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War Driving

What is War Driving?

War Driving is basically driving [or walking] around with a laptop or pda with an 802.11 wireless network card, and a gps, and plotting the locations of wireless networks through the use of triangulation.  War driving is not breaking into networks, stealing internet access, cracking encryption, sniffing the data floating around in the air, or any other form of activity that may cause harm to somebody. 

This seems pointless, why would you do this?

Believe it or not, war driving is a good time.  I've once heard it summed up as "cruising for nerds".

How do I get started?

Come up with the following gear:

bulletLaptop [doesn't have to be real fast]
bullet802.11 PCMCIA card [Orinoco Gold is the best]
bulletPigtail [Kinda like a dongle]
bulletChunk of LMR400 coax, with N-type connectors
bulletHigh Gain Omni-Directional Antenna
bulletCheap GPS unit with cable to connect to a computer

You can substitute other stuff in there, this is the equipment I'm just suggesting.  As for the OS on the laptop, Linux is awesome, but if you're not to knowledgeable about it, get your card and gear working under windows first, then switch over to Linux.  That way you know for sure that everything you have actually works before you go tinkering with it.

You need some software for this.  Kismet [linuxes], and NetStumbler [Windows & Win CE] work great.  Basically, what these programs do is log stuff.  Everytime your card says it can get data from an access point, it records the signal strength, some other stuff, and your position using the GPS.  Later on, you can upload this data to a mapping server, such as, and it will triangulate the positions of the access points. 

Now what?

Now that you've found a bunch of access points and stuff, you'll probably notice that about 75% of them do not have encryption enabled.  This is a scary statistic.  Go around and offer to fix this stuff for people.  Call up your local news places, explain what you're doing, and offer to demonstrate to help get the word out for people to start securing their access points. 


I'm not a big fan of conclusions, so this is all my conclusion consists of.

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Musatcha is pronounced moo-SA-cha.  I have no idea where it originated.
Copyright 1998-2005, Brad Isbell []