Wardriving occurs when a hacker drives around and uses technology to identify unsecure wireless networks — potentially in your home. The hacker may be able to access that network, gather sensitive data, and commit identity theft or in other malicious activities.
Although war driving is a real security threat, it doesn’t have to be a hazard to your home wireless network. With a few precautions, or “defensive driving” measures, you can keep your network and your data locked down.
Wardriving: What it is and how to help protect your network | NortonLifeLock
In a nutshell, that’s what wardriving is, and there’s even software out there to help people do it. When wardriving, people may for WiFi networks by driving around in a moving vehicle, often using a GPS device to record the location of any wireless networks they find.
Wardriving: What it is and how to help protect your network
Etymology[ edit ] War driving originated from wardialing , a method popularized by a character played by Matthew Broderick in the film WarGames , and named after that film. This practice is sometimes facilitated by mounting a Wi-Fi enabled device on the vehicle. Warwalking, or warjogging, is similar to wardriving, but is done on foot rather than from a moving vehicle. Consequently, handheld devices such as pocket computers , which can perform such tasks while users are walking or standing, have dominated this practice.
Technology advances and developments in the early s expanded the extent of this practice. Warkitting is a combination of wardriving and rootkitting. This allows them to control all traffic for the victim, and could even permit them to disable TLS by replacing HTML content as it is being downloaded. There are also clients available for smartphones running Android that can upload data directly.
For better range and sensitivity, antennas are built or bought, and vary from omnidirectional to highly directional. The maps of known network IDs can then be used as a geolocation system—an alternative to GPS —by triangulating the current position from the signal strengths of known network IDs.
Navizon and openBmap combines information from Wi-Fi and cell phone tower maps contributed by users from Wi-Fi-equipped cell phones. In December , a class of undergraduates worked to map the city of Seattle, Washington over several weeks. They noticed trends in the frequency and security of the networks depending on location. Many of the open networks were clearly intended to be used by the general public, with network names like "Open to share, no porn please" or "Free access, be nice.
Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. August Learn how and when to remove this template message Some portray wardriving as a questionable practice typically from its association with piggybacking , though, from a technical viewpoint, everything is working as designed: many access points broadcast identifying data accessible to anyone with a suitable receiver.
It could be compared to making a map of a neighborhood’s house numbers and mail box labels. This can be likened to listening to a radio station that happens to be broadcasting in the area or with other forms of DXing. With other types of software, such as NetStumbler , the wardriver actively sends probe messages, and the access point responds per design. The legality of active wardriving is less certain, since the wardriver temporarily becomes "associated" with the network, even though no data is transferred.
The war driver’s liability may be reduced by setting the computer to a static IP, instead of using DHCP , preventing the network from granting the computer an IP address or logging the connection. In this case, Allen had been wardialing in an attempt to get free long-distance calling through Southwestern Bell ‘s computer systems. When presented with a password protection screen, however, he did not attempt to bypass it.