks. Not only does it have a chapter on wireless security, the entire book is a guide to how to find and exploit networks. So by reading the book you are learning how to exploit and how not to have your network exploited.
Chapter one is a solid introduction to wireless networking, the hardware the protocols and the software. Chapters two and three cover Windows installation and using Netstumbler. Chapters four, five and six cover installing and using Kismet stumbler software on Linux. There is no coverage for Mac OS X.
Chapter seven is about mapping the wireless access points in your area using GPS. Chapter eight is about the culture of WarDriving (driving around looking for Wi-Fi access points). It's the most interesting chapter in the book and exposes the true hacker nature of the piece. Chapter nine is the attack chapter of the book, where you learn how to crack into secured networks. Easily the most controversial chapter. Chapter ten is the opposite of nine, you learn how to secure your network. And the last chapter covers advanced options.
The book is a good buy for Wi-Fi user enthusiasts who want to WarDrive effectively. For Wi-Fi administrators it's probably worth the look since it may help you figure out how people will attempt to exploit your network. For the amateur end-user just looking to hook up at Starbucks I would recommend O'Reilly's Wireless Hacks. It's a little more end-user oriented.
5.0 out of 5 stars I was blown away,
By A Customer
This review is from: WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security (Paperback)I can't stress how great this book is! I am not a Linux guru but had heard that Kismet would help me find more access points. I bought this book when I saw that it covered installation and configuration of Kismet.
I was really happy with the way that the authors walked me through the installation and configuration of Kismet. I had read some online walkthroughs, but had been unable to successfully get my wireless card into monitor mode. This book showed me exactly what I was doing wrong.
I am now wardriving with Kismet and looking forward to the Worldwide Wardrive in June!
Thanks for a great book.
4.0 out of 5 stars The perfect book to get you started in wardriving...,
This review is from: WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security (Paperback)Target Audience
Individuals who are interested in searching out wireless access points and defending their own wireless networks against unauthorized use.
Learning To WarDrive; NetStumbler and MiniStumbler: Overview; Operating NetStumbler and MiniStumbler; Installing Kismet in Slackware Linux 9.1; Installing Kismet in Fedora Core 1; Attacking Wireless Networks; Basic Wireless Network Security; Advanced Wireless Network Security; Index
In many ways, this book is a guide to running some common wardriving software. Once the hardware needs are covered in the opening chapter, the authors start to go into packages such as Kismet, NetStumbler, and MiniStumbler. They do cover software for both Linux and Windows, so you can benefit regardless of what OS you prefer. Interspersed throughout the book is the technical details that will fill in the gaps to the basic "how to" information. Examples of this type of detail are sidebars on active vs. passive WLAN detection, disabling the broadcast beacon, and troubleshooting GPS problems. Once you get the software installed, you'll learn how to map your results for future reference.
The book is also beneficial if you're a network administrator. There is substantial information on how to take steps to make your network less susceptible to discovery and intrusion, as well as what you need to do to improve the encryption capabilities of your network. It is somewhat disturbing to see how many wireless networks are set up with default level access and no encryption. The authors take great pains to distinguish between the discovery of access points and the actual use of them. So while you may think that they are advocating illegal activity, they are actually making sure that you can be a wardriver without breaking any laws.
While generally I like the book, there is something that irritates me about it. They use a lot of screen shots related to the installing and operation of the different software packages. While that might be useful for installing the Linux software if you're not a penguin-head, it borders on overkill for Windows software. I really don't need to see screenshots to know to press Next after the install splash screen and the directory location. Once you're running and configuring the software, that's different. It's a minor point in the overall quality of the book, however.
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent book on a narrow but relevant topic,
This review is from: WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security (Paperback)If you want to learn how to wardrive using Kismet or NetStumbler (and variants), "WarDriving" is for you. The book does a good job debunking certain myths, such as the prevalence of "warchalking" or the widespread use of "Pringles can antennas." I found the practical advice, like disabling the TCP/IP stack on Windows prior to wardriving, especially helpful. The authors constantly advocate a professional mindset towards wardriving and do not suggest unethical use of insecure wireless networks.
"WarDriving" suffers from several drawbacks. The book was written by multiple authors, and the lead author failed to remove redundant material. For example, ch. 3 repeats the advice and instructions found in ch. 1 regarding disabling Windows' TCP/IP stack. Ch. 3 also gives virtually the same advice on assembling wireless equipment, including more screenshots of gear and discussions of NetStumbler found in ch. 2. All of this should have been consolidated.
I did not find the majority of screen captures in the various "installation" chapters helpful. Why take up 1/3 of a page with an essentially blank screen capture that only features the "su -" command? All similar information could have been presented as inline text. Many other screen captures offered fonts that were too small to show meaningful details. For example, many of the Kismet shots in ch. 6 are mostly blank screens with small text stuffed into the top or corners. The author should have resized his terminal with capturing the screen in mind.
Technically, I found the book accurate. I was not happy to see MAC defined as "machine access code" in the first half of the book and as "media access control" in ch. 10. (The second expansion is the norm, although Asante oddly uses the first.) Although the book covered Kismet, NetStumbler, and derivatives, it did not feature bsd-airtools or defensive measures like Snort-wireless.
Ch. 8, "Organizing WarDrives," was my favorite. While the majority of the book offered installation and configuration guides for networking equipment, ch. 8 provided original, helpful advice on conducting formal wardrives. It's one of the better pieces of "hacker history" I've seen in recent years. Ch. 8 alone supports the idea that wardriving is a legitimate activity not solely done by "black hats."
If you want to learn how to wardrive, this book will help you. The book could have been half as long and half as expensive if it had consolidated redundant material and replaced many screenshots with equally relevant text. Moving beyond advice on proper equipment configuration would take this book to the next level. Information on detecting and responding to disassociation attacks or simple unauthorized use of the network would be welcome in a second edition.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars from someone who really wanted to hate this book,
This review is from: WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security (Paperback)Ok, I will admit it...I am a "button down" kind of guy. I manage my company's wireless network and I have one in my house as well. I have never gone WarDriving and I probably never will. I have read articles about it in newspapers, magazines, etc. and formed an opinion that these people were all voyeurs at best and criminals at worst. When I saw this book, I thought it was important to read it to find out where my wireless network might be vulnerable. Before reading it, I was pre-disposed to then post a review affirming my initial opinion that anyone wardriving is up to no good. Ok, I will admit this as well....I WAS WRONG. The authors provide incredibly detailed information on how to wardrive, but more importantly go to great thanks to explain how to do it legally. They explain what is right and what is wrong. And, for the most part I agree with their explanations. According to their bios, several of the authors have military and/or law efnorcement backgrounds and one of them was in the NSA,so I'm guessing they know what their talking about when it comes to the legal issues involved. There are also chatpers at the end that provide great information on how so secure your wireless network to make sure that no one with good or bad intentions can access it at all. All in all, this book provides a very thorough treatment to the technical, legal, and honestly ethical issues surrounding Wardriving and wireless security. Well Done!
Most Helpful First | Newest First
WarDriving: Drive, Detect, Defend: A Guide to Wireless Security by Chris Hurley (Paperback - Mar 26 2004)