What Is Wardriving and How you can Stop It

Wardriving is the act of trying to find wi-fi networks whereas transferring round a selected space in a transferring car. It entails utilizing gear which generally features a GPS gadget and laptop computer.

What’s the function of wardriving?

In a cybersecurity context, the aim of wardriving is to search out weak networks to take advantage of. Wardrivers will achieve unauthorized entry to those networks and steal private info or use them for prison actions. In different instances, the wardrivers might not be those who perform the assaults themselves. However they are going to share info of those unsecured networks with third-party apps or web sites.

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Wardriving is undertaken for quite a lot of causes, starting from the benign—like training, analysis, website surveying, and as a pastime—to the malicious, the place attackers monitor and achieve entry to your community with the purpose of stealing delicate info like checking account particulars. 

It’s not simply in vehicles. Different variations on the apply embody warbiking, warcycling, warwalking, warjogging, wartraining, and warskating—which as you possibly can in all probability guess from their names, contain totally different modes of transport. Every variation has its professionals and cons, specifically that they could cowl various kinds of terrain and geographic density.

The identify wardriving advanced from wardialing, an exploit approach seen within the 1983 movie WarGames. Wardialing entails dialing all numbers in a given sequence—often in a selected space code—in the hunt for modems, computer systems, fax machines, or servers.

How does wardriving work?

Wardriving requires a mixture of software program and {hardware} to work. These sometimes embody:

  • A cell gadget like a smartphone, laptop computer, or pill
  • Wardriving software program to bypass community safety
  • A wi-fi community card and a hi-gain antenna
  • GPS, often from a smartphone or a standalone wardriving gadget

For starters, wardrivers must have a smartphone or laptop computer on which they set up the wardriving software program to hold out the wardriving assault. The wardriving software program will assist them crack Wi-Fi passwords and decrypt the found networks. Attackers will even use GPS, which determines the places of the Wi-Fi networks.

After figuring out weak networks, wardriving attackers will add such info to wardriving software program and create a map of those weak networks.

Is wardriving unlawful?

Whereas the apply itself isn’t unlawful, there are features which are legally imprecise. For instance, the apply of trying to find and cataloging Wi-Fi networks is completely authorized, as this is able to be a passive motion and regarded an train in knowledge assortment. The place it will get tough is that if wardrivers start actively interacting with Wi-Fi networks, the place “interplay” constitutes entry to a non-public community.

Taking this one step additional is the idea of piggybacking, the act of accessing and utilizing one other particular person’s Wi-Fi connection with out their information or permission. The authorized standing of piggybacking varies the world over, starting from ill-defined to unlawful.

Within the U.S., a generally cited instance of easy methods to outline unauthorized entry of a community is the case of State v. Allen, 260 Kan. 107 (1996). Throughout this case, the courtroom differentiated between approaching a community and making an attempt to achieve entry. In addition they dominated that, approaching a community with out permission was authorized, making an attempt to entry it with out permission will not be.

For wardriving, one doable interpretation is that scanning for close by Wi-Fi hotspots is authorized whereas making an attempt to achieve entry to the hotspots will not be.

What instruments do wardrivers use? (software program & {hardware})

Wardriving software program or apps

Wardrivers typically use software program purposes that give them the power to find surrounding Wi-Fi networks, check sign energy, and bypass community safety.

Smartphone or laptop computer

Wardrivers want a smartphone, laptop computer, or pill wherein they set up the wardriving software program talked about above to handle the entire wardriving course of.


The GPS system will decide the precise location of the weak community. The wardriver will use the GPS from both a smartphone or standalone wardriving gadget.

Wi-fi community card and antenna

Wardriving antenna permits the wardriver to establish weak networks. Usually, they’ll mount an antenna to their automotive whereas it strikes round in the hunt for weak networks. In different instances, some wardrivers could use their cellphone’s built-in antenna.

Instruments for producing maps

Wardrivers will even use crowd-sourced databases to generate maps of found Wi-Fi networks.

How can I defend myself towards wardriving?

Defending your self from wardriving comes right down to securing your Wi-Fi community. The excellent news is—there’s loads you are able to do to guard your community and maintain the wardrivers away.

Use a VPN router

One of the simplest ways to guard your Wi-Fi community from wardrivers is to make use of a VPN router. Whereas commonplace routers allow you to set a password in your Wi-Fi, a VPN router takes it one step additional and encrypts all site visitors transferring to and from all of your gadgets related to your community. This retains them secure out of your web service supplier, hackers, and governments.

Flip off your router while you’re not utilizing it

Your router broadcasts Wi-Fi alerts when it’s turned on. To stop attackers from finding your community, flip off your router while you aren’t utilizing it.

Change your router’s default username and password

Your router has an admin interface, from which you’ll change your community settings utilizing the default username and password. Routers from the identical maker often have the identical default ones, so it isn’t troublesome for wardrivers passing by to register to your admin interface. From there, they’ll do various things—from locking you out of the router with a brand new password to hijacking your community.

Learn extra: Information: When and easy methods to reset your router

Use multi-factor authentication

If doable, allow multi-factor authentication in your router’s settings web page. Any login makes an attempt will ship your gadget an alert and maintain you conscious of unauthorized entry. Although, not all routers permit enabling multi-factor authentication.

Learn extra: Safe your accounts with the most effective free authenticator apps

Use the very best community safety protocol

Because the operator of a Wi-Fi entry level, you must all the time use WPA2 as it’s nonetheless probably the most sturdy commonplace.

Add a visitor community

A visitor community offers your folks and guests entry solely to your web connection, and nothing else! It’s a separate entry level and remoted from the usual community your gadgets are related to. Meaning guests and wardrivers can’t see or entry your gadgets. Most significantly, they’ll’t unintentionally compromise your gadgets or your community in any means.

Learn extra: Must you cover your Wi-Fi community identify (SSID) or not?

Set up a firewall

Firewalls can detect and block unauthorized entry to your community. It provides an additional lawyer of safety to your community and all of your gadgets related to it. Study extra about how firewalls work.

Hold your gadgets up-to-date

Holding your gadgets up to date can repair bugs and scale back vulnerabilities. This consists of your router’s software program and the working system of all of the gadgets related to your community.

Learn extra: Auto app updates: Professionals and cons, and easy methods to flip them on

FAQ: About wardriving

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