ssid broadcast disabled, is it still possible to be detected ?

Posted on 2006-06-29
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
i have a wireless router..i've disabled the ssid broadcast..i was wondering whether is it still possible for people to detect the ssid? any program that is available to detect disabled ssid?
Question by:nwhan
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

MidnightOne earned 20 total points
ID: 17009631

In a word, yes. I use netstumber to detect the WAPs all the time. While the SSID isn't broadcast per se, with the right applications (AirSnort among them), interception of wireless traffic is still quite possible.

ISTR the SSID does get sent to the authorized system, and that can be pulled out by the right wireless card and sniffer.

Non-broadcast of the SSID helps, though. No wireless security is complete without it.



Author Comment

ID: 17010526
Yea, afterall i still think it's possible.
I tried Netstumbler but didn't manage to sniff my own broadcast-disabled SSID...
Im using Motorola Wireless Router..Gonna try on Linksys Wireless Router soon...

Do you need to reconfigure the Netstumbler to sniff for disabled ssid ?
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 17014067

where can you get your hands on this nice little program?

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LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 17014501

I'd have to dig on Sourceforge ( and Freshmeat ( for the rights ones. Most of the better ones run under Linux only, IIRC.


LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 17014511
thanks mate

LVL 57

Assisted Solution

giltjr earned 20 total points
ID: 17015265
If you want to do wireless sniffing you really need to do it under Linux.  The reason is that no Windows drivers allow (at least last time I looked) allowed the wireless adpater to run in promiscuous mode.

You just crank up netstumber and let it run.  It will only see devices that are sending.  For you to see your own SSID you would need two computer with wireless adapters.  One connected to your WAP and one running Network Stumbler.  Network stumber will see the traffic as it is being sent.  As Midnight stated, it can't see a WAP that is not broadcasting, but it can see traffic that is being transfered.  However I don't think this will work under Windows, you need to do the sniffing under Linux (for the reason stated above).

Author Comment

ID: 17015833
coolio...thanks dude...
thumbs up to linux...

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