Let's say that hypothetically someone had broken into a WiFi connection. We can't find any evidence of whom it is via sniffing the traffic or anything of the sort.

Is there any way to triangulate where the connection is coming from and find the general location of the wireless signal?


It is theoretically feasible, although normally used in the other direction by portable devices like the iPad: the device works out its own position with regards to WiFi access points which are in range. In your case, you would have to triangulate for the signals of all systems which emit packets on your WiFi, since you do not know which one is the culprit.

I don't know of any off-the-shelf software or tool which would work in your context (localization of a WiFi user, not of an access point) -- but that does not mean that such tools do not exist.

Of course, nothing can be done for a passive only attacker. To find someone based on the WiFi signal that person emits, well, a WiFi signal has to be emitted by that person.

  • The thing about "passive attackers" is a slight simplification. There are some emissions from receivers, yet it generally takes a lot of money to buy high-grade, high sensitivity scanner hardware (usually sold to gov & mil customers), and being in the close vicinity to detect the listener. – Deer Hunter Mar 12 '13 at 19:41
  • That's extremely useful. I need to look into it some more really as there's not much room left for choice when finding the culprit. If they had spoofed their MAC and had not let out any evidence of whom they were in their traffic, how else could you find who/where they are? – Jack Mar 12 '13 at 19:43
  • @Jack - depends on the resources you have and the value of data exchanged through the WiFi link. Check the insiders first, narrow down the list of possible offenders, but do this together with the security staff of your outfit. – Deer Hunter Mar 12 '13 at 19:56

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