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Seeking tech/programming explanation of eavesdropping, packe

by Ms_Tenacity / August 7, 2010 7:04 AM PDT

Can someone refer me to a detailed discussion, from a technical POV, of how packet sniffing or eavesdropping of Wi-Fi is done?

I am *not* seeking the name of software to do this, nor am I seeking to write such software. But as a former programmer, I'm interested in knowing how it's done, I'm curious to know how it's done.

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Research is possible.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 8, 2010 1:16 AM PDT
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Many tnx.
by Ms_Tenacity / August 8, 2010 5:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Research is possible.

I had done a google search, of course, but different search arguments, so I got mostly junk that was not relevant.

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I can't guess what level you need.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 8, 2010 11:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Many tnx.

There are beginner levels that tend to insult folk and if we go to higher levels folk get upset and write it's snobbish. ALL APOLOGIES IN ADVANCE but packet sniffing and more is written about widely.

I can't guess what level or explanation you need yet. But let me try simple.

In short there are packets of data in the air or on the wire. A packet sniffer can show such in raw format and smart sniffers can dissect or decode such for ease of interpretation.
Bob

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Re packet sniffing
by Ms_Tenacity / August 8, 2010 10:34 PM PDT

I did not take offense at your message. And of course, I'm aware, as you note, that "... there are packets of data in the air or on the wire. A packet sniffer can show such in raw format and smart sniffers can dissect or decode such for ease of interpretation."

I was curious about aspects of sniffing such as the eavesdropper finding the correct frequency to listen in on. It seemed to me (based on my general knowledge of radio, and of IT matters) that a router that can accomodate 1 or more wireless PCs must have N channels, or sets of frequencies, for each machine. That, along with the existence of neighbors-with-routers, in turn means that there must be some algorithm or subroutine for selecting an unused channel to use. So I was wondering, for expl, if that algorithm is standard, or proprietary to each router. That in turn suggests that there may be some way of presenting the info to a would-be eavesdropper, so he can choose which device to eavesdrop on.

And so on. There are obviously lots of aspects to this, lots of algorithms and choices and ways of eavesdropping and so on. I'm curious to learn more of the details of these. Tho of course vendor mfrs are almost certainly not eager to propagate that info.

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"if that algorithm is standard, or proprietary to each route
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 9, 2010 12:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Re packet sniffing

"if that algorithm is standard, or proprietary to each router."

You rarely run into proprietary. Today, most of the wifi is 802.11a to 802.11n standard so the frequency and encoding is standardized. The radios and decoders are in the devices so there is no work to be done by the person that wants to sniff a packet.

Hope that clears up that step.
Bob

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In other words...
by Papa Echo / August 9, 2010 12:06 AM PDT

...is THIS what you are looking for ? Or, maybe THIS ?

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Re looking for more info
by Ms_Tenacity / August 9, 2010 5:33 AM PDT
In reply to: In other words...

The second one, linking to netsecurity.about.com, is more like what I am looking for. But at this point I think I've gained enough depth in the info I was looking for. I am definitely not looking for "how to" information; rather, for an explanation of nature of these things that begins with an explanation of structural matters, e.g. the nature of the "channels" available on a router, how the sniffer hooks into some code or hardware so that it can eavesdrop, etc.

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