In this attack scenario, the attacker passively listens for WiFi management frame messages containing the Service Set Identifier (SSID) for the WiFi network. These messages are frequently transmitted by WiFi access points (e.g., the retransmission device) as well as by clients that are accessing the network (e.g., the handset/mobile device). Once the attacker is able to associate an SSID with a particular user or set of users (for example, when attending a public event), the attacker can then scan for this SSID to track that user in the future.
The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.
Relevant to the view "Mechanisms of Attack" (CAPEC-1000)
Standard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.
Open source and commercial software tools are available and open databases of known WiFi SSID addresses are available online.
Do not enable the feature of "Hidden SSIDs” (also known as “Network Cloaking”) – this option disables the usual broadcasting of the SSID by the access point, but forces the mobile handset to send requests on all supported radio channels which contains the SSID. The result is that tracking of the mobile device becomes easier since it is transmitting the SSID more frequently.
Frequently change the SSID to new and unrelated values
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Page Last Updated or Reviewed:
July 31, 2018
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