Origin of the term "War Driving".
The term "War Driving" came from the days of dial up connections where users would use programs to dial large amounts of phone numbers to try and find active ( and usually unsecure ) modems to connect to. Usually it was used to hide their real identity from someone trying to track them, much like a how proxy server works today. Or to simply gain access to random routers.
What War Driving is today.
Today War Driving is when someone uses a laptop or netbook/other device to gain access to secure, and insecure wireless access points. This is commonly done inside a car, but can be done with a bicycle or simply while walking. Some people get more advance than others using detailed maps to determine where networks are, and how strong they are.
Why do people War Drive?
People War Drive for a variety of reasons from password stealing to just having fun. We will go over some of the most popular reasons.
1. Password stealing: Normally done by sniffing wireless traffic for unencrypted password http,ftp,telnet. Encrypted password can be sniffed, but require extra work to decrypt. Another common way to steal passwords is to do a high tech version of phishing where you simply spoof the website to obtain the login credentials. The difference between this and normal phishing is that the target is completely unaware that anything has changed, and since they went to the url themselves they trust it.
2. Gathering information: This is very straight forward you sniff the network for computer names, or emails sent unencrypted through the network.
3. To further hide your identity: The easiest way to track someone after they attack a system is by the I.P address that was used. Now through proxies you can make that very difficult to find, but it can still be found. The use of someone elses wireless if done properly makes tracing something to the true culprit incredibly difficult. Especially if the mac address is spoofed properly, and proxies are used.
4. Need: Sometimes people just can't afford internet, and this is the easiest way for them to obtain it. These people are normally casual War Drivers merely searching out networks when they have the need.
5. Fun: Some people find it fun to document where wireless access points are, and are just fascinated by how many there are. Some can find cracking into the networks more fun than documenting them.
How to get started:
Well the great thing about War Driving is all you need is a device capable of connecting to a wi-fi network to begin. Now if you choose to get more into it ( cracking secure networks, or sniffing passwords etc.) You will need specific hardware, a laptop with a powerful wireless card, and Backtrack 3/4. Even with those demands War Driving is still a relatively cheap hobby.
Now after you have your hardware why not begin with your own neighborhood? Make a map of your neighborhood and wireless access points that you can find, and their relative strengths. After a few hours you can have a very detailed map of your own neighborhood!
The legal side of War Driving.
The laws associated with War Driving are very sketchy. Very few people if any have been arrested for War Driving where it is technically illegal to hack someones wireless network where merely monitoring its location is legal. The reason most people recommend MAC spoofing is because of how sketchy the laws are. They can turn nothing into something, but if you are remotely careful you will never get caught on minor businesses or houses. So I wouldn't let the fear of getting caught stop you from War Driving, and missing out on this fantastic hobby.
--Whitehaze 09:16, 22 April 2011 (UTC)