How to Detect a Non-Broadcasted (Hidden) SSID in Linux and Windows

Posted August 11, 2006 by Hack_Vista in Internet

Hiding your SSID is not really a security feature. Here are the software packages we use in our environment to detect users setting up hidden wireless networks.

Our network is locked down solid. You can imagine our surprise when we found that someone had penetrated our network through a rogue wireless network that had been set up to make a conference room easier to use. Students would drive up outside at night and make penetration attempts.

How do we and how did they detect the hidden network?

Linux users have several good options. The two most common ones are as follows:

    Linux users have frequently used the powerful AirJack. It is linux-hackable but not newbie-friendly. It does contain a utility, however, that will divulge the SSDI.

    More advanced and more user-friendly is kismet. It is linux and requires compiling, but it does anything you could want and then some.

Windows users will find it harder to find software that is capable of finding hidden SSIDs. Two are listed below.

Large environments will often benefit from a dedictated commerical product to perform this sort of task. We currently use the laptop and handheld versions of AirMagnet. The demo versions available to the site are powerful enough to get any user started.

If you want a free product, AirSnort works well if you can get through the painful installation.

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