Archive for September, 2006


Well, my internet is busted. Specifically, I think the WiFi access point of the guy I sublet from is defunct. So, to wile away my internetless hours I’ve been learning how to get into my neighbors’ networks. The process is pretty simple. A little bit of terminology first:

If you are familiar with wired ethernet sniffing, you know the term promiscuous mode. An ethernet is like a room full of people all shouting at the same time and your computer just ignores anything not specifically destined for it. When you go into promiscuous mode you start listening to anything happening on the line. If people are sending passwords and whatnot without using encryption, you can just read them out of the traffic. (So I’ve heard. I’d certainly not know if any of my English teachers back in college had the password “60retire”.)

Well, a wireless network has the concept of promiscuous mode as well. It isn’t what you want though. Promiscuous mode will give you information about all the computers connected to the network with the access point that you are using. What is interesting in this situation is all the computers that are broadcasting, but which aren’t on your network. To get those packets, you need to go into monitor mode.

The 802.11 protocol allows for sending out probe requests to which an access point in broadcast mode will respond. Netstumber uses this method to detect networks. This is mostly useful in wardriving when you’re not going to be around long enough for an actual broadcast. Since I’m sitting in one place, I don’t really need that. Another advantage is that some access points aren’t in broadcast mode and a wireless card in monitor mode will detect those as well.

My card is a 3com 3CRDAG675 and I’m using the madwifi drivers since support isn’t built into the kernel. The drivers aren’t supported by most of the sniffing programs, but all I have to do is put the card in monitor mode manually. (This took me a while to figure out, so I’ll note it here. Assuming that the card is already up and running, do:)

wlanconfig ath0 destroy
wlanconfig ath0 create wlandev wifi0 wlanmode mon
ifconfig ath0 up

Then I start up Kismet and leave it running. Unfortunately, none of my neighbors seem to be BitTorrent fans, so traffic has been coming in pretty slow. According to an excellent article on WEP cracking, I’m going to need about 2gb of traffic. At my current rate, I ought to have that in about three months.

Because the analysis being done is statistical, different tools have different rates of success. Kismet dumps all it’s logs in /var/log/kismet and I’m running AirSnort and Aircrack. From reading a comparison of WEP crackers however, it really looks like WEPLab is the way to go.

Leave a Comment

My First Kegstand

I’ve not been posting much as of late because my life has settled into an entertaining, but not terribly interesting routine. I work, go to the gym, party and sleep. That just about covers it. No new harrowing adventures to speak of.

This last weekend was more of the same, but it was fun and I’ve got pictures, so I thought I’d write about it a bit:


As a relatively recent arrival on the drunkard scene it has taken a concerted effort to achieve the amount of humiliation that I have in my short career. There are a few intricacies left to explore however. One of them being the staple of college binge drinking: the keg stand. As Friday was Kevin’s birthday, there seemed no better time to cross that off my list.

I’d never purchased a keg before. A little bit of research led me to Metro Ice here in DC. The costs associated with a keg are:

  • Yuengling Keg • $80 (+$10 deposit)
  • Tap Rental • $5 (+$50 deposit)
  • Tub Rental • $3 (+$20 deposit)
  • 120lbs Ice • $18

So all told, about $110 for 15.5 gallons of beer. At eight pints to the gallon that’s about $600 worth of beer in a bar. Even with people bringing bottles it was still half price. A keg of Killians, which is a better beer, was the same price, but they were sold out.

The party went well, I got to DJ which was fun. There were impromptu speeches, my favorite of which was likely Kevin’s impassioned reenactment of the final battle in Braveheart though Marc’s reading from Malcom X in a Samuel L. Jackson voice was a close second.

I did get to stand on my keg, as did everyone else there that night:


The thing about keg standing isn’t the beer, it is the not breathing while standing on your head. This made me a little grumpy.

grumpy Will

Other highlights included a near deathmatch and K and I being seen on the same stage dancing to Get Low for the first time ever!


Saturday was mostly devoted to recuperating until the evening when I headed out with McK to her friends’ for a birthday party. We went to dinner and then to see The Blue Show. This is the fourth improv group that I’ve been to see in DC and it was hands-down the best. It was a more adult show and though not completely vulgar, it definitely didn’t strive to avoid it.

Afterward we played some games and did some more drinking. It was here that I learned that, having alcoholics for friends has both developed and kept me from realizing a high tolerance. I tried to teach the group Celebrity but the game was called on account of one team passing out.

Leave a Comment


Trying to fix some search problems with MPP’s site today, I learned about Google’s Webmaster Tools. It shows your search terms used for your sites and how high they ranked. My most popular search term? I’m #2 in Google Images for dirt.

Leave a Comment