This chapter looks in detail at several tools, available on the Internet, that hackers can use to attack Wi-Fi networks. Most are UNIX based and require the ability to compile (and sometimes tweak) the tool. However, more are becoming available for Microsoft Windows all the time. We explain where to get the tools, what they do, and how to use them. Some people might feel uncomfortable about our publicizing these tools and explaining their use. However, it is our goal to remove any doubt you may have about their potency. By getting in the driver's seat, you will get a better understanding of how weak the older Wi-Fi systems are. The good news is that the tools are of very limited use against WPA or RSN. Certainly, you would not be able to use them to gather any information about secret keys or encrypted data. So view this chapter as a cautionary tale and feel glad that you at least "know the enemy."
By understanding how the bad guys operate, and the tools they use, you can better design, install, and operate your defenses (in other words, better understand the threat against your system). Understanding today's threat does not necessarily make you immune. The computer security process is very much like the Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation. That is, the bad guys will adapt based on what you do. You must stay vigilant, react to the changes that the attackers make, and plan your responses.
Before describing the attack tools, we review the attacker's process in a generic sense to give you some insight into how you might be attacked. Not all of the bad guys operate exactly as we describe, but their process is similar.