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Why WiFi protocol analysis beats RF analysis hands down

WiFi source detection and tracking methods are commonly based on radio frequency (RF) only detection. For example, RF detection based on Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Spectrum Analysers. 

This approach works well for tracking individual devices in large quiet areas, but when we move to a complex environment with hundreds of devices these methods become largely ineffective. 

As RF detection can’t analyse the protocol, most devices on the same frequency look similar – for example, a microwave oven looks the same as a router because they both operate on 2.4GHz WiFi. 

In a busy environment, which is typical with WiFi, all devices will essentially appear as a single set of identical frequency peaks and tracking them becomes almost impossible. On top of that devices that use RF detection can’t give you any information about the WiFi source, all they can do is tell you that there’s at least one device using that frequency in that particular area. 

When you analyse WiFi sources looking at the actual WiFi protocol, you can get amazing, rich data about the source, including:

  • The nature of the communications eg. video streaming
  • MAC address and Manufacturer
  • Type of device eg. drone, phone, laptop…
  • Devices connected or communicating with the source eg. rogue APs
  • Devices proximity, direction and exact location
  • Traffic characteristics eg. management vs. data volumes

HackHunter operates at the WiFi protocol level, meaning we can provide rich data about the WiFi source and extremely accurate detection and location capabilities. Each WiFi-emitting device can be individually detected, identified and tracked, even in a crowded environment. We also use a unique templating system to identify patterns of behaviour commonly associated with unauthorised and potentially malicious WiFi sources, as well as WiFi hacks in progress. 

If your business is interested in seeing HackHunter’s technology in action for yourselves, contact us at info@hackhunter.io to set up your free demo or trial.

Why WiFi protocol analysis beats RF analysis hands down

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