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Wardriving in West Berkshire

I’ve used a bit of spare kit to put together a simple wardriving system that is capable of recording wireless access points, their details and location. To use this I have the following:

  • Toshiba Libretto 50CT, CPU overclocked to 120Mhz running windows 98 with Netstumbler software.
  • Orinoco based pcmcia wireles lan adaptor.
  • Enhanced port replicator (or standard port replicator) to provide the serial port for GPS receiver.
  • Garmin eTrex GPS receiver and serial cable.
  • Universal car power adaptor for laptop.

Putting this all on the front passenger seat with the GPS receiver positioned on a proper mount suckered to the windscreen I was ready to go. I’d not gone far before the laptop started beeping, indicating it had found some access points. I went for a drive round town, taking in a number of the housing estates so see what I could find.

Upon returning I saved the Netstumbler log file and uploaded it to a site called GPS Visualiser to generate some maps. I’ve used this site a while ago to convert GPS receiver track data to a map plot, but now it has improved and can accept Netstumbler log file while creating the output in either SVG, JPG, Google Maps or Google Earth kml files. The Google maps version can be used on your own site if you wish providing you have a key and access to the Google Maps API. I opted, in this instance, for the Google Earth file. Below is an example image saved from Google Earth with the first few wireless access points plotted on the satellite image. They all look like they are in the middle of the road, but this is the position I was when the access point was detected! Access points that use WEP are coloured red, the ones without WEP are coloured green, although they may not be fully open for access, the traffic could be sniffed quite easily.

Thatham Wardrive 1

All pretty impressive for a quick test. Some of the areas I didn’t get any access points, this could be due to not driving slow enough, which I suspect could be the main reason for not seeing anything. Next I’ve got to try another, longer run.

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