How to Hack WiFi

You may not realize it, but there are many people willing to pay for your personal information and many people who are not afraid to break the law to supply it. We are, of course, talking about black hat hackers, phishers, and other cybercriminals who are willing to go above and beyond to hack WiFi networks.

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Why Learn How to Hack WiFi


The more connected we are, the more pressing the question of online security becomes. Sometimes, the best defense is to learn the tactics of your enemy, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to protecting yourself against various online threats.

In this article, we explain how cybercriminals hack WiFi passwords and networks. Knowing how WiFi password hacks are executed will allow you to employ adequate security measures to secure your own network and stay safe online.

The only tool you will need to follow along is NetSpot, a professional Windows and macOS app for wireless site surveys, Wi-Fi analysis, and troubleshooting. NetSpot is free to download, and it can be installed on any MacBook running Mac OS X 10.10+ or any laptop with Windows 7/8/10.

How to Hack WiFi Passwords


WiFi networks rely on several common wireless security standards to prevent unauthorized access. The most common wireless security standards are:

  • WEP: Introduced as part of the original 802.11 standard ratified in 1997, WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is a deprecated security algorithm for wireless networks. It uses the stream cipher RC4 for confidentiality and the CRC-32 checksum for integrity. In 2001, a group of security researchers published a method on how to exploit the way the RC4 cipher is used in WEP. The exploit makes it possible to hack virtually any WEP network within a few minutes using readily available software programs and standard networking equipment. It’s safe to say that even children can learn how to hack into a WiFi protected by WEP with minimal effort.

  • WPA: Naturally, a safer wireless security standard had to replace WEP, and, in 2003, WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) became that standard. To prevent the types of attacks that compromised WEP, WPA relies on the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), employing a per-packet key that is dynamically generated for each packet. It also includes something called a Message Integrity Check to prevent an attacker from altering and resending data packets.

  • WPA2: Eventually, WPA was replaced by WPA2, which implements all mandatory elements of the IEEE 802.11i standard, including support for CCMP and an AES-based encryption mode. While it’s very much possible to learn how to hack someone’s WiFi even when it uses WPA2, such attacks require a degree of sophistication that makes them unfeasible for most cybercriminals.

Naturally, cybercriminals prioritize weaker targets over those that rely on more modern security standards.

Use NetSpot to Find Easy to Hack WiFi Networks


The first thing most hackers do is use a WiFi analyzer tool such as NetSpot to locate WEP-protected networks. Unlike wireless networks that use WPA or WPA2, WEP-protected networks are very easy to hack with nothing but a laptop and the right software.

NetSpot has a WiFi analysis mode called Discover, and you can use this mode to collect every detail about surrounding WiFi networks. NetSpot lets you see the names of the networks around you, their signal level, the channels they broadcast on, and also their security.

Discover Mode

If you see a network that uses WEP security, you can be sure that anyone can learn how to hack it because learning how to hack a WiFi password isn’t even the difficult part; the difficult part is finding a WiFi network that still relies on WEP security. But with NetSpot, even that’s easy.

How to Secure a WiFi Network Against Hackers


To secure your WiFi network against hackers, you must ensure that it uses a strong wireless security standard and is protected by a secure password.

  1. Launch NetSpot.
  2. Enter Discover mode.
  3. Locate your WiFi network from the list of available WiFi networks.
  4. Look at the Security column and see if it says “WPA2.”
  5. If it does, your WiFi network meets the basic prerequisite for security.

However, if your WiFi network isn’t secured by WPA2, you need to change your router’s security settings as soon as possible. Because each router is different, the exact steps vary from router to router. Generally, you need to:

  1. Find out your router’s IP address.
  2. Log in to the router’s admin interface.
  3. Look for WiFi security settings.
  4. Select WPA2 as your prefer wireless security standard.
  5. Save the settings and possibly restart your router.

Every time you change your router’s security settings, use NetSpot’s Discover mode to verify that the settings have really been applied. Besides using WPA2 as your preferred wireless security standard, you also need to choose a strong WiFi password to prevent WiFi password hacks. These are some characteristics of a strong password:

  • The password is at least 12 characters long.

  • The password uses a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.

  • The password is not commonly used (12345ASFD).

  • The password is completely nonsensical.

  • The password contains no personal information (birthdate, maiden name, and so on)

  • The password is unique and not used anywhere else.

  • The password is not written on a piece of paper or saved by the browser.

  • The password is not shared with anyone.

Conclusion


Learning how to hack WiFi passwords allows you to better evaluate whether your wireless network is vulnerable to modern cybersecurity threats. With free and easy-to-use WiFi analyzer apps such as NetSpot, you can discover the most obvious weaknesses in your cybersecurity defenses in a matter of seconds. NetSpot can also optimize the coverage of your wireless network, so you can cover all rooms in your house with a strong WiFi signal and, at the same time, limit the signal only to your house.


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Runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10)
with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network adapter.