Monitor portable wifi hotspots in a area

froodox used Ask the Experts™
We have a factory where a company laptop has been connected directly to a non company provided portable wifi hotspot.  This goes without saying this is a security risk.  I would like to find out who is doing this and why.

We have seen the hotspot appear periodically and I would like an application that tracks wifi access points coming into and out of range over a period of time, so that we can indentify the person and device responsible.  I have seen plenty of desktop (windows) and phone apps that show the access points at a point in time but none seem to track the history. Ideally I would like to see is a log of when the device is present on the factory floor (lunch breaks, shift changes, same times each day etc).

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Top Expert 2014

Why not just block company laptops from connecting to SSIDs that you haven't specified?

I'm obviously assuming here that you run a domain and the company laptop is a domain member?

You can use a GPO to specify which SSIDs are allowed, and disallow users from connecting to other SSIDs.


Thanks, we are doing that as well now so this will be avoided in the future but this is more to find out who was messing around in the first place and then subsequently find out why and what they might of done.
Top Expert 2014
If you're already doing that you'll not see it again so you might not be able to trace it without actually walking the floor with some scanning software such as InSSIDer running on a laptop.

If your WLAN is centrally managed (Cisco, Aruba, etc) you should be able to see the hotspot appear as a Rogue AP.  This can tell you which APs detected the hotspot then that will give you an indication of the location it was in.
> then subsequently find out why ...
Most-likely "why" is to have an unfiltered connection to the internet. i.e. if your company firewall blacklists sites like facebook, twitter, youtube, et al, providing their own connection via a MiFi device, or even using their cell phone as a bluetooth-connected data modem, allows them to access those sites anyway.

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