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on June 8, 2004
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.
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on May 7, 2004
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.
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on April 30, 2004
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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 27, 2004
Target Audience
Individuals who are interested in searching out wireless access points and defending their own wireless networks against unauthorized use.
This book covers the subject of wardriving (searching for wireless networks) and securing your wireless network. The chapters include:
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
The hacking concept of exploring technology is something that has always appealed to me. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't spend time cracking networks and breaking into things. It's more of a fascination of "what's out there". And of course, with the advent of wireless networks and the affordability of the hardware, there is a lot more "out there" out there! That's where the concept of wardriving comes in... Surfing the airwaves to see what networks exist. This book will teach you what you need to know to join in this phenomenon.
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.
If the concept of wardriving is something that appeals to you, this is a good one-stop book to get started. Furthermore, if you run or are responsible for maintaining a wireless network, you'll need to know this information in order to secure your network against unauthorized access.
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