Hack Wifi with a PC in 4 Easy Steps

How to hack wifi with a PC? Learn more in this detailed article that explains how hackers can crack a Wi-Fi password with WPS and Reaver

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If you want to hack wifi with a PC, this guide is for you. It will tell you how this can be done and how to protect yourself. Of course, there are many ways a hacker may want to hack wifi his computer, but most notably he wants to surf the Internet for free or get access to some private information about the owner of the wifi network. So, in this gude, we will see how an hacker can hack wifi with a PC.

Big disclaimer time before we dive into the guide. We will discuss some basic techniques used by hackers to try to get access to Wi-Fi networks. However, this is just for demonstration and for defensive measures. We do not sponsor nor encourage any activity that may be against the law or ethics, no matter your jurisdiction. You are responsible of your own actions.

Hack Wifi with a PC

Hack Wifi using Windows, not Linux

There are tons of tools and script that hackers use to hack the wifi network of their neighbours. However, most of them are on Linux systems such as Ubuntu or Debian. This means, if you are on a Windows computer, you might be out of luck. In this guide on how to hack wifi with a PC, we will specifically focus on Windows instead.

The reason for this is that most people still use Windows and there are not many guides covering this aspect of technology from the Windows’ user perspective. We know that, for some reason or another, you may need to use Windows and cannot switch to Linux because some of your programs just won’t run there. So, today, we focus on hack wifi using a Windows’ PC.

Wifi comes in different flavors, and this means different types of wifi will require different types of hacks. In this guide, we won’t see them all. Instead, we will focus on what hackers are most likely to use considering the most recent security standards. Before we dive into hack wifi with a PC body of the guide, let’s just review the wireless terms you need to know.

Wifi Jargon for Hackers

Before we can start to discuss how to hack wifi, it is important that you understand some of the key terms on this technology. Starting with the basics, a Wi-Fi network is a set of devices that can communicate with one another because they are connected to a Wi-Fi router. They can also communicate to the router, and hence to the Internet as well.

This brings us to the next important term, Wi-Fi router. The router is a device that “routes” traffic, that is, it takes communication coming from a device and redirect it somewhere. Most home routers just redirect it to the Internet because they have no other place to go. A router is not necessarily something related to wireless, in fact service providers are full of routers that have nothing to do with Wi-Fi. However, in the case of a home or small office setup, you will have one router that takes care of both propagating signal over the air, and then forwarding incoming traffic to the Internet.

How does a router propagate the Wi-Fi network over the air? It does that thanks to a Wi-Fi SSID, or Service Set Identifier. This is the name of the Wi-Fi network, the one you see on your phone when you look at the list of networks available. Each SSID propagates across a set of channels, which can be seen as lane in a highway. The idea is you may have multiple SSID active at the same time (also coming from different routers), and so each can use a different channel to avoid or limit interferences.

Wi-Fi SSIDs will have some security features to prevent people from just logging in. The current standard is WPA2, which is the recommended encryption mechanism. With this mechanism, if you don’t know the password you can’t connect to the network and have no possibility of even “listening” to the traffic, because it is encrypted.

There are other security mechanisms that have been considered deprecated now. WPA for example was the predecessor of WPA2, and a different technology is WEP, which can easily and reliably be cracked. If you have a WEP network, you can crack it 100%. However, since most networks are not WEP, we won’t cover that in our guide on hack wifi with a PC.

Finally, it is crucial to mention the WPS, or Wi-Fi Protected Setup. This is a feature of most modern routers that allows you, by pressing a button on the router, to let a device connect without having to insert the password on that device. This feature is vulnerable, and this is what hackers leverage to get into your Wi-Fi. If this feature is enabled, most likely there is a way in.

Reaver WPS

Reaver WPS is a command-line tool that you can use to hack wifi with a PC. Most specifically, it is a tool that targets the WPS on a network of your choice and tries to use that to breach into the network. Since most networks run on WPA2, the best way to hack them is to attempt a WPS hack, and this is why we are going to use this tool in this guide.

To hack wifi with a PC, you wil need a router to target
Most routers that have a WPS feature are vulnerable to attacks and their password can be found.

Of course, Reaver WPS is free to use, and anyone can download it. However, it runs only on Linux by default. But fear no more, we can run “Ubuntu on Windows” to run reaver WPS, and we will show you exactly how to do it.

Ubuntu on Windows

Starting with Windows 10, Windows is offering the possibility of running Ubuntu inside Windows. More specifically, you don’t need to create and run any virtual machine with Hyper-V or VMware. Instead, you can just install Ubuntu as an app from the Windows Store, and then run it.

We will use this feature of Windows to install Reaver WPS and proceed with cracking a Wi-Fi network. Just check out the next part of the tutorial on how to hack wifi with a PC to see how we do it.

Tutorial: Hack Wifi with a PC (Windows or Ubuntu)

1. Install Ubuntu on Windows

If you already have Ubuntu or any Linux distro, either as standalone computer, VM, or installed on Windows, you can skip to the next step. Instead, if you need to install Ubuntu on Windows continue reading here. You will need at least Windows 10.

First, you need to activate the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). This allows you to install any Linux image on Windows. To do that, just open PowerShell as administrator and run the following command.

wsl --install

This will install Linux with the default distribution that Windows suggests. If you want a different distribution, you can use the -d flag.

More information on this can be found in the official Microsoft website.

2. Install Reaver WPS

Once you have installed Ubuntu, or any other Linux Distro on your Windows PC, you can open it from the start panel (just search Ubuntu). The first time, you will be asked for some configuration. Once this is complete, you will enter the Ubuntu terminal.

From here, you can install Reaver WPS with the following commands. Note that we are also installing Aircrack.

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install aircrack-ng
sudo apt install reaver

It will ask your Linux administrative password that you set up when configuring Linux (it has nothing to do with the Windows’ password). After this, it will download and install reaver, it will only take a couple seconds.

Wonderful! You are now ready to hack wifi with a PC.

3. Find a Wi-Fi Network that is WPS Vulnerable

The next step will be to find a network that is vulnerable to WPS attacks. Doing so is very easy, because Reaver WPS comes with a powerful “wash” command. Before running this command, we may want to elevate ourselves to root as most of those commands requires root privilege.

Let’s do the following command and insert our password just for that.

sudo su

Now, we can run this command. The “mon0” part relates to which wireless interface to use to monitor. Most computers have only one, and since numbering start with zero it is “mon0”.

wash -i mon0

This command will present with a list of networks vulnerable to WPS attack. Each is identified by a MAC address, a 12-digit hexadecimal identifier. Hexadecimal means each digit has 16 values, from 0 to 9 and then from A to F (A represents 10, F represents 15). In the list, you are looking for networks that have “WPS locked” column set to no, as they are much easier to break.

Once you find the network you want to hack, note down the MAC address (SSID). You will need it in the next step.

4. Launching an Attack

This is how hackers really hack wifi with a PC. They just launch reaver with a command like the one below. Of course, replace the MAC address with the one you see in your network (that you got in the previous step).

reaver -i mon0 -c 6 -b 00:23:69:12:34:56  -vv -L -N -d 15 -T .5 -r 3:15

Here, we are providing various flags. Let’s explain them:

  • i mon0 we tell that the interface is mon0, the one we used to discover vulnerable networks in the previous step. This is required.
  • -c 6 is the Wi-Fi channel to use, we use 6 in this case because it is a widely used channel.
  • -b 00:23:69:12:34:56 tells reaver to hack the network that has this SSID MAC address. This is required.
  • -vv makes the output verbose, showing us what is going on.
  • -L allows us to ignore the locked WPS state
  • -N prevents from sending NACK messages when out of order packets are received. Normally in Wi-Fi, when you receive a malformed message you send a notification to the sender’s device. This flag prevents this from happening, useful to stay undetected.
  • d 15 Delay between attempts in seconds, in this case 15. This also helps stay undetected.
  • -T .5 the timeout to attempt cracking MD5/MD7, set to half a second in this case.
  • -r 3:15 pause for 3 seconds every 15 attempts, this is also useful to remain undetected.

The attack will take many hours to complete. In the end, it will just provide with the WPS PIN, Password (PSK), and Wi-Fi SSID name. You can now connect to this network, even if it s a hidden network!

Hack Wifi with a PC in Summary

If you are in a hurry, ensure you have a Linux distro available (also on Windows’ Subsystem is fine), and then run the following commands to get going.

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install aircrack-ng
sudo apt install reaver
sudo su
wash -i mon0

At this point, take note of the SSID you want to hack (the MAC address comprised of 16 0-9/A-F digits). Then, use it in the following command.

reaver -i mon0 -c 6 -b 00:23:69:12:34:56  -vv -L -N -d 15 -T .5 -r 3:15

Wait for a couple hours or even a day or so leaving the command to run. Then come back, and you will see the password. To move faster, you can reduce the delay between attempt and the sleeping period.

Now that you hacked Wi-Fi, what do you do next? Well, if you are inside an hacked Wi-Fi network, you may want to learn how to hack IP addresses. Look no further, here is the guide to hack IP addresses.

Picture of Alessandro Maggio

Alessandro Maggio

Project manager, critical-thinker, passionate about networking & coding. I believe that time is the most precious resource we have, and that technology can help us not to waste it. I founded ICTShore.com with the same principle: I share what I learn so that you get value from it faster than I did.
Picture of Alessandro Maggio

Alessandro Maggio

Project manager, critical-thinker, passionate about networking & coding. I believe that time is the most precious resource we have, and that technology can help us not to waste it. I founded ICTShore.com with the same principle: I share what I learn so that you get value from it faster than I did.

Alessandro Maggio


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