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find wifi password

Posted on 2009-07-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
have access to windows vista computer that is connected to wifi with a password

dont want to reset the router

another computer needs this wifi password
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Question by:ie7
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10 Comments
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Jeff Rodgers
ID: 24774315
If this is a network you legally have access to, please contact your network administrator or the person who configured the router.

If it is your own network, you would be faster to reset the router and enter new passwords.

It would be unethical to tell you how to crack a wireless network (and probably against the site's policies and the law to instruct you on how to)

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Author Comment

by:ie7
ID: 24774383
it is in a house
network 'admin' is a relative
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Jeff Rodgers
ID: 24774399
Talk to your relative.  

You don't want to disturb the balance in your happy abode.

Ethically , I can't tell you how to hack a wireless network.  You also haven't given us much information to go on.

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Author Comment

by:ie7
ID: 24774412
all i need is the password....  i have access to his computer
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Expert Comment

by:Jeff Rodgers
ID: 24774439
Unfortunately the password is hashed within the operating system and would be inaccessible without hacking tools to sniff it off the air and more or less reverse engineer it.

You would also need to know what type of encryption is being used and each encryption method is handled differently.  The best you could hope for is WEP which uses a poor implementaiton of the RC4 algorithm and Initialization Vectors.  That would be an easy crack.  But I am still not telling you how.

Your best bet would be to contact your relative and ask the password.

Hope you understand.

Regards,
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Expert Comment

by:Wolfhere
ID: 24774464
Handled very well Jeff
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Accepted Solution

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Darr247 earned 2000 total points
ID: 24777411
Ummm... if you have physical access to the computer, you're generally considered to be in control of it (not 'hacking' it).

Vista (and Win7) don't have the Wireless Network Setup Wizard like XP had, so to export/import wireless settings open a CMD window (elevated to admin priveleges) and run

netsh wlan show profiles

That will display the network profiles... you'll need the name of the network (usually matches the SSID), then run

netsh wlan export profile name="NetworkName" folder=C:\

where NetworkName matches the name you found with 'show profiles'.
That command will create an XML file in the root of C: named Wireless Network Connection-NetworkName.xml where Wireless Network Connection will match the adapter name in the Network and Sharing Center. The default name for wireless adapters is Wireless Network Connection, but it may have been renamed e.g. to match the specific adapter. NetworkName will match the profile name given.

Then copy that file to the new computer and run

netsh wlan add profile filename="C:\Wireless Network Connection-NetworkName.xml" user=all

Where 'Wireless Network Connection-NetworkName.xml' matches the filename created previously.

If both machines have USB ports and you have a thumbdrive handy, you can export it directly to the thumbdrive, move the thumbdrive to the new computer and import it directly from the thumbdrive (substituting the flash drive's letter for C: in the export and add commands).

If the original machine had XP you could use the Wireless Network Setup Wizard to easily export that info, then run the setupSNK.exe program from the flash drive manually... unfortunately, it won't work the other way - while both methods generate XML files, the info in them is not compatible... so you can't import it using the wizard, and XP's Net Shell does not have the wlan interface.
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Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 24777420
There are supposed to be quotes around NetworkName and C:\Wireless Network Connection-NetworkName.xmlin those netsh commands, but the EE forum software replaced them with spaces when I clicked Submit.
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Expert Comment

by:Jeff Rodgers
ID: 24777427
As a network administrator I would consider it hacking if one of my end users attempted to obtain another users password.  They may have physical access, but still lack the authority to obtain a password.

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Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 24778056
Thanks for fixing the quotes, WhackAMod.  :-)
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