Tag Archives: security

wifite: Why fight it

All right, all you wannabe hackers. All you up-and-coming security freaks and as-yet untested marauders of the airwaves. If you don’t know much about wireless security but still need to look the part for your clique, wifite has a solution for you.


By the author’s own admission, wifite is intended to streamline penetration attempts on wireless signals. I’ve done enough with simple signal cracking to know that, at its best, unlocking a network can be a little time-consuming, and require a small measure of expertise.

At its worst, I can only imagine the time and effort it would take. 😐

So if you’re mostly uninformed and need a means of getting revenge on your next door neighbor, or if you’re already an expert and just don’t want the hassle of juggling three or four programs, or if you foolishly relinquished your password to the Windows wireless access tool and now you can’t remember what it was … wifite has all the shortcuts for you.

Just about everything with wifite is to my liking. Plenty of information up front, buckets and buckets of color, a menu-driven system and feedback galore. It’s relatively light and relatively easy to work. If you can pick a number off a list, wifite can do the rest.

But success in wireless security, in spite of what Hollywood might tell you, isn’t just a matter of pushing buttons and getting a password. If you don’t know or understand what wifite is doing, then, as the author suggests, you should probably do a little homework first.

So don’t take wifite as some sort of springboard to the elite ranks of wireless crackers. You won’t win any points among the knowledgeable geeks by stealing your ex-girlfriend’s wireless password if you let it be known you used wifite in your criminal escapade.

Find out why it works, how it works and when it works, and then wifite will make more sense when you put it to work.

WiFiScanner: Wonderfully geeky

I know this is foolish, but I love tools that have a lot of glitter and dash, even if I haven’t a single clue how to use them.

WiFiScanner is a program that apparently last saw updates way back in 2008, but still compiled for me in Arch, and with a little prodding, worked well:


The trick for me was to use the -C flag to specify the driver for my card, and to make sure the terminal was large enough. WiFiScanner wants plenty of space. πŸ™„

But I’m willing to coddle it this time, because the results were wonderfully geeky. Lots of flashing numbers, lots of data readouts spinning past in a blaze, little animated graphs, tons of statistics all ticking upward more and more. …

Of course, I haven’t a clue what it all means, but it’s great fun to watch.

I shouldn’t act so naive; I can read enough from the home page to know that WiFiScanner is a tool for … ahem, testing the security of wireless networks, and perhaps if I was more of a security geek, I’d know exactly what to do with all that information.

I can only think of one complaint about WiFiScanner, and that’s because I don’t know enough of how to use it that I might have real suggestions. Here’s my one complaint: The H key shows a help menu, but it’s interspersed with the flow of data in the lower half of the screen. So it zips off the display within seconds. That’s hardly helpful. 😦

If you really want to get your hands dirty with WiFiScanner, poke around in the doc folder of the the source package. There are complete instructions on how to build this in Debian and control it once it’s up and running. Provided you know what you’re doing with it, of course.

As it is, I’m just a babe in the woods, enjoying all the flickering lights and thinking how this would freak out the technophobes in my office, and make them think I was some sort of computer genius. πŸ˜€

Either that, or they’d have me arrested on some made-up hacker charge. :\

warcarrier: Looks good, almost works

I thought the craze for randomly driving around town and poking into networks was over, but maybe it’s not. This is warcarrier, an ncurses application dedicated to just that.


I guess I shouldn’t label wardriving as a lost art just yet, and I’m willing to give warcarrier the benefit of the doubt, given my rotten track record for network tools — particularly ones dedicated to the subtler art of network security.

So my abortive attempt above, and my general ineptitude at getting the requisite gpsd running, are no sign that warcarrier is deficient. At least a I hope not. The screenshots on the home page are quite promising.

I should note that what you see up there is, of course, in Arch Linux, built off the warcarrier-svn package from AUR. The home page has instructions based on a Debian version apparently, but I also see that the last update to the svn trunk was about a year and a half ago.

I don’t know if any of those things contributed to my botched attempts, but I suppose they’re worth mentioning if you hit the same problems.

Aside from all that, warcarrier looks good, and seems to have a command of the task at hand. Even if I don’t.

As a side note, I see references to a warcarrierOS, but I can’t seem to find any download links, either on the home page or elsewhere. Perhaps it was an idea that didn’t come to fruition. If you see it somewhere, please send me the address.

Not that I’m interested in driving around town and poking at networks. Just that it seems well done, and I can appreciate that. πŸ™‚

yersinia: Points awarded for style

I will show you as much as I have seen of yersinia, a network security tool that can run strictly in the console.


And now you’ve seen all that I have. If you’ve witnessed yersinia doing more than that, please feel free to share your experience.

Because after that screen, yersinia invariably comes to a screeching halt for me. I’ve tried different interfaces, different protocols, and even different options within different protocols. I also took a little time to see if there was information on the Intarnet about why it stopped so abruptly, but I walked away with nothing.

And all of this is disappointing because yersinia seems to have a good grasp on the console application approach. The colored boxes and pop-up messages had my interest almost immediately, and bring back memories of kismet. It has a good layout, and a visual appeal.

But it invariably came crashing down without the least bit of actual work done.

As always, I’m willing to take the potential blame and say my configuration or hardware or arrangement were at fault for yersinia’s inability. I can’t be sure, but I’m willing to hold my hand up.

But it’s still just sad to me. I’ve never seen a help page so colorful and animated as yersinia’s … 😦

yapet: Oh, what a difference three years makes

Perhaps its my own personality, or perhaps yapet has matured sufficiently in the last three and a half years to fully win my appreciation.


yapet is a password “wallet,” I guess, but is fully enclosed and functional within its own interface and settings. I make that distinction because for the past year or so I’ve been a rabid fan of pass, which keeps most of its structure at the command line, and relies on core Unix-ish tools.

Contrast that with pwsafe, which we saw months and months ago. It still hovers at the command line, but obscures the data tree that is plainly visible with pass. If that bothers you, you’ll prefer pwsafe.

yapet inflates the concept to a full console application, with its own measures of obscurity and security. You have to supply a password to get into the application. Once there, you can manage your passwords from within the application, leaving no visible data trace in your history, with the possible exception of invoking yapet.

yapet offers onboard password generation with the option to add (or avoid) special characters and punctuation. It will pull random characters from /dev/random, /dev/urandom and other sources.

File operation and menus are all done with strong colors and an obvious and intuitive arrangement. yapet worked fine as far down as 80×24, and I didn’t feel a need to squish it any more than that.

Three years ago I offered a small critique of the Debian version available at the time, mentioning that at 120Mhz, there were terrifying screen refreshes that more or less kept me from using it.

I can’t say for sure how the newest versions — 1.0 at the time of this writing, released only four or five months ago — would behave and super-slow speeds. I know on this machine, coasting along at a comfortable 2.6Ghz and with a proprietary video driver under X, there was no hint of that same flickering effect.

Which I credit the yapet team for eliminating — and for making yapet into something quite enjoyable. I am sure it is gratifying to watch a program grow from an idea to version 1.0; it’s likewise satisfying to see something go from fair-to-middling to bona-fide-rock-and-roll-star.

I’m more than willing to hand out one of my few remaining K.Mandla gold stars to yapet. Well done, sirs and madams, well done. ⭐ πŸ˜‰

P.S.: No, those aren’t my real passwords. You shouldn’t even have to ask that question. :mrgreen:

pwsafe: Simpler password management

This will be twice in the same day I’ve mentioned pass in reference to another program. People will start to think me a spammer. 😯

But I have to compare pwsafe to pass, just because the latter is what I prefer, even if the former is quite a good option.


I know some people don’t like the tree-like folder structure of pass, and that’s fine. For those folks I can recommend pwsafe.

pwsafe keeps everything in one dot-file, with no discernible cues to what the accounts or passwords are, as you can see.


pwsafe also does a few other things differently; you can declare groups, add notes to passwords and a few other points. And pwsafe, as best I can tell, doesn’t require you to set up gpg beforehand. You might like that.

As a final note, pwsafe claims to be compatible with a Windows-based password manager called Password Safe, about which I know almost nothing. I don’t mention that as an endorsement, but rather as a point of compatibility.

pwsafe looks to be just as useful and flexible as pass, but definitely goes about business in its own way. Vive la diffΓ©rence. πŸ˜‰

portsentry: Guarding against incoming traffic

I see a lot of network scanners, but not much in the way of protection tools. portsentry is one, but now I find there’s not much for me to show.


As far as I can tell, that’s all you see with portsentry. Any attempts at intrusion, in the default Debian version, are simply logged for your perusal.

Which isn’t to say that portsentry can’t drop the hammer on someone picking into your computer; quite to the contrary: The documentation suggests it can do almost everything between a rap on the knuckles and a plague of the apocalypse. I kid. :mrgreen:

All those things will require a little more configuration, but judging again by the home pages, it’s very doable. I didn’t go through all the setup simply because even when I was finished, I’d still have to figure out how to attack my own computer.

And like I said before, network security is not my strongest point. πŸ˜•

So I leave that to you, gentle reader. If you work with portsentry or get it working to your satisfaction, give us a better grasp of its potential. Science demands an answer. πŸ˜‰

nmap: The grand meister network tool

The N section seems to hold a lot of powerful and complex tools — netcat for one, netstat was another. And now nmap.


I’d heard about nmap before I knew about most of life at the console. Not that I understood it — or even do now — but I knew about it.

And I wouldn’t pretend to know or understand everything nmap can do. Like the other two, it’s exceedingly flexible and very powerful.

It’s worth learning if you have the time and the necessity. For my part, I can honestly say in the past six or seven years of Linux-only living, I have probably used it in earnest (meaning, not for the screenshot above πŸ˜‰ ) about five times.

And each of those times, It was mostly a copy-and-paste network test. I can’t claim I know what I was really doing.

That’s my attempt to rationalize my ignorance by saying I (almost) never needed it. πŸ™„

But that’s all I’ll say, aside from nmap -vv -A microsoft.com is a good place to start. Might as well harass Redmond while learning how to use these things. 😈

Oh! I almost forgot: Install nmap and you also get ndiff. Output your nmap scans to files, and you can use ndiff to show where they differ. You can thank me later. πŸ˜‰

netwox: A set of 220+ (unwieldy) tools

I see that the netwox project closed down about seven years ago, but it’s still on my list and still available in Debian, so I will include it here.

Unfortunately, my opinion of it is not too strong.


As I understand it — and again, this comes only after tinkering with it for about half an hour — netwox encapsulates more than 220 tools, all aimed at network troubleshooting.

That on its own is quite impressive. My complaint comes in how netwox is arranged. Apparently, you access the tools by number. In other words, netwox 1 is a rundown of local network hardware. netwox 2 is a debug mode. netwox 3 is an IP address or hostname query. And so forth.

Cumbersome. Not impossible, but obviously ungraceful.

And unfortunately, this is where netwox falls down again for me. Because unless you use it frequently enough to memorize each of the available tools, you’re going to need some sort of index to see what’s available to you.

The man page is no help. It refers you to a documentation file — net-wox-5.39.0-doc_html.tgz — that doesn’t seem to be included with the Debian version, although there is a toollist.txt.gz hiding in /usr/share/doc/netwox/. Look there if you want a full list of tools you can try.

On the other hand, netwox does have onboard help in both brief and detailed form that you can access on-the-fly, just with netwox (number) --help or --help2. That’s a big … help. πŸ™„

And I will give it credit, that its output is clean and well arranged. It keeps to base ascii characters and displays information in neat sets and columns.

But I can’t get past the fact that it’s just a clumsy way to work a program. There are plenty of applications that use successive mnemonics to get the job done, and it would be my advice that netwox follow that style. The difference is memorizing which numbered tool floods an address with syslog messages (it’s No. 98, if you must know), and just netwox flood syslog … or something to that effect.

If there’s a way to use netwox like that (short of 220 aliases 😯 ), I couldn’t find it.

I leave it to you to see if netwox is something usable. Like I said, the home page claims the project closed down in 2007, so I’m clearly just flogging a dead horse. All the same, this seems like an example of how not to design a tool, no matter how flexible it is. 😐

P.S.: I should mention that there is an AUR package, but it crashed when I tried compiling it.