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I've been wondering about this scenario for a while but I cannot fully understand how it works.

Say I am sitting in a cafe on my laptop with wireshark, the cafe has an open WiFi connection. Is it possible for my laptop to become a wireless access point (i will call it something similar to the cafe router) but then redirect all traffic going through my laptop to the actual cafe router as my router is not connected to the internet.

This may help:

Normal route: users ---> Cafe AP ---> Internet

What I want to do: users ---> Fake AP ---> Cafe AP ----> Internet

The part I am confused on is how to make my fake AP redirect all traffic to the cafe AP.

Thinking about it, is it possible to connect to the Cafe AP and simply sniff in promiscuous mode to receive packets from all who are connected?

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Yes you could do this with ARP Spoofing.

The part I am confused on is how to make my fake AP redirect all traffic to the cafe AP.

The software you are running should forward on all packets to the real access point after interception.

Thinking about it, is it possible to connect to the Cafe AP and simply sniff in promiscuous mode to receive packets from all who are connected?

Yes (or in Monitor Mode), although you'll probably need a USB wifi dongle, as most laptop built in Wifi adapters don't support these modes.

  • would I be correct in saying that purchasing an adapter capable of capturing packets in promiscuous mode is a better option than the first due to the fact I would be able to capture all packets whereas with the fake AP the packets would depend on whoever connected? – user2263800 Jun 3 '14 at 15:05
  • @user2263800 With ARP spoofing you are on the same network as the real AP, but you are spoofing the gateway (so you'll capture the traffic of people that have connected to the real AP). Using the adapter would be a passive approach and you would not be sending packets to the network yourself, but you would effectively be in read-only mode (sniffing but no alteration of packets). – SilverlightFox Jun 3 '14 at 15:10
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You're looking for "Forward Proxy", but the whole idea is very questionable: most likely you would need two NICs for such task - one inbound and another outbound. I haven't meet a device which would be able to simultaneously be a source of a network and be connected to another on a same network interface.

How is it related to security is also to be determined: if you worry for other person sniffing on you with such scenario: "Don't trust open networks" is rule of thumb and sensitive information just not supposed to be transferred unencrypted even if you're owner of network. If you want to sniff on someone like that. Well, it's really easier to just share your internet connection to anyone, but alsom not advisable as in some countries it is a criminal act.

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    Airbase-ng allow you to create a fake AP on a virtual interface (at0). Simultaniously, you can connect to the real network using the parent/main interface. This way you can be both client and AP, with the same physical interface. – Dog eat cat world Jun 3 '14 at 15:22
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You would also want to direct your traffic. DNS Spoofing ( https://github.com/DanMcInerney/dnsspoof ) with DHCP may be an option.

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Its quite easy to conduct a MITM attack in a wireless network. As mentioned above you will need two network adapters: one to let clients connect to you and another on which to connect to the actual AP.

Different strategies can be adopted:

  • Frame forwarding at L2: You'll need to put the interfaces in monitor mode and arrange for frames received on one interface to be injected on the other. Beacons and ACKs will need special handling.
  • Packet forwarding L3: You'll need to have one interface in client mode, the other in master mode and will have forward packets from one to the other.

There are several tools out there that can help and devices like the WiFi Pineapple are purpose-designed for the task.

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