Finding wireless access points.

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by jim, May 28, 2008.

  1. jim

    jim Guest

    Can anyone direct me to some good info on finding wireless access points?

    I don't mean simply being able to connect to them, but actually finding the
    building and room that the signal is coming from.

    How do you track down the physical location of the wireless access point
    device that you can detect using netstumbler or other such software?

    Thanks!

    jim
     
    jim, May 28, 2008
    #1
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  2. jim

    ps56k Guest

    Re: track down wireless access point location

    "jim" <> wrote in message
    news:4ml%j.72794$...
    > Can anyone direct me to some good info on finding wireless access points?
    >
    > I don't mean simply being able to connect to them, but actually finding
    > the building and room that the signal is coming from.
    >
    > How do you track down the physical location of the wireless access point
    > device that you can detect using netstumbler or other such software?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > jim
    >

    yeah right -
    you mean just like on TV - CSI, NCIS, or Numbers ??
     
    ps56k, May 29, 2008
    #2
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  3. jim

    smlunatick Guest

    On May 28, 7:11 pm, MyVeryOwnSelf <> wrote:
    > > How do you track down the physical location of the wireless access
    > > point device that you can detect using netstumbler ...

    >
    > One list is athttp://www.netstumbler.com/hotspots/


    To add to this:

    Add one GPS compatible with Netstumbler and start "scanning."
     
    smlunatick, May 29, 2008
    #3
  4. Hi
    May be this can Help., http://www.passmark.com/products/wirelessmonitor.htm
    Jack (MVP-Networking).

    "jim" <> wrote in message
    news:4ml%j.72794$...
    > Can anyone direct me to some good info on finding wireless access points?
    >
    > I don't mean simply being able to connect to them, but actually finding
    > the building and room that the signal is coming from.
    >
    > How do you track down the physical location of the wireless access point
    > device that you can detect using netstumbler or other such software?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > jim
    >
     
    Jack \(MVP-Networking\)., May 29, 2008
    #4
  5. jim

    jim Guest

    "Jeff Liebermann" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Wed, 28 May 2008 18:52:46 -0400, "jim" <> wrote:
    >
    >>Can anyone direct me to some good info on finding wireless access points?

    >
    > Search Google for "wi-fi direction finding".


    Thanks for that. Searching for the proper terms does seem to enhance the
    result set returned by Google.

    >
    > I've also posted some comments on the subject:
    > <http://groups.google.com/groups?as_q=direction+finding+map+lines&num=50&scoring=r&hl=en&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_ugroup=alt.internet.wireless&as_usubject=&as_uauthors=Jeff+Liebermann&lr=lang_en&as_drrb=q&as_qdr=&as_mind=1&as_minm=1&as_miny=1981&as_maxd=28&as_maxm=5&as_maxy=2008&safe=off>
    >


    Great suggestions!

    > This one covers the basics:
    > <http://groups.google.com/group/alt.internet.wireless/msg/8998c66ef1df00f7>
    > Note that it does take some practice. I suggest you try finding a
    > known access point first. Also, be prepared to answer dumb questions
    > from the police and officials. To the clueless, you will probably
    > look like a terrorist.


    LOL! I actually got pulled over about 1 this morning while war driving and
    testing out my cantenna setup. It was a riot! They wanted to know what
    "that gun looking thing" was...(it was my new cantenna with a pistol grip).

    They did ask me to please do it during daylight hours (they said they have
    been having problems with some burglaries and such). But, my slowly
    cruising the 'hoods and jamming up traffic during the day will certainly
    piss them off too. I'll just remind them that it was their idea - not mine.

    War driving is addictive. I did it for 3-4hours and found approx 600
    wireless access points. About 30% have no protection whatsoever. About 50%
    have WEP (really no security wahtsoever). And the other 20% have WPA+.

    >
    >>I don't mean simply being able to connect to them, but actually finding
    >>the
    >>building and room that the signal is coming from.

    >
    > Yeah. That's called "radio direction finding".


    Sweet.

    >
    >>How do you track down the physical location of the wireless access point
    >>device that you can detect using netstumbler or other such software?


    I'm using WirelessMon right now. It is pretty good. I use the RSSI values
    to home in on a signal. Then, I realize I am chasing a reflection and go on
    the opposit direction (lol).

    I am considering a 3 cantenna setup where the left and right cantennas are
    offset by -45 degrees and + 45 degrees. I'll need software that can watch 3
    antennaes simultaneously - which means I may have to write it (or pay
    someone to write it) - but it may be worth the trouble.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    P.S. I added a green laser pointer to my setup to help locate wireless
    access points from outside multi-floored buildings. Don't know if it'll
    help much, but it looks cool.

    jim
     
    jim, May 29, 2008
    #5
  6. jim

    jim Guest

    That's just what I am using. Netstumbler did not work with my Sony laptop +
    Vista.

    jim

    "Jack (MVP-Networking)." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi
    > May be this can Help.,
    > http://www.passmark.com/products/wirelessmonitor.htm
    > Jack (MVP-Networking).
    >
    > "jim" <> wrote in message
    > news:4ml%j.72794$...
    >> Can anyone direct me to some good info on finding wireless access points?
    >>
    >> I don't mean simply being able to connect to them, but actually finding
    >> the building and room that the signal is coming from.
    >>
    >> How do you track down the physical location of the wireless access point
    >> device that you can detect using netstumbler or other such software?
    >>
    >> Thanks!
    >>
    >> jim
    >>

    >
     
    jim, May 29, 2008
    #6
  7. jim

    jim Guest

    jim, May 29, 2008
    #7
  8. jim

    jim Guest

    Oops.....this probably would have been easier....

    http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/

    jim


    "jim" <> wrote in message
    news:llu%j.19190$...
    >
    > "LR" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> jim wrote:
    >>
    >>> War driving is addictive. I did it for 3-4hours and found approx 600
    >>> wireless access points. About 30% have no protection whatsoever. About
    >>> 50% have WEP (really no security wahtsoever). And the other 20% have
    >>> WPA+.
    >>>

    >> If it has become addictive you may be interested in Wigle.
    >> http://www.wigle.net/

    >
    > Here are some pics of my beginner setup.....
    >
    > http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/S2010005.jpg
    > http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/S2010006.jpg
    > http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/S2010007.jpg
    > http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/S2010008.jpg
    > http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/S2010009.jpg
    > http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/S2010010.jpg
    > http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/S2010011.jpg
    > http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/S2010012.jpg
    > http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/S2010014.jpg
    >
    > jim
    >
    >
     
    jim, May 29, 2008
    #8
  9. jim

    ps56k Guest

    wow - nice WiFi tracking "package".
    (not sure Hawkings can sell WiFi at this point in time - legal issues)

    I specifically had an old Orinico PCMCIA card
    because it had the external antenna connector,
    but never used it...

    Just driving around our area with the laptop open on the front seat,
    and running NetStumbler,
    I can usually pick up several dozen access points.

    jim wrote:
    > Oops.....this probably would have been easier....
    >
    > http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn121/wardriverjim/
    >
    > jim
    >
    >>>
    >>>> War driving is addictive. I did it for 3-4hours and found approx
    >>>> 600 wireless access points. About 30% have no protection
    >>>> whatsoever. About 50% have WEP (really no security wahtsoever).
    >>>> And the other 20% have WPA+.
    >>>>
    >>> If it has become addictive you may be interested in Wigle.
    >>> http://www.wigle.net/

    >>
     
    ps56k, May 29, 2008
    #9
  10. jim

    ps56k Guest

    jim wrote:
    > I don't mean simply being able to connect to them, but actually
    > finding the building and room that the signal is coming from.
    >
    > How do you track down the physical location of the wireless access
    > point device that you can detect using netstumbler or other such
    > software?


    what are you trying to do ?

    It's different if you are wardriving around,
    and can have a laptop + the cantenna all in the car...

    If you are trying to locate rogue AP's around your company/school,
    then how are you physically gonna carry the required "stuff" around the
    floors & halls ?

    Since you mention "building & room", it's hard to guess exactly your
    "situation" ?
     
    ps56k, May 29, 2008
    #10
  11. jim

    jim Guest

    "ps56k" <> wrote in message
    news:EFz%j.1771$...
    > jim wrote:
    >> I don't mean simply being able to connect to them, but actually
    >> finding the building and room that the signal is coming from.
    >>
    >> How do you track down the physical location of the wireless access
    >> point device that you can detect using netstumbler or other such
    >> software?

    >
    > what are you trying to do ?
    >
    > It's different if you are wardriving around,
    > and can have a laptop + the cantenna all in the car...
    >
    > If you are trying to locate rogue AP's around your company/school,
    > then how are you physically gonna carry the required "stuff" around the
    > floors & halls ?
    >
    > Since you mention "building & room", it's hard to guess exactly your
    > "situation" ?


    The original intent was to find rougue waps on a couple of company campuses.

    the wardriving was just something fun to do and to get a little experience
    in using the cantenna.

    jim
     
    jim, May 29, 2008
    #11
  12. jim

    jim Guest

    "Jeff Liebermann" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 29 May 2008 04:05:04 -0400, "jim" <> wrote:
    >
    >>LOL! I actually got pulled over about 1 this morning while war driving
    >>and
    >>testing out my cantenna setup. It was a riot! They wanted to know what
    >>"that gun looking thing" was...(it was my new cantenna with a pistol
    >>grip).

    >
    > My height of stupidity was walking around a shopping center parking
    > lot, in the middle of the afternoon, with a 20ft foot fiberglass pole,
    > 19dBi dish antenna, into a laptop and portable spectrum analyzer. It
    > took the police about 90 minutes to arrive. They would have ignored
    > me, but after about a dozen phone calls from panicy shoppers, they
    > were curious. I was ready. I had copies of my FCC GROL license,
    > ID's, business cards, printed data on the hardware, etc.


    Awesome!

    > The business
    > cards were a mistake, as I later received the traditional "can you fix
    > my computer" type calls.


    I feel ya. I do small business networks and constantly get calls to go to
    people's homes to fix their kid's PC or remove spyware and crap. I refuse
    all home calls except for the employees of the companies that I suuport.
    (I'd refuse those too, but I want to help keep thier home systems clean as
    to not infectthe business when they take stuff back and forth between home
    and work.)

    >
    > This was not the first time I attracted attention. When I got my
    > first laptop (Zenith Z180) back in the late 1980's, I decided to try
    > logging in via accoustic modem in a pay telephone booth. It took me
    > about 15 minutes to convince the sheriff that I wasn't using the
    > computer to steal money out of the pay telephone.


    I used to write the software that programmed payphones. Had to leave there
    when the owner of the company started having death threats FAXED to the
    office because of his business practices.

    >
    >>They did ask me to please do it during daylight hours (they said they have
    >>been having problems with some burglaries and such). But, my slowly
    >>cruising the 'hoods and jamming up traffic during the day will certainly
    >>piss them off too. I'll just remind them that it was their idea - not
    >>mine.

    >
    > Who is "they"?


    The nice policemen that pulled me over.

    > Night time is better. The moving vehicles create reflections, which
    > are a major problem for direction finding. When the parking lots and
    > streets empty, it's much eaasier. There's also less RFI
    > (interference) from other Wi-Fi systems.


    Not to mention less traffic (since I do it driving).

    >
    >>War driving is addictive. I did it for 3-4hours and found approx 600
    >>wireless access points. About 30% have no protection whatsoever. About
    >>50%
    >>have WEP (really no security wahtsoever). And the other 20% have WPA+.

    >
    > Around here, about 20% have the default SSID and no encryption, which
    > indicates that they've never been configured. Shooting fish in a
    > barrel has never been very interesting.


    No, it really is no fun at all. But, I am gathering data for a newspaper
    article also, and the number of insecure systems is simply shocking.

    >
    >>I'm using WirelessMon right now. It is pretty good. I use the RSSI
    >>values
    >>to home in on a signal. Then, I realize I am chasing a reflection and go
    >>on
    >>the opposit direction (lol).

    >
    > Reflections are always a problem. That's why I indicated that you
    > should use map and draw as many lines of position from as many
    > different locations as possible. Many of these lines will be obvious
    > reflections, but the bulk of them will cross at one point. There is
    > also software to help do this, but I can't seem to find any at the
    > moment. There's also some equipment I've designed that will help, but
    > I'll need permission to discuss it. This might help:
    > <http://www.qsl.net/n9zia/doppler_notes1.txt>
    > <http://www.qsl.net/n9zia/doppler_notes2.txt>
    > <http://www.homingin.com>


    I've actually had pretty good luck with the cantenna and close monitoring.
    Not so much luck in the daytime as at night.

    >
    >>I am considering a 3 cantenna setup where the left and right cantennas are
    >>offset by -45 degrees and + 45 degrees. I'll need software that can watch
    >>3
    >>antennaes simultaneously - which means I may have to write it (or pay
    >>someone to write it) - but it may be worth the trouble.

    >
    > Bad, very bad idea. The cantenna does not have a narrow enough
    > beamwidth. It's also not really symmetrical. See:
    > <http://802.11junk.com/jeffl/antennas/coffee2400/index.html>
    > That's a beamwidth of about 70 degrees. Not very good for direction
    > finding.
    >
    > What you want is a commerical dish antenna. The 24dBi variety have a
    > beamwidth of about 7 degrees. Nice and sharp, which is great for
    > pointing, but also good for eliminating inteference and reflections
    > coming from any direction except straight ahead. The problem is that
    > the 24dBi dish is big and heavy. However, there are 15 and 19dBi
    > versions which are good enough. You can also use a panel antenna, but
    > watch out for side lobes, which will cause some doubt as to the exact
    > direction. Forget about yagi's as they have far too many side lobes.
    >
    > One big problem is too much gain when you're close. A 24dBi dish is
    > great for long range and sharp aiming. It's a disaster when you're
    > really close and find that the receiver is overloaded. You'll need an
    > RF attenuator (usually with N connectors) to reduce the signal to
    > reasonable levels.


    what about covering the end of the cantenna with foil and cutting a thin
    slit in it to allow signal in?

    >
    > Another problem when you get close is that you can unplug the antenna
    > and still hear the signal. Most wireless laptops and access points
    > are not very well shielded. You may find yourself working with the
    > laptop inside a shielded metal box. I use a carboard box, lines with
    > aluminum foil, and a brass wire screen on one side to view the LCD.


    Good idea.

    >
    >>P.S. I added a green laser pointer to my setup to help locate wireless
    >>access points from outside multi-floored buildings. Don't know if it'll
    >>help much, but it looks cool.

    >
    > Also a bad idea. Point that in someone's face and you're going to
    > draw fire. Use a telescope or sight tube (piece of plastic pipe) for
    > sighting. If on top of a pole, use a cheap USB camera.


    My targets were business buildings at night. Reduces the chance of drawing
    fire or accidentally blinding someone. After i tried it a couple of times,
    the bright green beem and spot was sure to draw interested parties (police),
    so I packed in the laser and just stuck with the cantenna.

    >
    > I can see you're going to need some practice with this. Try it in
    > your own neighborhood first. I think you'll find it somewhat
    > challenging until you shake out the bugs in your equipment and
    > technique.


    Yep. I can see that there is a bit to learn about not only the theory, but
    also about my own equipment's idiocyncracies. But, it's fun - so practice
    is no problem.

    Thanks again for all of your help.

    jim
     
    jim, May 29, 2008
    #12
  13. jim

    ps56k Guest

    Jeff Liebermann wrote:>
    > My height of stupidity was walking around a shopping center parking
    > lot, in the middle of the afternoon, with a 20ft foot fiberglass pole,
    > 19dBi dish antenna, into a laptop and portable spectrum analyzer. It
    > took the police about 90 minutes to arrive. They would have ignored
    > me, but after about a dozen phone calls from panicy shoppers, they
    > were curious. I was ready. I had copies of my FCC GROL license,
    > ID's, business cards, printed data on the hardware, etc. The business
    > cards were a mistake, as I later received the traditional "can you fix
    > my computer" type calls.
    >


    how about 2 meter foxhunts ?
    driving around with a 2m directional antenna
    out the window or rotated on the roof :)
     
    ps56k, May 29, 2008
    #13
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