The first wireless exploit tool, capable of breaking an encrypted password in under a second, is now available to hackers. Taking advantage of the inherent weaknesses in Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP), developers have created a wireless hacking tool known as AirSnort.
Exploiting known vulnerabilities in the RC4 keystream cipher, as detailed by Rice University researchers, AirSnort is capable of recovering encryption keys.
The tool operates by passively monitoring transmissions and computing the encryption key when enough packets have been gathered. Typically, AirSnort requires between 100Mb and 1Gb of data to be gathered and, once it has enough packets, it can guess the encryption password in under a second.
Due to the implementation nature of 802.11 wireless networks, one password is used for the entire wireless local area network, so once it has been sniffed an intruder could potentially have a free run of the network.
Although the Rice University team has also successfully exploited this flaw, the software was not made public. This makes AirSnort the first publicly available implementation of this attack.
The tool is being developed on open source project site SourceForge.net and currently runs under Linux only. It is compatible with a range of wireless cards.
The AirSnort development site can be found here.
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