Stephen Ekhator MEE10:59, pp. 89. COM/School of Computing, 2010.
Despite advancement in computer firewalls and intrusion detection systems, wired and wireless networks are experiencing increasing threat to data theft and violations through personal and corporate computers and networks. The ubiquitous WiFi technology which makes it possible for an intruder to scan for data in the air, the use of crypto-analytic software and brute force application to lay bare encrypted messages has not made computers security and networks security safe more so any much easier for network security administrators to handle. In fact the security problems and solution of information systems are becoming more and more complex and complicated as new exploit security tools like Kismet and Netsh (a NetStumbler alternative) are developed.
This thesis work tried to look at the passive detection of wireless network capability of kismet and how it function and comparing it with the default windows network shell ability to also detect networks wirelessly and how vulnerable they make secured and non-secured wireless network. Further analysis where made on captured network source packets using wireshark (a network analyzer). The discovery of MAC addresses, IP address, data frames, SSID’s by kismet and netsh and the further exposure of management traffic with wireshark is a source of concern given that such useful network parameters in the hands of an experienced hacker would be a valuable information that could be used in hacking into any network computer.
Introduction to kismet and netstumbler application and their inherent capabilities in network detection is given an in depth look at the beginning of this work. A wide range of definitions and concepts of wireless technology application and uses as it applies to wireless networks, supported devices, security standards and protocols, firewalls and ad-hoc networks, wardriving and its legality, types of authentication, the Linux kernel, special TCP/UDP ports, the drone and third party firmware were all given an in depth look. kismet download and configurations on linux based OS and the netsh utility fucntionalities was explained for the purpose of clarity. Captured management data packets were opened with wireshark and management data frames found within the packets were analysed. Also, a look at the different file types and results of captured management traffic were displayed. Some of the challenges encountered in the course of this work were discoursed in details and comparison between kismet and netsh was done from the perspective of the vulnerability of a network and the poor channel hopping capability of kismet.