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What exactly can someone do if they know your Wifi password? Can they only see which sites you visit or can they do more? Are they able to hack(router) and do malicious things with your router just by knowing the password? Is it possible to send a virus through the wifi to the router?

Also can a hacker tell what kind of router you are using just by knowing your wifi password and loging into your wifi?

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  • If the router has default admin password, then yes he can do whatever is his intention.
    – elsadek
    Apr 1 at 18:36
  • If the used router has vulnerable services running that are only accessible from the internal network then Wifi access would allow to take over the router.
    – Robert
    Apr 1 at 19:57

3 Answers 3

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What exactly can someone do if they know your Wifi password?

A lot of things. Depending on how your network is configured, it could be like having an attacker having wired access to an Ethernet LAN. If your network does not allow client to client traffic, the attacker usually can talk only to the router and won't receive traffic from other computers. If the router does not allow administration access from the wireless network, the attacker can do pretty little on the network.

Can they only see which sites you visit or can they do more?

It depends on your network. Usually an attacker will not even be able to see the sites you access. Even if client-to-client is enabled (usually is) and the attacker uses ARP-spoofing to redirect all IP traffic to his computer, most sites today will use TLS and he will not be able to see what you are seeing. DNS traffic is in clear, and the DNS requests could be viewed by the attacker.

Are they able to hack(router) and do malicious things with your router just by knowing the password?

They can infer the router make and model, and depending on the configuration of the router they can attack the router. If the router have a default password, or vulnerabilities allowing unauthenticated command execution, they can change router settings. You could protect your router by not allowing connection from the wireless interface, only from the wired interface. This is a setting almost every wireless router have but are disabled by default on the majority of the routers I used.

Is it possible to send a virus through the wifi to the router?

Possible? Yes. But not needed. A hacker that have access to the router via wifi will be able to bruteforce the login. Depending on your password, they can access the administration panels without a virus.

Also can a hacker tell what kind of router you are using just by knowing your wifi password and loging into your wifi?

It depends on your settings, but generally they can. The router must tell every client the default gateway and network mask by using DHCP, and the attacker can use this information to probe the router. If wireless access is enabled, the attacker can download the login page, send incorrect data, and identify the router by the messages returned.

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  • "If your network does not allow client to client traffic, the attacker usually can talk only to the router and won't receive traffic from other computers.": If the Wifi network is using WPA-PSK or WPA-SAE (without SAE-PK), the attacker can actually try to impersonate the AP. By doing so it could definitely talk to other devices connected using Wifi.
    – ysdx
    Jun 3 at 22:58
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What exactly can someone do if they know your Wifi password?

They can access your local network, i.e., your home network that all your home devices (the devices connected to that same wifi router) are on.

Can they only see which sites you visit or can they do more?

They can do much more. For example, they can scan all the machines connected to the WiFi (including the router itself) and look for vulnerabilities, etc.

Also can a hacker tell what kind of router you are using just by knowing your wifi password and loging [sic] into your wifi?

Likely yes, since your router is likely listening on 192.168.1.1 (or similar) and will likely display an admin page with a bunch of identifying information when you connect to that IP with a web browser.

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  • Your answer lacks lot of details. The OP asks for risks if someone knows the WIFI password so to access the network, does open WIFI in public spaces presents actual risk to connected people ?
    – elsadek
    Apr 1 at 18:59
  • @elsadek if you have a question, you should post it as a question not a comment.
    – hft
    Apr 1 at 19:02
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    If you an unsatisfied with this answer, then post your own answer.
    – hft
    Apr 1 at 19:03
  • at least give context or conditions under which the risks you listed could take place.
    – elsadek
    Apr 1 at 19:39
  • @elsadek I am answering the OP's question as I understand it, and as I understand OP's question I believe that my answer (together with OP's question) already provides enough context and conditions. I really have no idea what you are trying to get at--I just don't understand your complaint about my answer... This is why I suggest you just write your own answer.
    – hft
    Apr 1 at 19:55
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If you are using WPA 2 Personal, then there are attacks against the network that can be performed if a hacker can get onto the network, that is if they have someones WiFi password on the WiFi network. I don't know if that would be an attack against the router, but definitely an attack against all other users on the network. Don't know if this is true for WPA 3 Personal, and WPA 2 Enterprise prevents certain types of attacks. So if a company has 500 users on their network and one gives their password to a hacker, that doesn't put the other 499 at risk if they use WPA 2 Enterprise. Of course there can always be other attacks.

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