House Call: WEP Cracking

Update on 12/13/08 @ 11:12 am:
Tutorial: How to Crack WEP on a Mac

photo by Phylevn

I was talking with a friend at a party who lost his internet connection recently. His previous connection was a neighbor’s open wifi. Unfortunately, the access point disappeared one day and all the rest were password protected. I mentioned I knew how to crack those. Naturally, he asked if I could crack one for him. I enjoy a challenge and being helpful, so I agreed. I told him to check if there were any WEP protected networks near him when he got home. He emailed me saying there were a few, and I scheduled a time to make the house call.

The first time I learned how to crack WEP was after reading about it on one of my nerd news feeds. Back then, the process involved running several commands from the command line. I decided to do some more homework on WEP cracking before I went to his house. It turns out nowadays it has gotten a lot easier.

So I took my two girls with me on my house call along with a MacBook, a Hawking HWUG1 USB WiFi adapter, and a BackTrack 3 live CD. When we got there, I booted the MacBook from the BackTrack live CD and plugged in the USB Wifi adapter. I started Kismet to scan for a WEP protected access point with the strongest signal. Then I ran SpoonWEP and was able to get the WEP key in under 2 minutes.

My friend and his wife can finally get back on the internet after several weeks of being offline. They recently had a baby, so she stays home and can now get back to searching for a new place to live via the internet.

The rest of the night was filled with catching up, watching Shrek 2, eating Chinese food, and looking through old photo albums. Good times. They also slipped some gas money into my pocket right before we left which was very thoughtful.

I think I’ll put up a short tutorial soon with the exact steps I take to crack WEP.


Alpha Mesh

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9 Responses to House Call: WEP Cracking

  1. diAl_121 says:

    I think you known how to crack wireless networks.
    I have the same story as your friend.
    Right now i using a unsecured network, there are times it didn’t get any signal and didn’t use the internet for weeks please could you give me a guide.
    contact me via my e-mail :
    i have a problem my laptop. I use a intel centrino chipset, many say hacking is not possible with intel. I can still try on my friends computer.
    Please send your response at my e-mail.

  2. Pingback: Tutorial: How to Crack WEP on a Mac « jorel314

  3. Charlie says:

    I found your tutorial on WEP cracking to be very informative and helpful. However you do realize that getting on someone elses wifi without their permission is illegal right? Especially if they have encrypted their wireless connection. They put a WEP on their because they simply don’t want people using it. You should tell your friend to get an internet subscription and stop leeching off the neighbors. They obviously don’t want your friend on their internet if they have it WEP encrypted. Having people leech off your wifi slows things down and eats up bandwidth not to mention its ILLEGAL if you don’t have permission to do it. Last year in my town there was a child porn bust. The police went after an elderly couple but were confused when they showed up. Only to find out that the neighbor had been using their unencrypted wifi to distribute child porn. Don’t get me wrong I see the fun in WEP cracking especially for pen testing and educational value but to do it to simply leech off someones internet and steal their bandwidth is not cool and if you are going to make house calls to people you might want to stop doing illegal stuff like helping your friends steal wifi because it will catch up to you.

  4. jorel314 says:


    Thanks for your input and I’m glad you found the tutorial helpful.

    In regards to the law, I am fully aware it is illegal. I do it for principle.

    I believe internet access can and should be free to everyone. No one owns the internet. Or you can say everyone owns the internet.

    I think of it this way…

    No one owns access to the sun. If there were companies that blocked out the sun and started charging for access to it, people would not stand for it. I feel the same way about the internet.

  5. OS9USER says:

    I agree with Charlie. 1st, you just admitted to “Theft of Services” by stealing someones internet. However, I do agree the internet should be free to all. You must becareful what you post on the internet :)

    2nd, I used Spoonweb. Like yourself, the 1st crack was quick. Only 5 minutes. However, the next one I tried took 8+ hours. Remember, if your signal strength is down, the crack will take much, much longer.

    I enjoyed reading this post. Keep up the Good WORK !

  6. jorel314 says:

    In regards to legality, I feel that for certain laws that I don’t agree with, I have the right to revolt. Slavery and segregation would be good examples.

    To me, restricting access to the internet is a crime against humanity. Only people who have money should have access to the world’s knowledge? Only people who have money should participate in our culture?

  7. jorel314 says:


    Forgot to mention, thanks for reading and commenting!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I booted my Back3Live CD, all good, but the kismet app doesn’t show up. I click it, and nothing happens. However SpooWEP does. So, how can I run Kismet? Thank you

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