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Default Kismet Wireless Network Hacking

Kismet - Wireless Network Hacking






Kismet 2007-10-R1
Mike Kershaw 
Licensed under the GPL

1.  What is Kismet
2.  Quick Start
3.  Feature Overview
4.  Typical Uses
5.  Upgrading From Previous Versions
6.  Suidroot & Security
7.  Required Libraries & Utilities
8.  Compiling
9.  Configuration
10. Panels Interface
11. Operating Systems
12. Capture Sources
13. Graphical Network Mapping
14. Drone Remotes
15. Intrusion Detection
16. Reporting Bugs
17. Troubleshooting
18. Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is Kismet

    Kismet is an 802.11 layer2 wireless network detector, sniffer, and
    intrusion detection system.  Kismet will work with any wireless card which
    supports raw monitoring (rfmon) mode, and can sniff 802.11b, 802.11a, 
    802.11n, and 802.11g traffic (devices and drivers permitting).

    Kismet identifies networks by passively collecting packets and detecting
    standard named networks, detecting (and given time, decloaking) hidden 
    networks, and inferring the presence of non-beaconing networks via data

2a. Quick Start

    PLEASE read the full manual, but for the impatient, here is the BARE
    MINIMUM needed to get Kismet working:

    * Download Kismet from http://www.kismetwireless.net/download.shtml
    * Run ``./configure''.  Pay attention to the output!  If Kismet cannot
      find all the headers and libraries it needs, it won't be able to do
      many things.
    * Compile Kismet with ``make''
    * Install Kismet with either ``make install'' or ``make suidinstall''.
    * Edit the config file (standardly in "/usr/local/etc/kismet.conf")
    * Set the user Kismet will drop privileges to by changing the "suiduser"
      configuration option.
    * Set the capture source by changing the "source" configuration option.
      CALLED "CAPTURE SOURCES".  The capture source you should use depends
      on the operating system and driver that your wireless card uses.
      USE THE PROPER CAPTURE SOURCE.  No permanent harm will come from using
      the wrong one, but you won't get the optimal behavior.
    * Add an absolute path to the "logtemplate" configuration option if you
      want Kismet to always log to the same directory instead of the directory
      you start it in.

    * Run ``kismet''.  You may need to start Kismet as root.

2b. Windows Quick Start

    PLEASE read the full manual, but for the impatient, here is the BARE
    MINIMUM method to get Kismet running:

    * Download the Win32/Cygwin Installer created by CACE
    * Run the installer
    * Start Kismet
    * Pick your AirPcap or Kismet Drone sources


2c. OSX / Darwin Quick Start

    PLEASE read the full manual, but for the impatient, here is the BARE
    MINIMUM method to get Kismet running:

    * Download Kismet from http://www.kismetwireless.net/download.shtml
    * Run ``./configure''.  Pay attention to the output!  If Kismet cannot
      find all the headers and libraries it needs, it won't be able to do
      many things.
    * Compile Kismet with ``gmake'' (NOT 'make'.  gnumake is required.)
    * Install Kismet with either ``gmake install'' or ``gmake suidinstall''.
    * Edit the config file (standardly in "/usr/local/etc/kismet.conf")
    * Set the user Kismet will drop privileges to by changing the "suiduser"
      configuration option.
    * Set the capture source by changing the "source" configuration option.
      For OSX/Darwin, this should almost always be a source of type 'darwin'.
      CALLED "CAPTURE SOURCES".  The capture source you should use depends
      USE THE PROPER CAPTURE SOURCE.  No permanent harm will come from using
      the wrong one, but you won't get the optimal behavior.
    * Add an absolute path to the "logtemplate" configuration option if you
      want Kismet to always log to the same directory instead of the directory
      you start it in.

    * Run ``kismet''.  You may need to start Kismet as root.

3.  Feature Overview

    Kismet has many features useful in different situations for monitoring
    wireless networks:

    - Ethereal/Tcpdump compatible data logging
    - Airsnort compatible weak-iv packet logging
    - Network IP range detection
    - Built-in channel hopping and multicard split channel hopping
    - Hidden network SSID decloaking
    - Graphical mapping of networks
    - Client/Server architecture allows multiple clients to view a single
      Kismet server simultaneously
    - Manufacturer and model identification of access points and clients
    - Detection of known default access point configurations
    - Runtime decoding of WEP packets for known networks
    - Named pipe output for integration with other tools, such as a layer3 IDS
      like Snort
    - Multiplexing of multiple simultaneous capture sources on a single Kismet
    - Distributed remote drone sniffing
    - XML output

4.  Typical Uses

    Common applications Kismet is useful for:

    - Wardriving:  Mobile detection of wireless networks, logging and mapping
      of network location, WEP, etc.
    - Site survey:  Monitoring and graphing signal strength and location.
    - Distributed IDS:  Multiple Remote Drone sniffers distributed throughout
      an installation monitored by a single server, possibly combined with a
      layer3 IDS like Snort.
    - Rogue AP Detection:  Stationary or mobile sniffers to enforce site policy
      against rogue access points.

5.  Upgrading from Previous Versions

    Upgrading to Kismet 2007-10-R1:
      For Linux users, the config option 'vapdestroy' has been added.  If you
      are using an Atheros card with Madwifi-NG, this controls if non-rfmon
      VAPs are destroyed automatically.  Not including this new config option
      will default to 'false'.

      Wrt54 devices now have channel hopping enabled.  Packagers should
      probably turn this off by default.

      IV duplication tracking is now off by default to save memory, and is
      controlled by the 'trackivs' parameter.

      DBUS integration to try to quiesce Network Manager while Kismet
      is running, controlled by the 'networkmanagersleep' config parameter.

    Upgrading to Kismet 2007-01-R1:
      Make sure to either update your kismet.conf file from the one included
      in the distribution, or to copy the new ALERT enable lines.  If you
      do not copy the ALERT setup from the new config, new IDS alerts will
      not be enabled.

6.  Suidroot & Security

    In order to configure the wireless card for rfmon and start the packet
    capture, Kismet needs root access.  As soon as root access is no longer
    required, Kismet drops to a designated user so that potentially hostile
    remote data isn't processed as root.

    When priv dropping is enabled, Kismet forks and leaves a single process
    as root.  This process is used for channel control and for restoring
    card settings on exit.  The root process performs no interaction with
    user input, and only communicates with the base kismet_server via IPC

    For Kismet to have root access, it can be installed two different ways:
    - Normal installation via 'make install' requires Kismet be started as
    - Suid-root installation via 'make suidinstall'.  DO NOT INSTALL KISMET
      will allow unprivileged users to set the wireless card to rfmon (breaking
      any connections using wireless) and capture data.

    REMEMBER:  Installing Kismet suid-root is NOT SECURE ON MULTIUSER SYSTEMS.
    Most users of Kismet are likely using single-user laptops or handhelds, 
    where suidroot is very convenient.  If you have ANY OTHER USERS ON YOUR
    SYSTEM, suidroot Kismet can be used to shut down the wireless and put
    files where you don't want to allow them to be put.  If you have other
    users on your system, install kismet normally and 'su' to root before
    starting it.

7.  Required Libraries & Utilities

    Kismet is primary self-contained, however for some features it requires
    some external libraries or utilities.  For distributions which provide split
    library packages of somelib and somelib-devel, you will need both installed
    for Kismet to compile.

    - LibPcap (0.9+ preferred): http://tcpdump.org/
      REQUIRED for the majority of packet capturing systems

      LibPcap provides the common capture system Kismet uses to read from most
      Posix-style interfaces.  Without LibPcap, Kismet will be all but useless
      on most platforms.

    - GPSD (any version): http://russnelson.com/gpsd/ 
      REQUIRED for GPS support
      GPSD is a daemon which listens on a serial port for GPS data, parses it,
      and makes it available via a TCP socket.  Kismet can use a GPSD on the
      local system, or if there is a wired ethernet connection available it can
      use a GPS on a remote host.  

      The latest versions of GPSD fix compile issues which occurred on some
      systems and it's highly reccomended you get the latest.

      GPSDrive distributes an alternate version of GPSD, which should work with

    - Imagemagick (5.4.7+): http://www.imagemagick.org/
      REQUIRED for gpsmap map generation

      Imagemagick is a graphics generation library which can read and write in
      almost any format.  Kismet requires a recent version of Imagemagick due
      to IM's frequently changing API.  If you do not plan to use gpsmap, you
      can skip this library.

    - Expat (1.95+): http://expat.sourceforge.net/
      REQUIRED for gpsmap map generation

      Expat is an XML processing library.  Kismet requires this for parsing
      netxml and gpsxml output logs.  If you do not plan to use gpsmap, you can
      skip this library.

      Some versions of Expat included in distributions or other system
      utilities (ie, XFree86-cvs) contain errors that make it impossible to
      compile expat.h.  Make sure you have the latest stable Expat version, and
      remove offending duplicate headers if necessary.

    - GMP: http://www.swox.com/gmp/
      REQUIRED for gpsmap map generation

      GMP is an arbitrary-precision math library.  Kismet needs this for high
      precision math functions when calculating graphics in gpsmap.  If you
      do not plan to use gpsmap, you can skip this.

    - DBUS: http://dbus.freedesktop.org/
      OPTIONAL for networkmanager control

      Networkmanager is a network connection management tool.  It can
      reconfigure devices while Kismet is running, and should be stopped.
      If Kismet is compiled with DBUS support and the networkmanagersleep
      variable in kismet.conf is true, Kismet will use DBUS to send 
      sleep/wake commands to Networkmanager

8.  Compiling
    Compiling should be fairly straightforward.  It uses the normal configure
    scripts found in most open-source projects, and should build with any
    modern version of gcc.

    1.  Download any libraries and external utilities needed
    2.  Run './configure' with any special options you want (see
        './configure --help')
    3.  Run 'make' or 'gmake'
    4.  Run 'make install' or 'make suidinstall' - SEE THE SECURITY SECTION

    Crosscompiling Kismet can sometimes have problems with the libpcap 
    autoconf scripts not being able to detect the kernel type and version
    of the target system.  Overriding the configuration script variables
    and passing extra configuration options can fix this:

    'ac_cv_linux_vers=foo ./configure --with-pcap=linux ...'

    FreeBSD users should configure kismet to use the systemwide pcap, which
    supports multiple DLT types, with --enable-syspcap

9.  Configuration

    Kismet is controlled by 2 primary configuration files:
    kismet.conf controls the server backend, and kismet_ui.conf controls the
    panels user interface.  By default, these files are in /usr/local/etc/.
    Remote drone servers use a third file, kismet_drone.conf.

    Kismet configuration files are a simple 'directive=value' format.

    Basic server configuration:

    1.  Set up the target suiduser.  This is the user that Kismet will drop
        to after it sets the cards in monitor mode and attaches to them.  See
        the section 'Suidroot & Security' for more information.  If this is
        not set correctly, Kismet won't start.
        This is controlled by the 'suiduser' directive.

    2.  Set up the capture sources.  Most users will only need one, but it is
        possible to have any number of sources defined which will be combined
        into a single packet log.
        Sources are defined with the 'source' directive.  Source lines are
        defined with 'source=type,interface,name[,channel]'.  See the section
        'Capture Sources' for a list of source types.  The name can be anything
        that is useful for you to identify what source it is.  The initial
        channel is optional.  If an initial channel is requested on the command
        line it will take precedence.

    3.  Set up channel hopping.  The default channel hopping values will
        probably be fine for most, but the speed of channel hopping can be
        set with the 'channelvelocity' directive and the lists of channels
        to be hopped can be set with 'defaultchannels'.
        Additional per-source fine-grained channel hopping control is available
        via the 'sourcechannels' directives, which are explained in the 
        configuration file comments.
        Channel dwelling (similar to hopping) can be set with the channeldwell
        option.  Setting a channel dwell time controls the number of seconds
        between channel change, compared to the tenths of a second defined by

        Most users will want to use channel hopping, but remember - just like
        it's impossible to see all of a program while channel surfing on TV,
        channel hopping means missing some of the data on the network.

    4.  Set up what clients are allowed to connect.  By default this is 
        limited to 'localhost', which is fine for most users.

    5.  Set the log template.  By default, Kismet writes logs to the directory
        it is started in.  By putting a full path into the 'logtemplate'
        directive you can force it to write them to another location (such as
        a directory guaranteed to be writeable by the target suiduser).

    Client configuration:

    1.  Set the host and port.  By default, Kismet is configured to connect
        to the localhost and standard port.

    2.  Set columns to be displayed.  The default set should be fine for most
        but it can be changed/expanded.  Columns can be scrolled in the client
        with the arrow keys.

    3.  Set a sound player.  For most, 'play' from Sox (the default) should
        be fine.  If you use a sound daemon such as esd or ksd you will need
        to change the play command to call esdplay or similar.

    4.  Configure speech (or not).  Kismet can write to Festival for speaking
        information about networks.

    5.  Customize colors.  Most components of the Kismet panels UI can be 

    The annoying popup window that opens every time you start the client can
    be disabled by setting 'showintro' to 'false' in your kismet_ui.conf.

    More advanced server configuration:

	* To allow Kismet clients from remote hosts to connect, comment out the 
	  bind_addr field to default to INADDR_ANY (all network interfaces).

    * IDS alert rates can be controlled via the 'alert' directive, which 
      specifies the alert type, rate per timeframe (ie, 5/min), and the burst
      rate per timeframe (ie, 1/sec). These controls are similar to the 
      iptables limit controls.

    * Networks with known WEP keys can be decrypted in realtime with the 
      'wepkey' directive, which specifies a BSSID (or bssid mask) and the
      WEP key.

    * Runtime filtering of packets is controlled by the 'filter_tracker',
      'filter_dump', and 'filter_export' directives, which influence which
      packets are processed at all, logged to dump files, and logged to
      xml/csv/etc files, respectively.

      See the sub-section "Filtering Syntax" in this section for more 
      information on filtering.

    * Including subconfig files.  By using 'include=...' other files can be
      included into the Kismet config, with filtering, WEP keys, etc.
    * MAC address masking.  Nearly any directive which takes a MAC address
      (such as filters, WEP keys, etc) can take a masked address.  MAC masking
      works the same as netmask in TCP/IP, for example
      would match all addresses beginning with 00:11:22.  Masks do not have
      to break on whole pairs ('FF:FF:FF:F0:00:00' is a valid mask).

    * Log tuning.  The types of packets that make it into the logfiles can be
      controlled via the 'noiselog', 'beaconlog', 'phylog, 'mangledatalog',
      and other options.

    * Probe tracking.  By default, Kismet tracks probe requests and responses,
      and attempts to combine a probe request network with the network that 
      responds to it.  Sometimes this isn't the desired behavior, by setting
      'trackprobenets' to 'false', probe requests will always remain separate.

    * Channel delays.  Currently the easiest way to get Kismet to spend more 
      time on part of the channel hop list is to include that channel multiple
      times.  A hop list of "1,3,6,6,6,9,11" would spend 3 times as long on
      channel 6 as on the other channels.  Channels can be repeated 
      throughout the list, as well, for example "6,1,6,3,6,9,6,11" would have
      a similar effect while providing more frequent monitoring of other 

    * Fuzzy encryption detection.  Not all drivers properly set the WEP flag
      on encrypted packets.  As of 2005-06-R1, Kismet automatically attempts to
      manually determine if a packet contains encrypted data if it is part of
      a network which advertises encryption.  This behavior can be turned off
      via the "netfuzzycrypt" option, and it can be enabled for specific 
      capture types via the "fuzzycrypt" config option.

    Filtering syntax:

    Filters are "positive-pass": anything matched by the filter is passed and 
    all else is excluded.

    Filtering can be done on address types (ANY, SOURCE, DEST, and BSSID).

    To exclude a network with the BSSID AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF, the filter would be:

    MAC addresses can be masked in the same fashion as IP netmasks.  To 
    match all networks of a certian manufacturer, restrict to the OUI:

    Multiple MAC addresses can be used on the same filter line.  To filter
    out two known networks from being considered:
    Which is to say, all traffic not from 00..55 and not from 00..66 will
    be considered.

10. Ncurses/Panels Interface

    The ncurses/panels interface is the default frontend provided with Kismet.
    The panels interface is fairly intuitive, and has integrated help.  
    'h' will open the main help window showing all the options available.

    Primary functions:
        * Auto-fit and sorted network lists
        * Client lists for each network
        * Detailed network information
        * Packet rate graphs
        * Channel allocation graphs
        * Realtime packet type display
        * Compass-display of network locations
        * 'Locking' channel hopping to a specific network

    Other clients for Kismet are available from the links page on the Kismet

    All information about a network is contained in the network details window,
    and the following columns can be turned on in the main display:
      bssid     BSSID (MAC address) of the network
      channel   Last-advertised channel for network
      clients   Number of clients (unique MACs) seen on network
      crypt     Number of encrypted packets
      data      Number of data packets
      decay     Displays '!' or '.' or blank, based on network activity in the
                last 'decay' seconds (controlled by the 'decay' variable in the
                config file)
      dupeiv    Number of packets with duplicate IVs seen  
      flags     Network status flags (Address size, decrypted, etc)
      info      Extra AP info included by some manufacturers
      ip        Detected/guessed IP of the network
      llc       Number of LLC packets
      manuf     Manufacturer, if matched
      maxrate   Maximum supported rate as advertised by AP
      name      Name of the network or group
      noise     Last seen noise level
      packets   Total number of packets
      shortname Shortened name of the network or group for small displays
      shortssid Shortened SSID for small displays
      signal    Last seen signal level
      signalbar Graphical representation of signal strength
      snrbar    Graphical representation of signal-to-noise ratio
      size      Amount of data transfered on network
      ssid      SSID/ESSID of the network or group
      type      Network type (Probe, Adhoc, Infra, etc)
      weak      Number of packets which appear to have weak IVs
      wep       WEP status (does network indicate it uses WEP)

    The clients window has a similar selection of columns which can be enabled:
      crypt     Number of encrypted data packets transfered by client
      data      Number of data packets transfered by client
      decay     Displays '!', '.', or ' ' based on network activity
      ip        Last seen IP used by client
      mac       MAC address of client  
      manuf     Manufacturer of client (if known)
      maxrate   Maximum rate client seen transfering
      noise     Last seen noise level of client
      signal    Last seen signal level of client
      size      Amount of data transfered by client  
      type      Type of client (Established, To-DS, From-DS, etc)
      weak      Number of packets which appear to have weak IVs
11. Operating Systems

    Kismet will work (at some level) on any operating system which has POSIX
    compatibility, however for it to do native packet capturing it needs
    drivers which are capable of reporting packets in rfmon.  Remote sources
    such as WSP100 or Drones can be used on any platform you can get Kismet to
    compile on.

    - Linux (Intel, PPC, MIPS, X-Scale, Arm, etc)
      Known supported cards: Atmel_USB, ACX100, ADMTek, Atheros, Cisco, Prism2, 
       Orinoco, WSP100, Drone, wtapfile, pcapfile, wrt54g, ipw2100, rt2400,
       rt2500, rt73, rt8180, ipw2200, ipw2915, ipw3945, iwl3945, iwl4965,
       Broadcom 43xx

      Kismet will work with any distribution of Linux.  Currently, Linux is the
      recommended platform for running Kismet because it has the largest
      selection of rfmon capable drivers.

    - OpenBSD
      Known supported cards: Prism2 (wi), Atheros (ath), Intel 2200/2225/2915
      (iwi), Intel 2100 (ipw), Ralink (ral, ural and rum), Realtek RTL8180L 
      (rtw), ZyDAS ZD1211/ZD1211B (zyd), Prism GT Full-MAC (pgt), Cisco 35x
      (an), WSP100, Drone, wtapfile, pcapfile.
      OpenBSD 3.7 and newer includes a software 802.11 stack and the Radiotap
      packet header format. Any cards that use the 802.11 stack and support
      monitor mode should work with Kismet via the radiotap_bsd_x capture
      OpenBSD 3.2 and newer report standard frames from the Prism2 drivers. 
      Thanks to the efforts of Pedro la Peu, Kismet works fully with prism2
      cards under OpenBSD.

    - FreeBSD
      Known supported cards: Atheros, Prism2, WSP100, Drone, wtapfile, pcapfile

      FreeBSD-current adds a common Radiotap packet header format.  Thanks
      to Sam Leffler, Kismet supports the radiotap headers and should work with
      current FreeBSD systems.

      FreeBSD users should configure with the --enable-syspcap option to get 
      multidlt support from the system-wide libpcap library instead of the
      bundled one.

    - NetBSD
      Known supported cards: WSP100, Drone, wtapfile, pcapfile, radiotap
      There have been no reports positive or negative about NetBSD drivers.
      Please email if you have them working.

      NetBSD has radiotap support, in theory the radiotap_bsd_... source
      types should work.

    - MacOSX
      Known supported cards: Viha, Darwin, WSP100, Drone, wtapfile, pcapfile

      MacOSX is supported for Airport Classic cards using the Viha 
      drivers at http://www.dopesquad.net/security/.  

      Modern cards (Broadcom and Atheros) are supported via the 'darwin' capture
      source.  Read the comments below in the Darwin section of the source list
      for more information.

      Thanks for Kevin Finisterre for help adding the modern OSX capture sources.
      Other third-party drivers may support rfmon for other PCMCIA and USB
      cards under OSX - let me know if your drivers support rfmon, and I'll
      add support in Kismet.

    - Win32 (Cygwin)
      Known supported cards: WSP100, Drone, airpcap, wtapfile, pcapfile

      Win32 local packet capture is possible ONLY with the CACE Airpcap device.
      Thanks to Loris Degioanni for doing the bulk of the work adding airpcap
      support under cygwin.

      When compiling with AirPcap on Cygwin, it is necessary to pass both
      --enable-airpcap and --with-airpcap-devpack=Path, where Path is the
      CACE devpack containing winpcap and airpcap.  Cygwin appears to have
      a bug which prevents proper linking if the devpack is not in the same
      directory as Kismet is compiled in.  If kismet_server.exe instantly exits
      with no output, it is typically indicative of a linkage path problem.

      IN WINDOWS.  CACE has released a public API for their drivers to allow
      third-party programs to interface with them.  Standard Windows wireless
      drivers are not rfmon capable.

      Due to interactions with Cygwin, users of the kismet_client ncurses frontend
      should disable sound in kismet_client.conf

      Win32 is also usable with REMOTE captures such as the Kismet drone 
      running on a platform which supports native capture.

12. Capture Sources
    A capture source in Kismet is anything which provides packets to the Kismet
    engine.  Capture sources define the underlying engine needed to capture
    data from the interface, how to change channel, and how to enter rfmon
    mode.  It is necessary to tell Kismet what specific type of card you use
    because different drivers often use different methods to report information
    and enter monitor mode.

    Source type     Cards               OS          Driver
    --------------- ------------------- ----------- -------------------------
    acx100          TI ACX100           Linux       ACX100
                    ACX100 drivers handle the 22mbit cards branded by D-Link
                     and others.

    admtek          ADMTek              Linux       ADMTek
                    http://www.latinsud.com/adm8211/        (Patches)
                    http://aluminum.sourmilk.net/adm8211/   (GPL driver)
                    ADMTek drivers used in many consumer 802.11b cards. With
                     the patches above, quasi-rfmon is possible - these cards
                     appear to be almost entirely software controlled and 
                     always in a rfmon-like state.  This card WILL BROADCAST
                     while in rfmon, rendering the sniffer visible.
                    The fully GPL drivers are supported, in addition to the 
                     hacks to the non-free drivers.

    airpcap         Airpcap USB         cygwin      CACE Tech
                    The CACE AirPcap USB device allows native capture on
                    The explicit airpcap source expects the Win32/Cygwin
                     interface name.  This should be used once the source
                     is identified via airpcap_ask or if multiple simultaneous
                     sources are required.

    airpcap_ask     Airpcap USB         cygwin      CACE Tech
                    The CACE AirPcap USB device allows native capture on
                    The airpcap_ask source lists available airpcap devices
                     and allows the user to pick interactively.
                    The 'capture interface' field is irrelevant and can be
                     filled with any value (for example, 'dummy')

    atmel_usb       Atmel-USB           Linux       Berlios-Atmel
                    These drivers work ONLY on USB cards (Sorry, no PCMCIA
                     support).  Monitor mode support is limited and "faked"
                     by bypassing part of the firmware and parsing packets
                     directly, and is likely to not report all of the 
                    This card MAY BROADCAST while in rfmon, rendering the
                     sniffer visible.
                    It appears that this card may be only formatting the 
                     beacons as an 802.11 stream, which means you likely
                     will not see data frames, rendering most IDS functions,
                     IP discovery, and data logging unavailable.

    ath5k           Atheros             Linux       Kernel/Madwifi
                    Based on the OpenBSD OpenHAL, the Ath5k drivers are the
                     future of Atheros support and will be mainlined into the
                     Linux kernel.

    ath5k_a         Atheros             Linux       Kernel/Madwifi
                    Ath5k source for 11a only

    ath5k_ag        Atheros             Linux       Kernel/Madwifi
                    Ath5k source for 11a/11g

    bcm43xx         Broadcom            Linux       BCM43XX
                    http://bcm43xx.berlios.de, kernel
                    Linux native broadcom drivers incorporated into modern

    b43             Broadcom            Linux
                    B43 broadcom drivers for current Broadcom devices in
                     Linux kernels

    b43legacy       Broadcom            Linux
                    B43 broadcom drivers for legacy Broadcom devices in
                     Linux kernels

    cisco           Aironet 340,350     Linux       Kernel 2.4.10 - 2.4.19
                    Standard Cisco cards in Linux.  Works only with
                     the Linux kernel drivers, not the drivers found in
                    The drivers found on the cisco.com site can be patched
                     with the files from the Kismet download site to add
                     monitor mode with channel control, HOWEVER these drivers
                     are extremely buggy for normal use and work only with
                     the 2.4 kernel tree.
                    The cisco drivers currently do not enter rfmon mode 
                     correctly, so channel control is not available.  The
                     firmware will hop to whatever channel it feels like 
                     hopping to, when it feels like hopping.

    cisco_wifix     Aironet 340,350     Linux       Kernel 2.4.20+, CVS  
                    Capture interface:  'ethX:wifiX'
                    Kernel 2.4.20+ and CVS drivers use ethX for normal mode
                     and wifiX for monitor mode.  Kismet needs to know both
                     devices, which may not necessarily be the same number,
                     for example 'eth1:wifi0'.
                    Linux kernel 2.4.20 and 2.4.21 have highly unstable cisco
                     drivers and should be avoided.
                    The cisco drivers currently do not enter rfmon mode 
                     correctly, so channel control is not available.  The
                     firmware will hop to whatever channel it feels like 
                     hopping to, when it feels like hopping.

    darwin          OSX native cards    OSX/Darwin  OSX
                    Supports both Broadcom and Atheros Airport-Extreme cards.
                    When using a Broadcom based card, it may be necessary to 
                     enable rfmon on the device for the first time using another 
                    When using an Atheros based card, 802.11a may also be supported
                     by adding a 'sourcechannels' line to kismet.conf.

    hostap          Prism/2             Linux       HostAP 0.4
                    HostAP drivers drive the Prism/2 chipset in access point
                     mode, but also can drive the cards in client and monitor
                     modes.  The HostAP drivers seem to change how they go
                     into monitor mode fairly often, but this source should 
                     manage to get them going.

    ipw2100         Intel/Centrino      Linux       ipw2100-0.44+
                    The Linux IPW2100/Centrino drivers for 802.11b cards
                    now support rfmon, so here's support for them.  They act
                    more or less like any other wireless interface would.

    ipw2200         Intel/Centrino      Linux       ipw2200-1.0.4+
                    The Linux IPW2200/Centrino drivers for 802.11bg cards
                    support rfmon as of 1.0.4 and firmware 2.3.  
                    Signal level reporting requires radiotap be turned on
                    in the makefile while compiling the driver.  Noise levels
                    are not reported.

    ipw2915         Intel/Centrino      Linux       ipw2200-1.0.4+
                    The Linux IPW2200/Centrino drivers for 802.11bga cards
                    support rfmon as of 1.0.4 and firmware 2.3.  
                    This is the same as ipw2200 but defaults to scanning the
                    802.11a channel range in addition to 802.11b/g.
                    Signal level reporting requires radiotap be turned on
                    in the makefile while compiling the driver.  Noise levels
                    are not reported.

    ipw3945         Intel/Centrino      Linux       ipw3945
                    The Linux IPW3945/Centrino drivers for Intel Core
                    802.11bga cards.

    ipwlivetap      Intel/Centrino      Linux       ipw2200/3945
                    The ipw3945 and patched ipw2200 drivers support a 
                    special mode which allows monitor-mode style sniffing
                    while remaining associated.  Channel hopping is not
                    possible, as the card is still associated to a 
                    specific AP, but single-channel IDS and sniffing can
                    be accomplished.  See the ipw driver mailing list
                    archives for information about patching your drivers.

    iwl3945         Intel/Centrino      Linux       iwl3945
                    Intel's new IPW drivers using the mac80211 kernel

    iwl4965         Intel/Centrino      Linux       iwl4965
                    Intel's new IPW drivers using the mac80211 kernel

    kismet_drone    n/a                 Any         n/a
                    Capture interface:  'dronehost:port'  
                    The remote drone capture source connects to a Kismet
                     drone and processes the packets.  Refer to the Remote 
                     Drone section of the README for more details about how
                     to set up a drone.

    madwifi_a       Atheros             Linux       madwifi
                    Capture interface:  'athX'
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX' (Madwifi-NG)
                    Madwifi drivers in 802.11a-only mode. 
                    When using madwifi-ng, be sure all non-monitor VAPs have
                     been removed, otherwise madwifi will not properly report
                     most traffic.

    madwifi_b       Atheros             Linux       madwifi
                    Capture interface:  'athX'
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX' (Madwifi-NG)
                    Madwifi drivers in 802.11b-only mode. 
                    When using madwifi-ng, be sure all non-monitor VAPs have
                     been removed, otherwise madwifi will not properly report
                     most traffic.

    madwifi_g       Atheros             Linux       madwifi
                    Capture interface:  'athX'
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX' (Madwifi-NG)
                    Madwifi drivers in 802.11g-only mode.  This will, 
                     obviously, also see 11b networks.
                    When using madwifi-ng, be sure all non-monitor VAPs have
                     been removed, otherwise madwifi will not properly report
                     most traffic.

    madwifi_ab      Atheros             Linux       madwifi
                    Capture interface:  'athX'
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX' (Madwifi-NG)
                    Madwifi drivers in 802.11a and 802.11b combo mode.  This
                     will seamlessly switch between bands during channel 
                    When using madwifi-ng, be sure all non-monitor VAPs have
                     been removed, otherwise madwifi will not properly report
                     most traffic.

    madwifi_ag      Atheros             Linux       madwifi
                    Capture interface:  'athX'
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX' (Madwifi-NG)
                    Madwifi drivers in 802.11a and 802.11g combo mode.  This
                     will seamlessly switch between bands during channel 
                    When using madwifi-ng, be sure all non-monitor VAPs have
                     been removed, otherwise madwifi will not properly report
                     most traffic.

    madwifing_a     Atheros             Linux       madwifi-ng
    madwifing_ab    Atheros             Linux       madwifi-ng
    madwifing_ag    Atheros             Linux       madwifi-ng
    madwifing_g     Atheros             Linux       madwifi-ng
    madwifing_b     Atheros             Linux       madwifi-ng
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX'
                    *Deprecated*.  Detection for madwifi-ng is built into
                     the standard madwifi sources.  The _ng source names
                     have been kept to allow old configs to continue

    nokia770        Nokia/TI            Linux       Nokies/TI
                    Nokia770 capture interface.  Includes support for 
                    validating frame checksums to screen out junk 
                    packets, since the drivers pass us all data.

    orinoco         Lucent, Orinoco     Linux       Patched orinoco_cs
                    The Orinoco drivers which have mainlined into the Linux
                     kernel do support monitor mode, however only specific firmware
                     versions are supported and often they do not work.
                    An up-ported version of the older Orinoco drivers which more
                     reliably supported rfmon may be available at:
                    Generally, Orinoco cards are not recommended for use with
                     Kismet due to these limitations.

    orinoco_14      Lucent, Orinoco     Linux       Orinoco 0.14+
                    This source is deprecated and should only be used with
                    pre-release versions of a driver since merged into the Linux

    pcapfile        n/a                 Any         n/a
                    Capture interface:  '/path/to/file' 
                    The pcapfile capture source feeds a stored 802.11-encap
                     dump file through the Kismet engine again.  This can be
                     useful for debugging or rescanning old logs for 
                     alert conditions.  Pcapfile sources are only available
                     if Kismet was compiled with libpcap support.

    prism2_openbsd  Prism/2             OpenBSD     Kernel
                    Full support for Prism2 under OpenBSD.

    prism54g        PrismGT             Linux       prism54
                    PrismGT 802.11g drivers supporting monitor mode.

    radiotap_bsd_ab Radiotap            BSD         Kernel
                    Dual-band cards with radiotap headers.

    radiotap_bsd_a Radiotap              BSD        Kernel
                    802.11a cards (or dual-band on 11a channels only) with 
                     radiotap headers. 

    radiotap_bsd_b Radiotap             BSD         Kernel
                    802.11b/g cards (or dual-band on 11b channels only) with
                     radiotap headers. 

    rt2400          Ralink 2400 11b     Linux       rt2400-gpl
                    Ralink 2400 802.11b cards using the serialmonkey GPL'd 
                     rt2x00 drivers.  Must use 1.2.2 beta 2 or newer drivers.

    rt2500          Ralink 2500 11g     Linux       rt2500-gpl
                    Ralink 2500 802.11g cards using the serialmonkey GPL'd 
                     rt2x00 drivers.  Must use 1.1.0 beta 2 or newer drivers.

    rt73            Ralink 73   11g     Linux       rt73-gpl-cvs
                    Ralink 73 802.11g USB cards using the serialmonkey GPL'd
                     rt79 drivers (tested only with CVS driver versions)

    rt8180          Realtek 8180 11b    Linux       rtl8180-sa2400
                    Realtek 8180 based cards (there seem to be an awful lot of
                     them) using the GPL drivers.

    viha            Airport             OSX         viha
                    Monitor mode support for Airport under OSX.  Does not
                     support Airport Extreme.

    vtar5k          Atheros 802.11a     Linux       vtar5k
                    vtar5k drivers handle some Atheros 802.11a cards.  Chances
                     are you'll have better luck with madwifi drivers.

    wlanng_legacy   Prism/2             Linux       wlan-ng 0.1.3 and earlier
                    Old wlan-ng drivers didn't support pcap capturing and
                     use a netlink socket to the kernel.  These are still in
                     use on some embedded systems (like the Zaurus).

    wlanng          Prism/2             Linux       wlan-ng 0.1.4 - 0.1.9
                    Wlan-ng prism2 drivers prior to the AVS headers.

    wlanng_avs      Prism/2             Linux       wlan-ng 0.2.0+
                    Newer wlan-ng drivers support a new header type and 
                     slightly different monitor commands to report wepped

    wrt54g          Linksys WRT54G      Linux       linksys
                    Capture interface:  'ethX'
                    Capture interface:  'ethX:prismX'
                    Support for the drivers found in the embedded Linux 
                     inside the Linksys WRT54G (and probably other APs using
                     the same firmware).
                    Newer firmwares (such as OpenWRT) use the prism0 device
                     for monitor mode data.  On these firmwares, specify both
                     interfaces (wrt54g,eth1:prism0,foo)

    wsp100          NetChem WSP100      Any         n/a
                    Capture interface:  'host:port'
                    The WSP100 is an embedded device which reports 802.11
                     packets over UDP.  The wsp100 capture source is 
                     (generally) system agnostic, however over time it has
                     been less maintained than others.  If you'd like to
                     send me patches for this, please let me know.

    zd1211          ZyDAS USB           Linux       zd1211
                    The ZD1211 drivers have had some regressions which lead to 
                     data corruption while changing channel.  Some versions 
                     work, and typically the aircrack patches resolve the
                     corruption issues if your version doesn't properly handle

    Chipsets known to NOT WORK:
     Broadcom           - No linux drivers, only useable with ndiswrapper or
                          linuxant wrappers around windows drivers.
                          *** UPDATE ***
                          See the bcm43xx source type entry.  There are
                          experimental reverse-engineered drivers which have
                          monitor mode support now under Linux!  If they don't
                          work, however, then too bad.
     Airport Extreme    - Really a Broadcom, with no rfmon in the OSX drivers.
                          *** UPDATE ***
                          See the bcm source for linux on ppc, it MAY work, it
                          may not.  Currently theres no solution for OSX but
                          I'm looking for OSX hackers interested in redoing the
                          Kismet port and looking into adding more support.
     Atmel              - There is a hack for pseudo-monitor in USB.  There is
                          currently no equivalent hack for PCMCIA.
     HermesII           - Proxim successor to the Orinoco/HermesI.  No support
                          yet in the drivers, may be available in the future.
     ndiswrapper        - Anything using ndiswrapper is using WINDOWS drivers
                          AND CAN NOT BE USED WITH KISMET.

13. Graphical Network Mapping

    Kismet provides a tool for drawing networks overlaid on downloaded maps
    called 'gpsmap'.  Gpsmap reads the netxml and gpsxml files, sanitizes the

    GPSMap can download maps from several online sources (MapBlast, Tiger,
    Terraserver, Earthamaps, and more) as well as use user-provided graphics, 
    provided you know the scale and center coordinates.

    Main features:
        * Travel path/track
        * Approximate network circular range
        * Approximate network center
        * Convex hull of all network sample points
        * Interpolated (weathermap-style) graphing of power and range
        * Labeling of network centers
        * Scatterplot of all detected packets
        * Legend showing total sample networks, visible networks, colors,
          power ranges, network center, etc.

    'gpsmap --help' lists all of the switches for enabling different map 
    overlays, map sources, and coloring options.  The default map source
    is a blank image.

    GPSMap currently can use maps from:
        NullMap     (Blank white background)
        MapBlast    (Vector) (Broken)
        MapPoint    (Vector) (Broken, read warning)
        Terraserver (Satellite Photo)
        Tiger       (Vector) (US Census data)
        Earthamap   (Vector) (Requires perl) (Broken)
        Terraserver Topo (Vector-ish) 
    Due to changes in the map websites (or their removal by vendors or 
    corporate buyouts), many map sources no longer work.  These mapsources
    are marked as "Broken" or "Unavailable".  They have been left in GPSMap
    solely to enable easy plotting on previously saved map images.  These
    will FAIL if they are selected and a user map is not also provided.

    All of these map sources rely on external data.  By using them, you agree
    to whatever terms and conditions the map provider requires.  Visit the
    map providers website for these conditions.  It is highly probable that
    re-use of maps from vendors, in noncommercial or commercial situations,
    is against the terms of service.

    Plotting against non-vendor maps is possible by determining the equivalent
    scaling mechanism and setting the appropriate map type.  Typically this 
    must be done via trial and error.
    The extras/ directory contains an additional utility, 'gpsxml-sanitize',
    for cleaning invalid sample points out of the gpsxml data files for use in
    other programs.  GPSMap cleans the data set automatically, reprocessing the
    gpsxml files is only needed if they are to be used in third-party programs.

14. Drone Remotes

    Remote Kismet drones are designed to turn Kismet into a stationary, 
    distibuted IDS system.  Drones support all of the capture sources Kismet
    supports, and can have multiple cards per drone.  Drones capture wireless
    data and report it over a secondary connection (typically wired ethernet),
    and have very minimal hardware requirements.
    Each drone in the network can be configured for independent channel 
    hopping, and even different 802.11 standards (such as one drone monitoring
    802.11a and one monitoring 802.11b).

    A kismet server can be connected to all the drones in the network and will
    provide a single dump file and alert system.  Using wep decrpytion and a 
    named pipe output ('fifo' config file option), wireless traffic from around
    an installation can be sent to snort (or other layer3 IDS).

    To start using drones, set up a kismet_drone on the system with a wireless
    card, using the kismet_drone.conf file.  Then configure Kismet to have a 
    kismet_drone capsource pointing to that host, start kismet_server, and
    use whatever client you like to connect to Kismet.

    If a GPS is enabled on the drone, packets recieved from the drone will use
    that GPS for positioning information.  If the GPS is not enabled, then the
    GPS connected to the Kismet server will be used.

15. Alerts and Intrusion Detection

    Kismet will provide alerts based on fingerprints (specific netstumbler
    versions, other specific attacks) and trends (unusual probes, excessive
    disassociation, etc).  Kismet focuses on the 802.11 (layer 2) network
    layer, and provides integration via named pipes with layer3+ IDS systems
    such as Snort.

    Alerts are primarily meant to be used in a stationary IDS situation.  Some
    are potentially useful in a mobile/wardriving setup, but others may
    generate false or useless information.

    Alert name:       NETSTUMBLER
    Alert type:       Fingerprint  
    Alert on:         Netstumbler probe requests
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0025
    Alert message:    "Netstumbler ($version) probe detected from ($macsource)"
    Tool-specific:    Yes (Netstumbler 3.22, 3.23, 3.30)
    References:       http://www.netstumbler.com
    Details:          In an attempt to disclose the SSID of a network, 
                      Netstumbler sends out unique packets.  This is not done
                      in all situations, but when it is detected the potential
                      for false positives is very low.

    Alert name:       DEAUTHFLOOD
    Alert type:       Trend
    Alert on:         Deauthenticate/Disassociate Flood
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0019
    Alert message:    "Deassociate/Deauthenticate flood on $targetbssid"
    Tool-specific:    No
    References:       http://802.11ninja.net
    Details:          By spoofing disassociate or deauthenticate packets, 
                      arbitrary (or all) clients can be disconnected from a
                      network.  This attack lasts only as long as the attacker
                      maintains the flood.

    Alert name:       LUCENTTEST
    Alert type:       Fingerprint  
    Alert on:         Lucent link test  
    Alert message:    "Lucent link test detected from $sourcemac"
    Tool-specific:    Yes (Lucent/Orinoco site survey software)
    References:       http://www.agere.com/wlan/customercare/ (requires login)
    Details:          Lucent/Orinoco/Proxim/Agere provide site survey 
                      software.  This rule will generate an alert when it is
                      in use.

    Alert name:       WELLENREITER
    Alert type:       Fingerprint
    Alert on:         Wellenreiter SSID brute force attempt
    WVE:              WVE-2006-0058
    Alert message:    "Wellenteiter probe detected from $sourcemac"
    Tool-specific:    Yes (Wellenreiter 1.5, 1.6)
    References:       http://home.jwu.edu/jwright/papers/l2-wlan-ids.pdf
    Details:          Wellenreiter attempts to use a dictionary to brute-force
                      a hidden SSID.  Between each probe attempt it resets the
                      card to probe for 'this_is_used_for_wellenreiter'.

    Alert name:       CHANCHANGE
    Alert type:       Trend  
    Alert on:         Previously detected AP changing to a new channel
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0019
    Alert message:    "Beacon on $bssid ($ssid) for channel $newchannel,
                      previously detected on $oldchannel"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          Man-in-the-middle attacks attempt to direct users to a
                      fake AP on another channel.  If Kismet sees an AP
                      change to a new channel, this is often suspicious

    Alert name:       BCASTDISCON
    Alert type:       Fingerprint
    Alert on:         Broadcast disconnect/deauthenticate
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0019
    Alert message:    "Broadcast [disassociation|deathentication] on $bssid"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          Many attacks use a broadcast disassociate or 
                      deauthenticate to disconnect all users on a network, 
                      either to redirect them to a new fake network or do
                      cause a denial of service or disclose a cloaked SSID.
                      Broadcast disassociations are rarely, if ever, 

    Alert name:       AIRJACKSSID
    Alert type:       Fingerprint
    Alert on:         SSID of 'airjack'
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0018
    Alert message:    "Beacon for SSID 'airjack' from $sourcemac"
    Tool-specific:    Yes (airjack)
    References:       http://802.11ninja.net/airjack/
    Details:          The AirJack tools set the initial SSID to 'airjack'.
                      This alert is no longer highly relevant as the AirJack
                      tool has long been discontinued.

    Alert name:       PROBENOJOIN
    Alert type:       Trend
    Alert on:         Clients probing for networks, being accepted by that
                      network, and continuing to probe for networks.
    Alert message:    "Suspicious client $sourcemac - probing networks but
                      never joining."
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          'Active' or 'Firmware' network scanning tools work by
                      letting the card probe for any network and recording
                      those that respond.  These tools include NetStumbler,
                      PocketStumbler, and many others.
                      Kismet raises this alert when a client is seen to be 
                      probing for networks but never joins any of the networks
                      which respond.
                      False positives are possible in noisy/lossy situations,
                      disabling this alert may be desirable in some 

    Alert name:       DISASSOCTRAFFIC
    Alert type:       Trend
    Alert on:         Traffic from a source within 10 seconds of a
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0019
    Alert message:    "Suspicious traffic on $sourcemac: Data traffic within
                      10 seconds of a disassociate."
    Tool-specific:    No
    References:       "802.11 Denial-of-Service Attacks: Real Vulnerabilities 
                      and Practical Solutions"
    Details:          As discussed in the above research paper by Bellardo, J. 
                      and Savage, S., a host which legitimately disassociates 
                      or deauthenticates from a network should not be 
                      exchanging data immediately thereafter. Any client which 
                      DOES exchange data within 10 seconds of disassociating 
                      from the network should be considered a likely victim of 
                      a disassociate attack.

    Alert name:       NOPROBERESP
    Alert type:       Fingerprint
    Alert on:         Probe response packet with 0-length SSID tagged 
    WVE:              WVE-2006-0064
    Alert message:    "Probe response with 0-length SSID detected from 
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          Many firmware versions from different manufacturers
                      have a fatal error when they receive a probe response
                      with a 0-length SSID tagged parameter.

    Alert name:       BSSTIMESTAMP
    Alert type:       Trend
    Alert on:         Invalid BSS timestamps indicative of an access point 
                      being spoofed.
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0019
    Alert message:    "Out-of-sequence timestamp on $bssid got $timestamp 
                      expected $timestamp - this could indicate AP spoofing"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          The BSS timestamp sent with beacons and some probe frames
                      cannot be spoofed with standard firmware or drivers even
                      when forging raw frames.  A BSS mismatch is likely an
                      indication of an attempt to spoof the SSID and BSSID of 
                      an access point.
                      This alert contains flap-detection to minimise false
                      positives caused by random bogons and AP recycling.

    Alert name:       MSFBCOMSSID
    Alert type:       Signature
    Alert on:         MAC src address used as CPU instructions by MSF when 
                      exploiting the Broadcom SSID overflow
    WVE:              WVE-2006-0071
    Alert message:    "MSF-style poisoned exploit packet for Broadcom drivers"
    Tool-specific:    Yes
    Details:          Some versions of the Windows Broadcom wireless drivers
                      do not properly handle over-long SSIDs, leading to
                      code execution.

    Alert name:       LONGSSID
    Alert type:       Signature
    Alert on:         SSID advertised as greater than IEEE spec of 32 bytes
    Alert message:    "Illegal SSID length ($len > 32) from $srcmac"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          The IEEE 802.11 spec allows a maximum of 32 bytes for
                      the SSID, however the IE tag structure allows for 256.
                      Oversized SSIDs are indicative of an attack attempting
                      to exploit SSID handling.

    Alert name:       MSFDLINKRATE
    Alert type:       Signature
    Alert on:         Beacon frame with over-long 802.11 rates tag containing
                      exploit opcodes
    WVE:              WVE-2006-0072
    Alert message:    "MSF-style poisoned 802.11 rate field in beacon $srcmac
                      for D-Link driver attack"
    Tool-specific:    Yes
    Details:          Some versions of the Windows D-Link wireless drivers
                      do not properly handle over-long 802.11 accepted rate
                      fields, leading to code execution.

    Alert name:       MSFNETGEARBEACON
    Alert type:       Signature
    Alert on:         Large beacon frame containing exploit opcodes
    Alert message:    "MSF-style poisoned 802.11 over-sized options beacon $srcmac
                      for Netgear driver attack"
    Tool-specific:    Yes
    Details:          Some versions of the Windows Netgear wireless drivers
                      do not properly handle over-sized beacon frames, leading
                      to remote code execution

    Alert type:       Signature
    Alert on:         Unknown / reserved / invalid reason codes in deauth and
                      disassoc packets
    Alert message:    "Unknown {disassociation | deauthentication } reason code
                      0x$rc from $sourcemac"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          Various drivers and access points have been reported to
                      improperly handle unknown/invalid reason codes.
16. Reporting Bugs

    Bugs happen, and I'm sure some are still in the code.  To make a useful
    bug report:

    * Check the "Troubleshooting" section to make sure it's not a known
      user error
    * Check the development CHANGELOG to make sure it hasn't already been
      fixed in -devel.  http://svn.kismetwireless.net/code/trunk/CHANGELOG
    If the bug appears to be tied to specific packets:

    * Start Kismet
    * Use TCPDump to get a capture of the packets outside of Kismet, until
      Kismet crashes.  (``tcpdump -i foo0 -w crashlog.dump'')
    * Run the capture through Kismet:  Does it still crash?  (use the 
      pcapfile capture type)  ``kismet_server -c pcapfile,/path/to/dump,foo''
    * Send me the dump file and the info

    If the bug happens otherwise:

    * Recompile Kismet from source and don't use ``make install''.  The install
      scripts strip debugging info from the binaries that we need.
    * Run Kismet inside gdb (``gdb ./kismet_server'' or ``gdb ./kismet_client'')
    * When it crashes, get a backtrace:  ``bt'' in gdb
    * Send me the info

17. Troubleshooting
    Some common problems with Kismet have easy solutions:

    PROBLEM: Fatal errors about old configuration file values
      Kismet has evolved over time.  This has made changes to the config files
      necessary, and obsoleted old options.  Kismet will automatically detect 
      old config files and alert on them.
    FIX: Upgrade your config files.  'make forceinstall' or 'forcesuidinstall'
      will replace old files, or you can copy the config file from the conf/
      directory manually and update it for your configuration.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about being unable to find the suiduser
      Kismet drops the privileges of the main packet processor to a specified
      user for security - handling hostile remote data as root is just a bad
      idea.  If a nonexistent user is specified, Kismet will bail.
    FIX: Set a valid user as the suiduser config variable.  If you're sure you
      don't want privilege dropping, you can run configure with the 
      '--disable-setuid' option, but this is NOT reccomended for most users.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about specifying a uid-0 target for suiduser
      Kismet needs to drop out of root for security purposes.  If you tell it
      that the user to switch to is 'root' (or another uid-0 user, if you
      happened to make one), it can't do this.
    FIX:  See fix above for errors about finding the suiduser.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error enabling monitor mode, 'monitor' ioctl not available
      Some capture sources use a private ioctl, 'monitor', to enable rfmon.
      If Kismet is unable to find this ioctl, it means that the wrong 
      interface was specified, the wrong capture type is being used, or 
      most commonly, the drivers you are using have not been patched or the
      patched drivers are not being loaded.
      Be sure to download any patches needed for the drivers you are using, 
      and make sure that no other copies of those drivers exist in your
      /lib/modules/kern-version/ directory.  You may need to restart pcmcia-cs
      if your wireless card was already running when you installed the patched
    FIX: Provide the correct interface and ensure that the patched drivers are

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about a Cisco card not reporting the correct 
      link type in Linux
    FIX: Use the correct Cisco card drivers.  The ones from cisco.com and
      the ones in pcmcia-cs don't support rfmon, but act as if they do.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about being unable to open a file for writing
      The most common cause of this problem is that the suiduser you specified
      for Kismet to drop to does not have rights to write to the directory 
      Kismet is trying to log to.
      If you did not modify the 'logtemplate' configuration file variable, 
      Kismet defaults to the current directory for saving logs.  You can set
      an explicit path in the logtemplate variable to put your logs in the same
      place every time.
    FIX: Start Kismet from a directory that the suiduser can write to, or set
      the logtemplate variable to always put the logs in a directory the 
      suiduser can write to.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about being unable to open the pidfile
    FIX: By default Kismet writes the pid to /var/run/.  If you didn't install
      Kismet as suidroot, you need to start it as root so it can write to this
      directory and bind interfaces.  If you're only using capture sources that
      don't require root, you can change this in kismet.conf to put pidfiles
      in /tmp (or any other directory).  This isn't reccomended if you use
      Kismet as root on a system with untrusted users.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about interface no longer available, and DHCP
    FIX: Many distributions turn on DHCP for wireless interfaces.  When DHCP
      is turned on and rfmon is used, one of two things happens:
      1. rfmon is entered before DHCP gets an address.  After approximately
         a minute, DHCP times out, and turns off the interface.
      2. DHCP gets an address, but when the address expires, it is unable to
         renew it, and turns off the interface.
      MAKE SURE YOU DISABLE DHCP before starting Kismet - either turn it off
      entirely for that interface, or kill the client (usually dhclient,
      dhcpcd, or pump) before starting Kismet.

      Similar problems can occur if networkmanager is running and active
      while Kismet is running, as it will try to reconfigure the interface
      Kismet is using.  If Kismet is compiled with DBUS support, it can
      automatically put networkmanager to sleep if the 'networkmanagersleep'
      variable is set to true in kismet.conf

      Be sure to also disable wpa_supplicant on any interfaces being used
      by Kismet, as it will try to reconfigure the device.

    PROBLEM: Configure is unable to find libncurses or other libraries, but
     they're installed.
    FIX: If you are running a RPM-based distribution, you will need the 
     foo-devel.rpm packages for each library.  These packages contain the 
     headers needed to compile against the libraries.

    PROBLEM: The panels client fails with the error 'unable to open 
     terminal xyz'.
    FIX: Set your TERM environment variable to something libcurses has support
     for.  'vt100' is usually a good choice.

    PROBLEM: My GPS hardware claims to have a signal lock, but Kismet shows a
     fix of 0 and does not log any GPS inforation.
    FIX: Some GPS units have invalid NMEA streams which gpsd doesn't understand
     correctly.  Set the "gpsmodelock" option to "true" in kismet.conf

    PROBLEM: I can't lock Kismet onto a single channel in the panels client,
     it says the server doesn't support channel hopping.
    FIX: You need to start Kismet with channel hopping enabled to be able to
     lock a source to a specific channel.  Kismet will automatically disable
     channel hopping if none of the enabled sources support setting the channel.

    PROBLEM: Kismet says it couldn't take the card out of monitor mode on
    FIX: The source you're using won't come cleanly out of rfmon, or I didn't
     implement it for some reason.  You'll need to reconfigure (or restart)
     the interfaces manually.

    PROBLEM: Kismet says it took the card out of monitor mode, but it still
     doesn't work.
    FIX: Sometimes cards don't come out of monitor mode cleanly.  If it doesn't
     work, you'll need to manually restart your card, sorry.  Restarting your
     card depends on your drivers and distribution, Google is your friend.

    PROBLEM: I get 'invalid mode: monitor' or similar errors trying to go 
     into rfmon with madwifi
    FIX: First, make sure you have madwifi-cvs.
         Second, make sure you're running a recent kernel.  You need wireless
          extensions >= 15.  To be safe, upgrade to the latest stable kernel.

    PROBLEM: Kismet can't compile, there are errors about not finding libpcap
    FIX: Kismet no longer includes libpcap source, and expects your system to
     have a relatively modern (0.9+ preferred) libpcap install.  Install 
     libpcap, and if your distribution provides it, libpcap-devel.

    PROBLEM: Kismet immediately exits on Cygwin with no output
    FIX: Cygwin appears to have a problem in the linker.  If Kismet is linked
     to the CASE airpcap/winpcap libraries, they MUST be inside a sub-directory
     of the Kismet source for compilation.  Recompile Kismet with the airpcap 
     devpack inside the source directory.

    PROBLEM: Kismet stops capturing packets with Madwifi
    FIX: Madwifi seems to have a race condition of some sort which is
     exposed while hopping channels.  Decreasing the channel hop rate may
     reduce the frequency of the failures, but will not entirely stop the

     It has been reported that loading the madwifi modules with the module
     parameter "autocreate=none" helps, by not automatically creating the
     initial managed VAP, subsequent creation of the monitor vap doesn't
     exhibit the lockup while channel hopping.

     Madwifi-ng development has switched to the Ath5k driver, which may
     perform better.

18. Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Where did the name Kismet come from?
    A: The word itself means Fate or Destiny.  While I wish I could make up
       some smart comment about picking it because Kismet will ultimately 
       uncover every active wireless network in the area, really I just needed
       a name and was clicking through a thesaurus and liked the sound.

    Q: Is there anything illegal about Kismet?
    A: In and of itself, there should be nothing illegal about Kismet, and it's
       no different than any other network capture tool.
       Note, however:
        - Recording data from networks for which you do not have permission may
          be considered an illegal wiretap.
        - Using networks you do not have permission to use may be considered
          theft of service.
        - Don't be stupid using Kismet.
        - If you are stupid, I'm not responsible.

    Q: What happened to the version numbers?
    A: They stopped making sense.  3.0 to 3.1 was a 30,000 line diff, but 
       calling it 4.0 doesn't make sense either.  So, it's getting versioned
       by the release date, which should also help keep stable releases coming
       in a timely manner.

    Q: Why is rfmon different from promiscuous mode, and why can't you just use
    A: In the wired world, promiscuous mode turns off the filtering mechanism 
       in your network card, causing it to pass all packets to the operating
       system.  With most drivers, it means the same thing in the wireless 
       world, -BUT- it only applies to the network you are currently associated
       with, and it only passes the packets as 802.3/Ethernet-II.  This means
       no 802.11 headers, no 802.11 management frames, and nothing from 
       networks other than the one you're associated with.
       Rfmon is a special mode that reports all packets the wireless card sees,
       including management packets and packets from any network the radio can
       Kismet can't just use promisc mode because it won't be able to gather
       information about the networks, and would only be able to get data from
       the network you've already joined.

    Q: Does Kismet work differently than NetStumbler?
    A: Absolutely.  Netstumbler (and MiniStumbler, and others) work by querying
       the firmware of the card for networks the card has seen.  While this
       method is obviously able to detect networks in the area, it is noisy
       (people can see you're running NetStumbler), it can't decloak hidden
       networks, and it can't record data.

    Q: Will Kismet work with Linuxant or NDISwrapper drivers?
    A: No.  These wrappers use the Windows drivers, which don't support rfmon.
       Until there are native drivers with rfmon support, Kismet won't work 
       with these cards.

    Q: What can I do to get you to support card 'xyz'?
    A: Kismet support of a card is largely dependant on available drivers with
       rfmon support.  I'll be happy to get in touch with driver authors about

    Q: My distro loads the orinoco drivers for my prism2 card, is this OK?
    A: No, not really.  The orinoco and prism chipsets are based off the same
       reference design, but there are subtle differences, especially in the
       firmware timings.  Using the orinoco drivers may work for a while, but
       you're likely going to have problems with lost frames, corrupt frames,
       and system hangs.  Plus, if you ever have problems and mention you're
       using the orinoco drivers, I'll yell at you.

    Q: Why am I not seeing all the traffic on a network?
    A: You're most likely channel hopping.  You can't see all the traffic on
       a channel if you're hopping, just like you can't see all of a show on
       TV if you're channel surfing.  If you need to see all of the data from 
       a single network, you'll need to disable hopping or lock Kismet onto the
       network you want to watch.  Additionally, Kismet can only process packets
       which are passed by the drivers.  Some drivers, firmware versions, and 
       cards simply don't send all the data frames while in rfmon, and not much
       can be done to solve that.

    Q: What about 802.11n?
    A: Some 802.11n cards with the Atheros chipset are supported, however
       currently the link type still appears as 802.11g.  In theory these
       cards will work with the madwifi-ng capture sources.
    A2: Intel ABGN cards using iwlwifi should work.

    Q: Why do I get a lot of nonsense networks, or lots of networks that only
       have one data packet?
    A: Some drivers (currently the worst offenders are wrt54g, madwifi, and
       some versions of prism54) toss up garbage packets sometimes.  Usually
       these are chunks of valid frames, several valid frames mangled together,
       valid frames with extra noise before them, etc.  Kismet does the best
       it can to screen these out, but if the packet headers look like a 
       data frame it will usually get past - management frames can be 
       rigorously validated, but data frames could contain anything so they
       slip past.
       There isn't a really good solution to this, but you can turn on the
       'autogroup_data' option in kismet_ui.conf to make them less intrusive.

    Q: What are the signal and noise levels measured in?
    A: Depends on the drivers.  Firmware.  Modes.  In other words, who knows.
       Most cards and drivers don't do very well measuring signal levels in 
       rfmon.  Some, like Cisco, don't even give us a per-packet signal level.
       To make matters worse, signal levels are often quite binary - rarely
       will a signal dwindle to 10 or 20 as you travel away from the source.
       Beyond a certain point the radio is unable to assemble a packet out of 
       the weak signal, and it will simply disappear.
       Generally speaking, a signal level of 200 is better than a signal level
       of 100, but individually the numbers don't have much relevance.  They
       can be useful for coloring the maps as "better" and "worse", but thats
       about the most you should use them for.

    Q: Can Kismet be used in a commercial product?
    A: As long as you follow the requirements of the GPL, I can't stop you. 
       It would certainly be nice if you're using Kismet to make a profit to
       take a look at my wishlist or make a donation though.

    Q: What about plugins?
    A: Yeah, I know, I'm working on them.
    A2: Look at newcore.  After years of work, it will be releasing soon.

    Q: 'configure' says it can't find libncurses/libcurses
    A: First, did you install ncurses-devel?  Kismet needs the development
       Second, run 'ldconfig'.  Some distributions (Fedora) seem to have an
        out-of-date library cache that means ld can't find the library.
       Third, make sure you installed the libstdc++/g++ packages.  Configure 
        will erroneously blame libncurses if the linkage with libstdc++ fails.

    Q: Configure failed on something else
    A: Look at config.log and see why it failed.  Sometimes packages don't
       properly define all their dependencies and linking fails.

    Q: When channel hopping, the orinoco keeps going to channel -1 and not
    A: Apply the latest patches available on the Kismet download page, these
       fix a number of issues with the orinoco drivers and seem to alleviate
       this problem for most users.

    Q: What are the SSIDs full of strange characters, like ^A^B^J^J^K^H?
    A: WindowsXP leaks bits of memory into the probe requests.  These are legit
       packets, and thats whats really in them.

    Q: Why is the range of a network sometimes hundreds of miles inside Kismet,
       but normal in GPSMap?
    A: GPSMap does some moderately advanced filtering on data points which 
       allows it to sift the data collected and clean out invalid samples.  
       These methods require all of the sample points to be available, however,
       and won't work during a live capture.  If the GPS reports a momentary
       invalid, but not wholly invalid, sample then Kismet will get confused.

    Q: How can I merge multiple capture files into one?
    A: Use ``mergecap'' that comes with Ethereal to combine dump files.

    Q: How can I include all the standard known manufacturers in the manuf
    A: There is a script in the extras/ directory that will convert the 
       standard OUI list (such as that provided with Ethereal) into the format
       Kismet uses.  This will make Kismet take a LOT more ram and a moderate
       increase in CPU to store and search the expanded list.  If your hardware
       can handle it, by all means, but not recommended for lowpower systems.

    Q: What if configure can't find the linux wireless headers?
    A: Make sure you installed the kernel-headers package for your distro.
       Barring that, find the location of your kernel headers, and pass 
       configure the directory with:
       ./configure --with-linuxheaders=/path/to/headers

    Q: Do I need wiretap support?
    A: Not really.  Wiretap is only for specific situations (reading compressed
       packets, or reading packets captured by some different system like
       aironet.  Generally speaking, you can just use the pcapfile capture type
       which is included with libpcap.

    Q: What cards work in *BSD?
    A: Any card with radiotap support should work in any of the BSD variants
       (Net, Open, or Free).  Check your kernel docs and consider upgrading
       to the latest release to get more radiotap device support..  With the 
       exclusion of OpenBSD, non-radiotap devices are not supported.
       If you want to add support for a non-radiotap card, contact me over
       email or IRC and I can help explain it.

    Q: Why can't I use prism2 or USB cards on Darkwin?
    A: Because I don't have patches for them.  Send me some.

    Q: I want to port Kismet to (X) or I want to support card (Y)
    A: Kismet is designed to be fairly modular.  Contact me over IRC or email
       and I can explain what parts need to be changed.

    Q: Why won't Kismet work on Windows?
    A: Because there are few legally unencumbered drivers for Windows.  I am
       unwilling to risk the legal repercussions of attempting to leverage
       the commercial drivers from sniffer demos.  
       Thanks to the efforts of CACE Tech, the AirPcap device is available
       for Windows with drivers designed to let OSS projects use the
       device legally.  Kismet will now work with this device on Windows, 
       however this is the ONLY local capture device which will work.

    Q: What happens when I ask a question thats already answered here?
    A: I'll probably be rude to you and tell you to go read the docs. 
       But of course everyone already read the docs all the way to the end,
       right?  Right?

2008-05-15   #2 (permalink)

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