Sherman's Crossing
Firefox 2

Wardriving While Intoxicated:

What is Wardriving?:

According to Google define: "Wardriving is the term for finding and marking the locations and status of wireless networks. Wardrivers typically use software to determine whether the network is open or closed and a Global Position System device to record the location. A wardriver marks the spot either by using a symbol written in chalk on a building near the spot -- known as warchalking -- or mapping the locations and posting it on the Internet"

Sherman's Wardriving setup:

As you can see, the art of wardriving is a fairly simple process, only a few readily available pieces of equipment and software are needed.

wardriving tools netstumbler wificard laptop streetsandtrips gps cantenna (click on numbers to enlarge)
  1. A laptop computer
  2. Wifi card or dongle
  3. GPS receiver
  4. wifi detection software (such as Netstumbler, for Windows; Kismet for Linux, and Macstumbler for Macintosh computer)
  5. mapping software (such as Microsoft's Streets and Trips)*
  6. wifi antenna (optional: helps to extend the range of your wifi card)

*Graphing entries to a map is usually done post process, however, there are programs available that can actively graph during wardriving sessions, but it requires Mappoint as the mapping software which is many times more expensive than Streets&Trips.

Map of 802.11b/g wifi points discovered by Sherman:

North West USA North Central USA North East USA
South West USA South Central USA South East USA
(click to enlarge), Map generated by WiGLE

Total Points: 13,355
New Points in WiGLE: 9,008
As of 26 January 2008

Wardriving Links:

Legal Stuff:

Despite what recent news articles will lead you to believe, wardriving is NOT a crime. Wardriving is a hobby, much like stamp collecting. Some people collect stamps, others collect logs of wifi points. Wardrivers follow certain sets of rules and laws inorder to make sure that their activities remain legal. Mainly,

  1. Always follow and obey all traffic laws and regulations.
  2. NEVER under any circumstances connect to a network that you have found without the explicit permission of the person that owns/operates the network.
  3. NEVER under any circumstances connect to a network that you have found without the explicit permission of the person that owns/operates the network.

If you connect to a network, without permission, just to check your email, then you are a criminal. Even if your intents are not malicious in nature. To prevent your computer from connecting to a network, auto or otherwise, open up your network connections configuration and uncheck the TCP/IP option as shown.

From the NetStumbler readme file: In most places, it is illegal to use a network without permission from the owner. The definition of "use" is not entirely clear, but it definitely includes using someone else's internet connection or gathering information about what is on the network. It may include getting an IP address via DHCP. It may even include associating with the network.

Excerpt of an email from FBI Agent Bill Shore: Identifying the presence of a wireless network may not be a criminal violation, however, there may be criminal violations if the network is actually accessed including theft of services, interception of communications, misuse of computing resources, up to and including violations of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute, Theft of Trade Secrets, and other federal violations.