War-driving and Wi-Fi Protection
People driving in cars searching for Wi-Fi networks could be Dangerous...If you let them
War-driving, it might be a new term for new users of the Wi-Fi system, or perhaps a term one is oblivious to, but it is a concept we are familiar with, considering once in a while, we may have indulge in during our search for an open Wi-Fi system to connect us with the internet.
In the beginning, this term came about when people went about searching for open Wi-Fi networks while driving around in a car or while taking a walk.
Finding a place to use your car’s Wi-Fi without having to get out while you are driving about town is perfectly acceptable. As early as 1996, this was the standard practice; at the time it was known as “wardialling.”
However, war-driving has become a cybersecurity problem, though, as hackers have learned to exploit the flaws in open Wi-Fi networks.
These days, a hacker traveling in a car can use automated gear and software to find unprotected Wi-Fi networks, locate the vulnerable networks, and keep an eye on the devices connected to the network.
The data obtained as a result of the attack might subsequently be sold or given to someone who could misuse it in a hostile way, including for identity theft. The price the modern world has to pay for abusing the internet privileges.
This of course raises the question over the legality of War-driving.
Now, this question is like asking if holding a gun is legal for an individual or not, solely because in instances like this, right or wrong becomes relative to interpretation.
It varies. Based on the legal precedent in State v. Allen, driving around, looking for free/unsecured networks, noting them, and even connecting to these networks are not criminal per se.
The short version is that while wardialing phone numbers to uncover those used for modems, Allen discovered a lot of private numbers belonged to an AT&T subsidiary. When the corporation learned, it sued him. According to the Kansas Supreme Court, Allen did not attempt to enter the company’s network and did not harm its property.
Typically, war-driving turns into a criminal offense when someone sets up software to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks on open networks. A driver breaking security procedures on a secured network is also breaking the law.
Cyber-attacks that cause identity theft, data theft, and other types of personal or financial loss through war-driving attacks will result in additional criminal liability.
Hackers’ Wardriving Toolkit
Parking or remaining in a location for an excessive amount of time is against the cardinal rule of cyber-attack rulebooks, therefore war-drivers must concentrate on driving the automobile and being careful not to leave a trail. As a result, to perform war-driving, war-drivers often use a combination of automated hardware and software.
A network discovery tool that records data about a network is typically a war-driving software. Examples include Wi-Fi-Where and Kismet. War-drivers frequently combine these resources with specialized databases like WiGLE. These databases store details on networks that have been found, including GPS coordinates, SSID, MAC address, and encryption type.
The main hardware for war-driving, however, consists of antennae that have been modified to detect weak networks, for instance, even when they are far from a router. In order to improve the precision of their war-driving setup, hackers additionally use GPS and Raspberry Pi devices.