Anecdote – forcing wifi bridge to connect to other AP

This is personal anecdote about how to  re-connect to a disconnected wifi bridge if your main AP is off/broken.

Usually our network is layered as follows:

Laptop
<-----[WIFI]----->
DLINK Powerline Enabled AP
<-----[Copper Power Wire]----->
TP LINK Powerline
<-----[Ethernet]----->
ADSL Modem & AP
<-----[WIFI]----->
Asus WL-330N3G 
<-----[ethernet]----->
WD Media Player

So 2 weeks ago the ADSL Modem (AP including LAN DHCP server) died but in the network I continued seeing the SSID. After scanning the network we saw that the ASUS wireless bridge transmits with the same SSID as the ADSL modem / AP. The actual modem is a Belkin but the wireless bridge uses the same SSID as seen below from an iphone app called “Net Analyzer”.

photo 1

By simply creating my own access point with the SSID, password, and encryption settings of the original Access Point I “forced” the Asus bridge to connect to me and give me access to that part of the network. Any access point could be used but personally I used connectify to turn my laptop into an AP.

Connectify

Above we see a screenshot of the Connectify Hotspot (or Access Point) setup.
Below we see screenshots of what the iphone displayed upon connection to this “Access Point”.

 

photo 2 photo 3

Above we see the that now the scan shows a different AP with the same SSID and since my laptop is the DHCP server IP addresses are available.
The WDTLive media player looks to be AsusTek since it is connected by ethernet directly to the bridge.

So, if you know the SSID, password, and channel of where a wireless bridge connects to it is possible to hijack it and make it connect to you.

Finally, what do you do if you do not remember the password, encryption, or other settings?

There are applications to view such saved settings from windows including WirelessKeyView .
Screenshot (taken from site) below:

wirelesskeyview[1]



Menelaos Bakopoulos

Mr. Menelaos Bakopoulos is currently pursuing his PhD both at Center for TeleInFrastruktur (CTiF) at Aalborg University (AAU) in Denmark and Athens Information Technology (AIT) in Athens, Greece. He received a Master in Information Technology and Telecommunications Systems from Athens Information Technology and a B.Sc. in Computer Science & Management Information Systems from the American College of Thessaloniki. Since April 2008 he has been a member of the Multimedia, Knowledge, and Web Technologies Group.

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