Unplugged: Modern Wi-Fi Hacking


Jacques Coertze


If you want to learn how to understand and compromise Wi-Fi networks, this is your course.

Learning modern Wi-Fi hacking can be a pain. There is lots of outdated material for technologies we rarely see deployed in the real world anymore. Numerous tools overly rely on automation, and leave you wondering when they don't work, because neither the fundamentals nor underlying attack is understood. Even worse, some popular attacks will rarely if ever work in the real world.

If you want to really understand what's going on, and master the attacks in such a way that you can vary them when you encounter real world complexities, this course will teach you what you need to know.

This course is highly practical, with concepts taught through theory delivered while your hands are on the keyboard, and semi-self directed practicals at the end of each section to reinforce the learning. The course is hosted in a “Wi-Fi in the cloud” environment we invented several years ago, which means no more fiddling with faulty hardware or turning the classroom into a microwave.

Key Learning Objectives

  • How Wi-Fi hacking fits into wider attack or defence objectives
  • Important physical and low level RF concepts and how to reason through/debug strange situations
  • Understanding how monitor mode works, when to use or not use it, and practical examples of what to do with collected frames or data
  • Grokking the WPA2 4-way handshake and the numerous ways of recovering PSKs and what do with them
  • First looks at attacking WPA3's Dragonfly handshake with downgrades
  • Grokking EAP and EAP vulnerabilities relating to certificate validation, tunnelled mode key derivation and how to practically attack them with downgrades, relays and manipulating state

Detailed Course Outline:

Module 1 – Introduction

  • How and Why
  • When and why to use Wi-Fi attacks
  • Physical and Low Level
  • Understanding spectrum, signals and propagation
  • Peculiarities of crowded Wi-Fi spectrum and resulting behaviour in Tx & Rx
  • Understanding hardware - cards, antennas. Practical recommendations
  • Specifics of Wi-Fi signalling

Module 2 – Monitor Mode

  • How it works. What you get. Why it isn't promiscuous.
  • Prism/Radiotap headers and how driver implementations differ.

Module 3 - Probing, Tracking and Deanonymisation

  • Management frames - beacons and probes
  • Device probe'ing behaviour

Module 4 - WPA/2/3 PSK

  • What it is
  • IEEE and WEP history
  • 4-way handshake crypto
  • Handshakes
  • Capturing, deauthing
  • Broken handshake debugging
  • PMKID attacks
  • WPS attacks
  • Advanced attacks
  • Approaches and methodologies for the real world
  • WPA3
  • The Dragonfly handshake
  • Other WPA3 improvements/defences
  • Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE) overview

Module 5 - EAP

  • What it is
  • Generic EAP flow
  • Specific EAP types and how they work
  • PEAP
  • Deep inside the second tunnel
  • CVE-2019-6203
  • EAP-GTC downgrade attack (LootyBooty)

Module 6 - EAP-TLS

  • What it is
  • Understanding/breaking cert validation

Module 7 - Tunnelled EAP Relays

  • What it is


A list of labs dispersed throughout the course:

  • Getting comfortable and understanding your tools
  • Learn to passively intercept and understand WiFi traffic.
  • Track a person based on their WiFi emissions.
  • Steal a person's login information
  • Learn to bypass captive portals.
  • Getting comfortable with 5GHz
  • How to capture, crack and use WPA/2 handshakes.
  • How to deal with difficult WPA/2 handshakes.
  • Attacking WPA/2 in the real world.
  • Attacking WPA/2 without any clients.
  • How to attack PEAP clients with WPE attacks.
  • How to attack EAP-TLS clients and why.
  • How to connect to PEAP networks without password cracking.
  • Identifying and understanding WPA/3 networks.
  • Tool compilation and online brute-force attacks.
  • Identifying and understanding OWE networks.
  • Identifying and understanding WEP networks.
  • A chance to play around and experiment.