Book Image

BackTrack - Testing Wireless Network Security

By : Kevin Cardwell
Book Image

BackTrack - Testing Wireless Network Security

By: Kevin Cardwell

Overview of this book

Wireless networks are everywhere. You have probably set one up yourself, but have you ever wondered just how safe you are while browsing online? In the majority of cases, the default settings for your networks are not enough to protect you. With your data being transferred over the air, it can be easily plucked and used by anyone who knows how. Don't let it happen to you.BackTrack - Testing Wireless Network Security will help you secure your wireless networks and keep your personal data safe. With this book, you will learn how to configure your hardware for optimum security, find network security holes, and fix them.BackTrack - Testing Wireless Network Security looks at what tools hackers use and shows you how to defend yourself against them. Taking you from no prior knowledge all the way to a fully secure environment, this guide provides useful tips every step of the way. Learn how to select a wireless card to work with the Backtrack tools, run spectrum analysis scans using kismet, set up test networks, and perform attacks against wireless networks. Use the tools aircrack-ng and airodump-ng to crack the wireless encryption used on the network. You will learn everything you need to know to set up your wireless network for use within Backtrack and also how to defend yourself against the included attack tools.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)


This book is for the reader who wants to understand more about their wireless network, and how to use a software distribution such as BackTrack to be able to survey their wireless environment and select a robust and secure configuration.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Installing and Configuring BackTrack, shows the reader how to install, configure, and customize BackTrack. At the end of this chapter, the reader will have a working and customized BackTrack application.

Chapter 2, Working with the Wireless Card, shows the reader how to work with the configuration and deal with the sometimes challenging task of getting their wireless card to work within BackTrack. At the end of this chapter, you will have a wireless card that works with the tools within BackTrack.

Chapter 3, Surveying Your Wireless Zone, covers how to use the tools within BackTrack and examines the wireless environment around you. You will learn how to identify wireless networks and determine the characteristics of these networks. At the end of this chapter, you will have a fundamental understanding of the components that are visible when surveying your zone.

Chapter 4, Breaching Wireless Security, introduces the reader to the way in which hackers typically break into networks. Within this chapter, you will get to practice some of the more common types of attacks. At the end of this chapter, you will have seen the technique used to crack WEP and WPA.

Chapter 5, Securing Your Wireless Network, shows you how to apply all of the knowledge gained from the previous chapters, and also gives you the opportunity to examine and evaluate the security settings possible for your wireless network. At the end of this chapter, the reader will be able to make the best decisions when it comes to securing their home wireless networks.

Appendix, Wireless Tools, lists a number of tools, with a brief explanation of each tool and links to other resources with respect to the tool.

What you need for this book

A computer with a minimum 2 GB of RAM (4 GB is recommended) is needed. You will also need virtualization software products. The book uses the VMware Workstation; but if you are familiar with others, you can use them. You will require the BackTrack distribution. The steps for its installation and configuration are included within the book.

Who this book is for

This book is for anyone who wants to know more about wireless networks and/or how to secure their wireless networks. The book has been written for readers at a beginner's level, but they should be familiar with networks. For those who have more experience with the software, this book can serve as a refresher and validation of your skill sets.


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles are shown as follows: "Once the machine has booted, you will need to log in with root and a password of toor (root in reverse)."

Any command-line input or output is written as follows:

root@bt:~# /etc/init.d/networking start

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "On the Downloads page, you will see a drop-down window that you will use to select the version of the distribution that you want to download."


Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

Reader feedback

Feedback from our readers is always welcome. Let us know what you think about this book—what you liked or may have disliked. Reader feedback is important for us to develop titles that you really get the most out of.

To send us general feedback, simply send an e-mail to , and mention the book title via the subject of your message.

If there is a topic that you have expertise in and you are interested in either writing or contributing to a book, see our author guide on

Customer support

Now that you are the proud owner of a Packt book, we have a number of things to help you to get the most from your purchase.

Downloading the example code

You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.


Although we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of our content, mistakes do happen. If you find a mistake in one of our books—maybe a mistake in the text or the code—we would be grateful if you would report this to us. By doing so, you can save other readers from frustration and help us improve subsequent versions of this book. If you find any errata, please report them by visiting, selecting your book, clicking on the errata submission form link, and entering the details of your errata. Once your errata are verified, your submission will be accepted and the errata will be uploaded on our website, or added to any list of existing errata, under the Errata section of that title. Any existing errata can be viewed by selecting your title from


Piracy of copyright material on the Internet is an ongoing problem across all media. At Packt, we take the protection of our copyright and licenses very seriously. If you come across any illegal copies of our works, in any form, on the Internet, please provide us with the location address or website name immediately so that we can pursue a remedy.

Please contact us at with a link to the suspected pirated material.

We appreciate your help in protecting our authors, and our ability to bring you valuable content.


You can contact us at if you are having a problem with any aspect of the book, and we will do our best to address it.