Recently, we talked about a quick way to view detailed stats for wireless networks that are available on your Mac OS X system. Though usually such detailed information is not needed, but enthusiasts or professionals might want to play around with wireless networks for educational motives, and another great tool which facilitates easy network discovery (and much more) on Mac OS X is KisMAC.
Be warned: KisMAC is no ordinary playtool, and this is probably evident from its first launch and home window. As soon as you fire it up, KisMAC gets to business, and is ready to start scanning wireless networks that are available at your current location.
As soon as you push the ‘Start Scan’ button, KisMAC begins to search for various wireless networks, and quickly displays various details about them, updating them in realtime. We covered a description of what these terms mean in my previous post. A great feature here is that KisMAC somehow manages to sniff out the SSIDs of hidden networks too (which explicitly hide or block their SSID for security reasons).
But this is just a preview of what KisMAC is capable of. KisMAC supports packet injection (only with supported cards capable of packet injection, such as Prism2 and some Ralink cards), which effectively means that you can use it a tool to crack the key for WEP or WPA networks, by brute force methods. You can learn more about WEP/WPA hacking and packet injection here. A word of advice though: its probably not a good idea to go around cracking people’s wireless network’s keys, and might even be illegal in your country.
Apart from this, KisMAC has support for geo-location and tagging (provided a GPS receiver is attached) of available wireless networks, and can also show you the range of a particular network on the map. KisMAC can also show you the list of logged in clients for a particular network and their IP addresses.
Although KisMAC is great at detecting your networking hardware, but in the rare case it does not pick up your card, you can set it up manually in the Preferences.