In August 2018 a couple of friendly hackers who find their home in the Wireless Village introduced me to WiGLE! I was familiar with wardriving, but it was not efficient and was more, and shall we say -- purposeful.
Wardriving has many benefits when gathered with purpose. Who am I talking about? obviously WiGLE. Prior to WiGLE, I used a few tools like airmon-ng/airdump-ng, and then processed everything either through tshark, Wireshark, tcpdump, and NetworkMiner. So, I never had a need to get into wardriving, per se. The group introduced me, and that's how it all got started!
So why wardriving? WiGLE's scoring system and groups make it way more fun. There are many great was wardriving helps others - and I stole these points right from the WiGLE FAQ section, and added a few of my own.
- It's fun: time to compete with others around the world!
- WiGLE has given me the opportunity to make new friends! Some of us are spread across the world, but we're all able to work on a team together to increase our team rank. We're doing pretty good.
- The group that made and maintains WiGLE are an awesome set of people too!
- It's moderately accessible: whether you're scooting, walking, bussin', driving, you can map networks!
- It helps others look for free wifi! Millions of Americans rely on free wifi, particularly from places like libraries.
- In my dnsprincess-opinion, the internet is a utility that should be provided for, but unfortunately, it's not. If you're curious about the debate around broadband, read this article.
- Journalism: "WiGLE is a handy resource for journalists looking for data points on Wifi proliferation, statistics, and security. WiGLE keeps statistics on manufacturer distribution, top SSID's, encryption modes, channel selection, geographic distribution and much more."
- Site surveys and perimeter network access: Site surveys help businesses understand what networks they have present at their facility if the APs need their channels or power adjusted, etc. WiGLE can help identify employee-created networks or malicious APs.
- Research Projects & Class Assignments! I've made a handful of network security assignments based on using the information found from WiGLE. Most of the time I link to digital forensics. Here's an example question:
- You've received a phone for forensic processing. One of the artifacts you found was the last wireless network the phone was connected to at the time of the crime 88:3d:24:b5:ce:6b
- What type of device what found? What was the location of the device? Is this a reliable network to establish a location? (ps the last answer is no.
- Helping others and the public: It's important for everyone to understand their network affects their personal security. "Most users didn't realize that their private networks could be accessed by anyone in the area (at various distances with antennas and amplifiers). WiGLE, and Wardriving in general, helped to educate users and put pressure on manufacturers to make network security better and easier. Nowadays WPA2 is the standard and defaults to "on" for most manufactured devices."
- Creates a community of fun hackers! Check out the wireless village!