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Tutorial: Aircrack-ng Suite under Windows for Dummies

Version: 1.02 December 18, 2007
By: darkAudax


First and foremost, Windows is virtually useless for wireless activities due to the huge number of restrictions. The restrictions do not come from the aircrack-ng suite so please don't ask for enhancements.

Here is a quick recap of the limitations:

  • Very few supported wireless cards: There are very few wireless cards which will work with the aircrack-ng suite. Most laptops come with Intel-based cards and none of these are supported. See the following links: Compatibility, Drivers, Which Card to Purchase and Tutorial: Is My Wireless Card Compatible? for more information. It is also important to note that there is little or no documentation accurately describing which version of the third party drivers you require for each card.
  • Dependency on third parties: The Windows world is highly proprietary and thus the source code for the drivers is not available publicly. As a result, no troubleshooting or fixes are available from the aircrack-ng team for these third party drivers. If there is a problem, you are on your own.
  • Limited operating system support: The Windows version works best with WinXP. It does not support Win98, some people have reported success with Win2000 but many have been unsuccessful with it and Vista is not supported. There is some evidence that a few people have aircrack-ng working under Vista but most people report failures. So basically, your best chance of success is under WinXP.
  • Passive capture of packets: Most people want to test the WEP security on their own access point. In order to do this, you must capture in the order of 250,000 to 2,000,000 WEP data packets. This is a lot of packets. With Windows, you can only capture packets passively. Meaning, you just sit back and wait for the packets to arrive. There is no way to speed things up like in the linux version. In the end, it could take you days, weeks, months or forever to capture sufficient packets to crack a WEP key.
  • Limited GUI: Most of the aircrack-ng suite tools are oriented towards command line utilization. There is only a very limited GUI available to assist you. So you must be more technically literate to successfully use these tools. Thus, if you are used to running a Windows installer then clicking your way to happiness, you are going to be exceedingly unhappy and lost with aircrack-ng.
  • Technical Orientation: Dealing with wireless requires a fair amount of operating system, basic wireless and networking knowledge. If you don't have this or are not prepared to do your own research, then you will find the tools and techniques bewildering. Do not expect people on the forums or IRC to answer basic knowledge questions. It is up to you to have these skills before starting out.

If you truly want to explore the world of wireless then you need to make the commitment to learn and use linux plus the aircrack-ng suite linux version. An easy way to start is to utilize the Backtrack live distribution. This distribution has the aircrack-ng suite plus patched drivers already installed which jumpstarts your learning process. BackTrack information can be found here.

Installation and Usage

OK, you have come this far and still want to proceed? Just remember that there is an expectation that you have done your homework and have some base knowledge. Again, do not post questions on the forum or IRC that are dealt with in this tutorial or on the Wiki.

Here are the basic steps to install and use the aircrack-ng suite under Windows:

  1. Get a compatible wireless card: See the following links: Compatibility, Drivers, Which Card to Purchase and Tutorial: Is My Wireless Card Compatible? for more information.
  2. Install the drivers: Based on step one above, install the drivers per these instructions.
  3. Install aircrack-ng suite: See these instructions.
  4. Use aircrack-ng suite: See Part 1 - Cracking WEP with Windows XP Pro SP2. As well, the Wiki has documentation on each command. The commands need to run via the Windows command prompt or via the Aircrack-ng GUI. You have to be in the directory which contain the commands on your PC.

Troubleshooting Tips

There is some limited troubleshooting information under the airodump-ng command.

aircrack-ng_suite-under-windows_for_dummies.txt · Last modified: 2010/11/21 16:36 by sleek