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Kismet Readme
Kismet 2011-01-R1
Mike Kershaw

1.  What is Kismet
2.  Upgrading from earlier versions
3.  Quick start
4.  Suidroot & security
5.  Capture sources
6.  Caveats & quirks for specific drivers
7.  Supported capture sources
8.  Plugins
9.  GPS
10. Logging
11. Filtering
12. Alerts & IDS
13. Server configuration options
14. Kismet UI
15. Kismet drones
16. Talking to Kismet
17. Troubleshooting
18. Frequently asked questions

1.  What is Kismet

    Kismet is an 802.11 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion
    detection system.  Kismet will work with any wireless card which
    supports raw monitoring mode, and can sniff 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g,
    and 802.11n traffic (devices and drivers permitting).

    Kismet also sports a plugin architecture allowing for additional
    non-802.11 protocols to be decoded.

    Kismet identifies networks by passively collecting packets and detecting
    networks, which allows it to detect (and given time, expose the names
    of) hidden networks and the presence of non-beaconing networks via data

2a. Upgrading from recent versions

    2009-06-R1 has changed some basic behavior when using multi-vap capable
    devices (ie, modern in-kernel Linux drivers).  Whenever possible, it
    will create a new VAP and reconfigure it, instead of modifying the
    existing interface.  To preserve the old behavior, specify
    'forcevap=false' on the source line.

2b. Upgrading from Kismet-old versions

    This release marks a MAJOR change in how Kismet works and is configured.
    While many aspects are similar, many others (the client, configuring
    sources and channels, etc) are very different.  

    To take advantage of the new features, replace your existing
    configuration files with the latest configuration data.
    Most notably:
     * Sources are defined differently.  See the "Capture Sources" section.
     * All UI configuration is handled inside the Kismet client and stored
       in the users home directory in ~/.kismet/kismet_ui.conf
     * Most situations which were previously fatal conditions which caused
       Kismet to exit can now be recovered from.
     * New filtering options
     * New alert options
     * Completely new UI
     * Revamped network protocol
     * Significantly less CPU used for high numbers of networks
     * Plugins

     While this release breaks almost everything from previous releases, it
     opens the door for smoother upgrades and major feature enhancements.

3.  Quick start

    PLEASE read the full manual, but for the impatient, here is the BARE
    MINIMUM needed to get Kismet working:

    * Download Kismet from
    * Run "./configure".  Pay attention to the output!  If Kismet cannot
      find all the headers and libraries it needs, major functionality may
      be missing.  Most notably, compiling Kismet yourself will require
      the development packages and headers, usually called foo-dev or
    * Make sure that all the functionality you need was enabled properly in
      configure.  Almost all users will need pcap and libnl support for
      proper operation.
    * Compile Kismet with "make".
    * Install Kismet with either "make install" or "make suidinstall".
    * If you have installed Kismet as suid-root, add your user to the
      "kismet" group

    * Run "kismet".  If you did not install Kismet with suid-root support,
      you need to start it as root in nearly all situations.  This is not
      recommended as it is less secure than privsep mode, where packet
      processing is segregated from admin rights.
    * When prompted to start the Kismet server, choose "Yes"
    * When prompted to add a capture interface, add your wireless interface.
      In nearly all cases, Kismet will autodetect the device type and
      supported channels.  If it does not, you will have to manually define
      the capture type (as explained later in this README)
    * Logs will be stored in the directory you started Kismet from, unless
      changed via the "logprefix" config file or "--log-prefix" startup

    * READ THE REST OF THIS README.  Kismet has a lot of features and a lot
      of configuration options, to get the most out of it you should read
      all of the documentation.

3b.  Windows quick start

    * Note, at the time of this writing, the updated CACE install is not yet
    * available, so users wishing to take advantage of the newcore
    * functionality will need to build Kismet themselves in Cygwin

    Using the CACE Package:

    * Download the Win32/Cygwin installer created by CACE and linked from
      the download page (
    * Run the installer
    * Start Kismet
    * Pick your AirPcap or Kismet Drone sources


    Compiling it yourself:

    * Download the Cygwin setup tool (
    * Install Cygwin with make, GCC, libncurses, libncurses-dev
    * Download the Airpcap_Devpack from CACE Support
    * Put Airpcap_Devpack and Libpcap_Devpack in the kismet source directory
    * Run "./configure", adding the options:
        --with-airpcap-devpack=... --with-winpcap-devpack=...
      The airpcap/winpcap devpack is available from the CACE website.
      Due to bugs in Cygwin, it appears that the airpcap and winpcap
      directories must be inside the kismet source directory.  If they are
      not, the Kismet binary will immediately exit with no output.
    * Compile Kismet with "make".
    * Install Kismet with "make install"


3c.  OSX/Darwin quick start

    * Please note:  Many have complained that iTerm does not send correct
      key events.  However, appears to work fine, and is
      recommended for using Kismet.

    * Download Kismet from
    * Run "./configure".  Pay attention to the output!  If Kismet cannot
      find all the headers and libraries it needs, major functionality may
      be missing.  Notably, you may need to install libpcap manually.

      The libpcap included with OSX does not support PPI logging.  Kismet
      will not be able to log to PPI correctly (so it will log 802.11
      packets with no per-packet headers.)

      Configure will automatically detect OSX and default to the group
      "staff" for OSX suidinstall.  This may be overridden with the
      '--with-suidgroup' configure option.

    * Compile Kismet with "make".
    * Install Kismet with either "make install" or "make suidinstall".
    * If you have installed Kismet as suid-root, add your user to the
      "staff" group if it is not already.

    * Run "kismet".  If you did not install Kismet with suid-root support,
      you need to start it as root in nearly all situations.  This is not
      recommended as it is less secure than privsep mode, where packet
      processing is segregated from admin rights.
    * When prompted to start the Kismet server, choose "Yes"
    * When prompted to add a capture interface, add your wireless interface.
      In nearly all cases, Kismet will autodetect the device type and
      supported channels.  If it does not, you will have to manually define
      the capture type (as explained later in this README)

      For many Macs, this will be 'en1', however start a terminal and check
      the output of "ifconfig -a".

      The wireless interface must be enabled in the wireless control panel
      for Kismet to work, otherwise it will not find any networks.

      Kismet currently ONLY works with the Airport wireless devices, NOT USB
    * Logs will be stored in the directory you started Kismet from, unless
      changed via the "logprefix" config file or "--log-prefix" startup


4.  Suidroot & Security

    In order to configure the wireless card for monitor mode and start
    capturing packets, Kismet needs root access.  There are two ways to
    accomplish this:  Start Kismet as root, or install it so that the
    control components are set to start as root.

    Starting Kismet as root means that Kismet will continue running as root.
    In theory this presents no additional risk, however if there are any
    flaws in the Kismet packet dissection code then it may be possible for a
    malicious packet to cause code execution as root.  Additionally,
    third-party plugins will run as root, and may not be secure.

    Installing Kismet as suid-root creates a limited-functionality binary
    (kismet_capture) which is only launchable by members of the "kismet"
    group.  Kismet uses this to configure cards and control the channels,
    while packet decoding happens only in the user component, significantly
    limiting the attack surface.

    Distributions are strongly encouraged to use this method as it allows
    standard group controls for what users can use Kismet to change card

    Embedded systems typically have much less storage space and RAM, and
    often do not enforce user/root separation as strictly due to these
    limitations.  On embedded systems, Kismet may be installed without the
    kismet_capture binary and run in root mode only, however the above
    risks still apply.

    Under no situation should the kismet_server binary itself be set
    suidroot as this will bypass any security checks.

5.  Capture sources

    All packets in Kismet come from a capture source.  Capture sources are
    typically network cards on the local system, however they can also be a
    previously recorded file or a remote capture system running a Kismet

    Kismet will, in most cases, autodetect the driver and supported channels
    for a capture source given only the network interface.  For many users
    this will be sufficient, however many expanded options are available for
    capture sources.

    Kismet captures packets at the 802.11 layer.  This requires changing the
    mode of the network interface, making it unavailable for normal use.  In
    most cases it is not possible to remain associated to a wireless network
    while running Kismet on the same interface.

    Capture sources may be added via the Kismet UI under the "Add Source"
    option, in which case the options may be added under the "Options:"
    field, comma separated.  They may also be defined in the kismet.conf
    configuration file as the "ncsource=" option, such as:

    Source options:
      name=foo          Custom name for the source (otherwise it will be
                         named the same as the capture interface).  This is
                         completely arbitrary and meaningful only to the
      type=foo          Sources which can not autodetect the type must have
                         the type specified.  This is rarely necessary.
                         Additional information on supported source types
      uuid=foo          Users wishing a static unique identifier on sources
                         may specify one here.  This is not necessary for
                         most users.  UUID is of the format:
      hop=true|false    Disable channel hopping on this source.  Default
                         behavior is for channel sources to hop channels to
                         cover the entire spectrum.  
      velocity=#        Channel hop velocity (number of channels per
                         second), Kismet can hop 1-10 channels per second.
      dwell=#           Channel dwell time, the number of seconds Kismet
                         will wait on each channel.  If hopping is enabled
                         and a channel dwell time is specified, Kismet will
                         hop at N seconds per channel, instead of N channels
                         per second.
      channellist=name  Use an alternate channel list instead of the
                         autodetected list of channels supported by this
                         interface.  The channellist must be defined.
      split=true|false  When multiple sources use the same channel list
                         (either autodetected or by the channellist= option)
                         Kismet will split them so that they do not cover the
                         same channels at the same time.  Sources can be 
                         forced to ignore this and begin hopping at the
                         beginning of the channel list regardless of overlap.
      retry=true|false  Kismet will attempt to re-open a capture source
                         which has encountered an error.  This behavior can
                         be disabled if the user wants the source to remain
      vap=interface     Create a secondary named interface for capture
                         instead of trying to change the mode of the
                         existing interface.  This is primarily only for use
                         by drivers using the mac80211 interface under
                         Linux.  Users wishing to do Kismet+Managed or
                         Kismet+Injection should create a vap.
      forcevap=t|f      True/False.  Force creation of a monitor-mode VAP
                         when possible (all Linux mac80211 based drivers
                         support this).  Default is "true", a VAP will be
                         made of the name 'mon', ie 'wlan0mon',
                         'wlan1mon' and capture will be done with this VAP.
                         This behavior can be forced OFF with
      wpa_scan=time     When using a mac80211 VAP, Kismet can use
                         wpa_supplicant on a managed interface to trigger
                         hardware assisted scans, enabling some view of the
                         rest of the spectrum without significantly
                         disrupting operation of the managed VAP.  Suggested
                         time for scan intervals is 15 seconds.
      validatefcs=t|f   True/False.  Kismet normally will not bother trying
                         to validate the FCS checksum of incoming packets
                         because most drivers only report valid frames in
                         the first place.  Packet sources which report
                         invalid frames by default will enable this option
                         automatically.  If the drivers have been manually
                         configured to report invalid packets, this should
                         be specified to prevent Kismet from processing
                         broken packets.
      fcs=true|false    Force handling of FCS bytes on a packet source.
                         Default is "false", which implies "native FCS
                         handling".  Packet sources which include per-packet
                         headers like radiotap or PPI will ignore this value
                         as the FCS is encoded in the radio header.  Packet
                         sources such as pcapfile, reading raw 802.11 pcap
                         files with no headers, may need this turned on for
                         proper behavior.
      fcsfail=true      Force a mac80211 VAP to report packets with a known
                         bad FCS (packet checksum).  This is only available
                         on Linux and only when using mac80211 drivers.
                         This MUST come after a 'vap=' option or it will be
                         ignored.  Enabling 'fcsfail' will enable
                         'validatefcs' automatically.  The 'fcsfail' option 
                         should only be enabled when logging to PPI; Logging
                         to normal PCAP will not preserve the FCS data and
                         will produce unreadable output.
                         WARNING:  With some driver versions, enabling this
                         seems to cause kernel OOPS warnings and the
                         interface will become unresponsive if capture is
                         stopped and resume.  This option is for specific
                         expert use only, when in doubt, leave it alone.
      plcpfail=true     Force a mac80211 VAP to report packets which do not
                         pass the PLCP check (if possible on that
                         interface).  The same warnings and conditions as
                         'fcsfail' apply.  This option is for specific,
                         expert use only, when in doubt, leave it alone.

    Example sources (these are given as config file parameters, however they
    will work equally well as command-line options, ie "-c wlan0"):
      Capture on wlan0, channel 6, don't channel hop

      Capture on wlan0, 802.11b channels only even if it supports 5GHz

      Create a VAP on wlan0 named wlan0mon and use wpa_supplicant to
      give us some view of other channels, while remaining associated to a

      Read from a pre-recorded pcap file:

      Capture using the first Airpcap device on Windows

      Capture using a remote capture drone

    Channel lists:

    Channel lists control the channels and patterns hopped to by capture
    sources in Kismet, when the channels can not be autodetected (or when
    the user wishes to override them for some reason).  The default channel
    lists (IEEE80211b, IEEE80211a, and IEEE80211ab) are used only when a
    channel list is not provided by the driver, so should not be changed in
    most cases.

    When the channel list is automatically created from the channels
    supported by the driver, the preferredchannels= option will control
    which channels are weighted for extra time.  By setting this to channels
    known to be defaults (such as 1, 6, 11) or channels with known networks
    of interest (such as in a stationary install), Kismet will devote more
    time to those channels to gather more information.  For more complex
    channel timing, keep reading about how channel lists work.

    Channels can typically be specified as IEEE channels (11, 36, etc) 
    or as frequencies (2401, 5200) however some platforms and drivers may
    not support specifying channels or frequencies out of the IEEE standard


    Additionally, individual channels in the list can be weighted so that
    more time is spent on them; for a weighting value of 3, 3x more time is
    spent on that channel.


    Up to 256 channels may be specified in a channel list.  For greater
    numbers of channels, a range must be specified.

    Ranges may consist of channels or of frequencies.


    Channels between start and end, at a given iteration.  Kismet will not hop
    directly between channels that overlap.


    A similar range using frequencies (802.11 2.4GHz channels are ~20MHz
    wide; technically 22 but 20 suffices, and 5 MHz apart).


    Ranges are NOT split between sources.  Multiple sources hopping on the
    same channel list which includes a range will not split the expanded
    range - in other words, channel ranges are treated as a single channel

    Multiple ranges can be specified in a single channel list, separated by
    commas.  They may also be mixed with channels:


6.  Caveats and quirks for specific drivers:

    Mac80211 General (Linux):

      At the time of this release, the mac80211 drivers in Linux are
      undergoing significant development, which means at any given time they
      can exhibit extremely odd behavior or be outright broken.  Users are
      encouraged to upgrade to the latest kernel, and to consider installing
      the compat-wireless backport package, if problems are experienced.

    Madwifi (Linux):

      Madwifi-ng has been largely deprecated by ath5k/ath9k for normal
      usage.  These drivers support multi-vap more cleanly via the mac80211
      layer and do not, typically, have the same problems historically
      present in madwifi.  
      Madwifi-ng sources can be specified as either the VAP (ath0, mon0,
      etc) or as the control interface (wifi0, wifi1).  However, IF THE
      CONTROL INTERFACE IS SPECIFIED, Kismet cannot extract the list of
      supported channels, and will default to IEEE80211b channels.

      Madwifi-ng continues to have problems with multi-vap and initial vap
      creation.  It is recommended that the initial VAP creation be turned off
      by the module parameter "autocreate=none" when loading ath_pci.  If the
      madwifi monitor vap stops reporting packets soon after being created,
      this is often the cause.

      Combining managed and monitor VAPs appears to still not work well.

    RT28xx (Linux)

      There are 2 drivers for the RT28xx chipsets.  The in-kernel driver
      available as of Linux-2.6.31 works properly with Kismet.  This is by
      far the preferred driver to use.  Be sure to enable the RT28xx driver
      in the wireless drivers section, NOT the staging driver.  The staging
      driver is not mac80211 based and will not necessarily behave.

      The out-of-kernel driver does not conform to mac80211 controls.
      This driver also cannot be auto-detected (they don't provide a valid 
      identifier in /sys) so the driver type mus be manually specified with 
      'type=rt2870sta' on the source line.

      This driver defaults to the name 'rausbX' which exposes a bug in some
      versions of libpcap and may require the device be renamed (See
      'Troubleshooting' section)

    rt73-k2wrlz (Linux)

      An out-of-tree rt73 driver similar to rt2870sta.  It may be necessary
      to specify a type of 'rt73' manually when using this driver.

      This driver defaults to the name 'rausbX' which exposes a bug in some
      versions of libpcap and may require the device be renamed (See
      'Troubleshooting' section)

    WL (Linux, Intel)

      Broadcom has released a binary version of their drivers called WL.
      These drivers are incapable of monitor mode, and cannot be used with
      Kismet.  Kismet will attempt to autodetect them and report this to the 
      user.  Users of Broadcom cards should use the b43 or b43xx in-kernel

    OTUS (Linux)

      Atheros released a driver for the 802.11n USB devices; however, this
      does not have support for monitor mode and cannot be used with Kismet.
      The ar9170 driver project is providing mac80211 kernel support for
      this card, and works with Kismet.  ar9170 has been merged with the
      wireless-git development kernel and should be present in the
      compat-wireless packages.

    Nokia ITT (Linux)

      For any chance of Kismet working on the Nokia ITT, the scan interval
      must be set to zero in the Nokia system control panel, connectivity
      section.  It should be disconnected from any network, but wireless
      must be turned on.

      The Nokia drivers often return FCS-invalid packets.  The Nokia source
      line should include 'fcs=true,validatefcs=true' to prevent these from
      creating multiple false networks out of invalid packets.

      The Nokia device does not autodetect properly, a driver type of
      'nokia770', 'nokia800', 'nokia810', or 'nokiaitt' must be set.
      'nokiaitt' is a generic source which should work on any Nokia ITT

    Orinoco (Linux)

      Due to problems in monitor mode with newer firmwares, the Orinoco kernel
      drivers have disabled monitor mode for newer/"modern" firmware versions
      in the Orinoco cards.

      Kismet will attempt to use the device, but warn the user that it will
      probably fail.  Monitor support can be forced on in the module via the
      module parameter "force_monitor=1" when loading orinoco.ko.

      For non-hermes chipsets like prism2, use hostap (also in the kernel).

    NDISWrapper (Linux)

      The NDIS-Wrapper driver loads Windows drivers into the Linux network
      stack.  These drivers are not capable of monitor mode, and will not
      work with Kismet.

      Note:  The rndis drivers are NOT the same as ndiswrapper.  rndis
      drivers are for a specific USB chipset and are not related to
      ndiswrapper, rndis will work.

    BSD (BSD Generic)

      Cards which work under the generic BSD framework for monitor mode with
      radiotap headers should work with Kismet via the source types
      "radiotap_bsd_ag", "radiotap_bsd_a", "radiotap_bsd_g", and
      "radiotap_bsd".  Channel detection and device type autodetection are
      currently not supported.


    Windows (Generic)


      The Airpcap has monitor mode drivers with a *public* interface for
      controlling them.  This is the only device Kismet can capture packets
      from on Windows.

    AirPcap (Windows)

      By default Kismet will open the first Airpcap device found.  Multiple
      devices can be opened by using the full named interface, which can be
      found in the AirPcap tools but follows the pattern \\.\airpcapXX ; The
      first device is \\.\airpcap00, the second is \\.\airpcap01, and so on.

    USB Devices (OSX)

      Only devices using the Airport IOKit drivers are supported on OSX.
      USB devices are, in general, not supported because the drivers lack
      monitor mode or a method to set the channel.

7.  Supported capture source types

    Capture source types are only required in specific situations where
    Kismet cannot detect the capture source type automatically.

    Linux Capture Sources:

      All modern drivers on Linux use the mac80211 driver framework.  Kismet
      will auto-detect any driver using this framework.  A generic source
      type 'mac80211' can be used for forcing a type, however it is not
      strictly useful to do so.

      adm8211           Kernel adm8211 driver
      acx100            Kernel acx100 driver
      hostap            Kernel prism2 driver
      ipw2100           Kernel Intel 2100 driver
      ipw2200           Kernel Intel 2200 driver
      ipw2915           Kernel Intel 2915 driver
      ipw3945           Kernel intel 3945 driver
      mac80211          Generic mac80211 catch-all source for any mac80211
      madwifi           Madwifi/Madwifi-ng
      madwifi_a         Alias for madwifi, default 802.11a channels
      madwifi_b         Alias for madwifi, default 802.11b/g channels
      madwifi_g         Alias for madwifi, default 802.11b/g channels
      madwifi_ag        Alias for madwifi, default 802.11abg channels
      nokia770          Conexant-based driver in Nokia Maemo tablets
      nokia800          Alias for nokia770
      nokia810          Alias for nokia770
      nokiaitt          Alias for nokia770

      pcapfile          Pcap-formatted previously recorded file
      rt2870sta         Out-of-kernel/Staging rt2870 11n driver (use
                         in-kernel instead)
      wl12xx            Patched wl12xx drivers for the N900, must use
                         patched drivers from,
                         otherwise autodetected.
      drone             Remote Kismet packet capture, source options
                        "host=..." and "port=..." are required.

    BSD Capture Sources:

      Currently, the BSD packet capture sources do not support autodetection
      or channel detection.

      Capture on BSD should work with any driver which supports monitor mode
      and which uses the standard BSD IOCTLs to set the mode and channel.

      Patches/Additional BSD support welcome.

      radiotap_bsd      Generic BSD capture source, default 802.11b/g channels
      radiotap_bsd_g    Default 802.11b/g channels
      radiotap_bsd_a    Default 802.11a channels
      radiotap_bsd_ag   Default 802.11abg channels

      pcapfile          Pcap-formatted previously recorded file
      drone             Remote Kismet packet capture, source options
                        "host=..." and "port=..." are required.

    Windows Capture Sources:

      SUPPORTED PLATFORM are supported under Windows.  NO OTHER DEVICES CAN

      airpcap           Airpcap generic source.  Will autodetect the channel
                        ranges.  Interface 'airpcap' will detect the first
                        airpcap device (ncsource=airpcap), interface paths
                        may be used to specify specific devices
      airpcap_ask       List available sources and ask which one to use.
                        Should NOT be used when launched by the Kismet UI.

      pcapfile          Pcap-formatted previously recorded file
      drone             Remote Kismet packet capture, source options
                        "host=..." and "port=..." are required.

    OSX/Macintosh Capture Sources:
      darwin            Any device controlled by the Airport IOKit drivers
                        under OSX.  Default 802.11b/g channels.

      pcapfile          Pcap-formatted previously recorded file
      drone             Remote Kismet packet capture, source options
                        "host=..." and "port=..." are required.
8.  Plugins

    Kismet plugins can do almost anything that the native Kismet process can
    do.  This includes extending the logging capability, adding IDS alerts,
    defining new capture sources (within some limitations), and adding new
    features to the Kismet UI.

    Plugins need access to the Kismet source (and configuration
    information) to compile, and should ALWAYS be recompiled when the 
    Kismet version changes (for those using Kismet-SVN development code, 
    this may require rebuilding plugins every time a checkout is done).

    Plugins bundled with Kismet (and third-party plugins extracted into the
    Kismet source dir) can be built with 'make plugins' and installed with
    'make plugins-install' or 'make plugins-userinstall'.  These commands
    will automatically configure the plugin to compile using the current
    Kismet source directory, for third-party plugins compiled outside of the
    tree (or for manually compiling plugins), the KIS_SRC_DIR variable must
    be set or the symlinks to the Kismet source must be set up properly (see
    the README for the plugin you are trying to compile for more

    Plugins for the Kismet server (capture and logging process) are loaded
    from the system-wide plugin directory (/usr/local/lib/kismet/ by
    default) or from the users Kismet settings directory

    When running Kismet with privilege separation enabled (installed
    kismet_capture as root), plugins are only loaded by the Kismet server
    process and not the root-level Kismet capture process, and plugins
    cannot perform tasks that require root privileges.

    When running Kismet without privilege separation (launching as root),
    plugins run with root privileges.  This is not recommended.

    Server plugins are only loaded when kismet.conf contains:

    Client plugins are loaded from the system-wide plugin directory
    (/usr/local/lib/kismet_client by default) or from the users Kismet
    settings directory (~/.kismet/client_plugins).

    The Kismet UI provides mechanisms for loading plugins (and specifying
    plugins to be loaded automatically on startup) via the Plugins menu item.

    Once a Kismet UI plugin is loaded, it cannot be unloaded.  To unload a
    Kismet plugin, go to the Plugins window, configure the plugin to not
    load on start, and restart Kismet.  To configure plugin loading in the
    UI, select the plugin (the list is automatically generated from plugins
    installed in the system and user plugin directories) and press enter.
    Plugins will be loaded when the plugin window is closed.

    Kismet server plugins cannot currently be manipulated via the Kismet UI,
    but loaded plugins will be displayed.

    If a plugin causes startup problems (most likely because it was compiled
    for a different Kismet binary), Kismet will exit and explain which
    plugin caused the crash during startup.  Plugins may also cause
    instability during runtime; if runtime crashes occur while plugins are
    loaded, remove them and re-test.  Often, recompiling the plugins against
    the running Kismet source will help resolve these issues.

9.  GPS

    Kismet can integrate with a GPS device to provide coordinates for
    networks it has detected.  These can be logged to the pcap file when PPI
    logging is enabled, and to an XML file for processing with Kismap, included 
    with the Kismet source, as well as other third-party tools.

    Kismet can use the GPS network daemon 'gpsd', or can parse NMEA directly
    from the GPS unit.

    The GPS is controlled with the Kismet server config, kismet.conf.  For
    using gpsd with gpsd running on the local system:


    By specifying gpsreconnect, if gpsd crashes or Kismet otherwises looses
    its connection, it will be re-established.  Gpsmodelock compensates for
    certain broken GPS/GPSd combinations, where the GPS never reports a
    valid lock.  By forcing a gpsmodelock=true, Kismet assumes the GPS
    always has a 2d lock.

    For using a GPS device without gpsd:


    The gpsdevice parameter should be set to the proper serial device for
    your GPS.  For USB GPS devices this will typically be /dev/ttyUSB0, and 
    for bluetooth devices this will often by /dev/rfcomm0 or similar.  Check
    the output of "dmesg" after plugging in your device.

    Kismet cannot know the location of a network, it can only know the
    location where it saw a signal.   By circling the suspected location,
    you can provide more GPS data for processing the network center point.

    Kismet keeps running averages of the network location, however this is
    not incredibly accurate, due to averaging and imprecision in
    floating point math.  For plotting network locations, the GPSXML file
    should be used.

10. Logging

    By default Kismet will log the pcap file, gps log, alerts, and network
    log in XML and plaintext.

    By default, Kismet will try to log to pcapfiles using the PPI per-packet
    header.  The PPI header is a well-documented header supported by
    Wireshark and other tools, which can contain spectrum data, radio data
    such as signal and noise levels, and GPS data.

    PPI is only available with recent libpcap versions.  When it is not
    available, Kismet will fall back to standard 802.11 format with no extra

    The pcap logging format is controlled by:

    The naming of logfiles is controlled by the "logtemplate" configuration
    option.  By default, Kismet logs in the directory it is started in
    (unless modified with the "--log-prefix" option).

    The following variables can be used in the logtemplate:
        %p      Prefix (as given by --log-prefix)
        %n      Logging name (as given by --log-title)
        %d      Starting date, Mmm-DD-YYYY
        %D      Starting date, YYYYMMDD
        %t      Starting time, HH-MM-SS
        %i      Incremental, in the case of multiple logs of the same name
        %l      Log type (pcapdump, netxml, etc)
        %h      Home directory of the user Kismet was started as

    The default log template with a --log-prefix of /tmp and a --log-title
    of Kismet would expand from:
    to (for example):

    Nested directories may be used (for example, with a template of the form
    "%p/%l/%D-%t"), however they must be created prior to starting Kismet,
    Kismet will not create the directories itself.

    Most users should never need to change the logtemplate, however the
    option remains available.  When changing the template, be sure to
    include the "%p" prefix option in a logical location (ie, at the
    beginning of the template) or else the --log-prefix argument will not
    function as expected.

11. Filtering

    Kismet supports basic filtering; networks can be excluded from tracking,
    pcap logging, or general logging, based on BSSID, source, or destination
    MAC addresses.

    Filters, when enabled, are "positive-pass"; anything matched by the
    filter will be allowed, and all other matches are excluded.  To process
    ONLY packets to or from the network with the BSSID AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF:

    This behavior can be inverted by using the '!' operator.  To exclude
    packets to or from the BSSID AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF:


    Multiple MAC addresses can be stacked on the same filter line, to filter 
    two all packets from AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF and 00:11:22:33:44:55:


    MAC addresses may also be masked in a fashion similar to IP netmasks; to
    process only networks of a single manufacturer:


    Similarly, SOURCE(...), DEST(...), and ANY(...) may be used to filter
    packets.  To process only packets FROM the MAC address


12. Alerts & IDS

    Kismet includes IDS functionality, providing a stateless and stateful
    IDS for layer 2 and layer 3 wireless attacks.  Kismet can alert on
    fingerprints (specific single-packet attacks) and trends (unusual
    probes, disassociation floods, etc).

    Kismet can integrate with other tools using the tun/tap export to
    provide a virtual network interface of wireless traffic; tools such as
    Packet-o-Matic and Snort can use this exported data to perform
    additional IDS functions.

    Kismet as an IDS is most effective in a stationary (ie, non-wardriving)
    setup, and for best results, a non-hopping source should be available on
    the channels the primary networks are on.  Kismet IDS functions CAN be
    used in mobile or channel-hopping installations (and are turned on by
    default) but accuracy may suffer.

    Alerts are configured with the "alert=" configuration option in
    kismet.conf, and have two time parameters:  Throttle, and Burst.  The
    throttle option controls how many alerts are allowed total per time
    unit, while the burst option controls how many alerts are allowed in a
    row.  For example:


    Will allow 1 alert per second, at a maximum of 5 per minute.

    Kismet supports the following alerts, where applicable the WVE (Wireless
    Vulnerability and Exploits, ID is included:

        AIRJACKSSID         Fingerprint         Deprecated
            The original 802.11 hacking tools, Airjack, set the initial SSID
            to 'airjack' when starting up.  This alert is no longer relevant
            as the Airjack tools have long since been discontinued.

        APSPOOF             Fingerprint
            A list of valid MAC addresses for a SSID may be given via the
            'apspoof=' configuration file option.  If a beacon or probe
            response for that SSID is seen from a MAC address not in that
            list, this alert will be raised.  This can be used to detect
            conflicting access points, spoofed access points, or attacks
            such as Karma/Airbase which respond to all probe requests.

            The 'apspoof=' configuration option can specific exact SSID
            matches, regular expressions (if Kismet is compiled with PCRE
            support), and single, multiple, or masked MAC addresses:


            When multiple MAC addresses are specified, they should be
            enclosed in quotes (as above).

            For more information about forming PCRE-compatible regular
            expressions, see the PCRE docs (man pcrepattern).

        BSSTIMESTAMP        Trend/Stateful
            Invalid/Out-of-sequence BSS Timestamps can indicate AP spoofing.
            APs with fluctuating BSS timestamps could be suffering an "evil
            twin" spoofing attack, as many tools do not attempt to sync the
            BSS timestamp at all, and the fine-grained nature of the BSS
            timestamp field makes it difficult to spoof accurately.  Some
            APs may reset the BSS timestamp regularly, leading to a


        CHANCHANGE          Trend/Stateful
            A previously detected access point changing channels may
            indicate a spoofing attack.  By spoofing a legitimate AP on a
            different channel, an attacker can lure clients to the spoofed
            access point.  An AP changing channel during normal operation
            may indicate such an attack is in process, however centrally
            managed networks may automatically change AP channels to
            less-used areas of the spectrum.


        CRYPTODROP          Trend/Stateful
            Spoofing an AP with less-secure encryption options may fool
            clients into connecting with compromised credentials.  The only
            situation in which an access point should reduce encryption
            security is when the AP is reconfigured.

        DEAUTHFLOOD         Trend/Stateful
        BCASTDISCON         Trend/Stateful
            By spoofing disassociate and deauthenticate packets an attacker
            may disconnect clients from a network, causing a
            denial-of-service which lasts only as long as the attacker is
            able to send the packets.

                WVE-2005-0019, WVE-2005-0045, WVE-2005-0046, WVE-2005-0061

        DHCPCLIENTID        Fingerprint
            A client which sends a DHCP DISCOVER packet containing a
            Client-ID tag (Tag 61) which doesn't match the source MAC of the
            packet may be doing a DHCP denial-of-service to exhaust the DHCP

        DHCPCONFLICT        Trend/Stateful
            Clients which receive a DHCP address and continue to use a
            different IP address may indicate a misconfigured or spoofed

        DISASSOCTRAFFIC     Trend/Stateful
            A client which is disassociated from a network should not
            immediately continue exchanging data.  This can indicate a
            spoofed client attempting to incorrectly inject data into a
            network, or can indicate a client being the victim of a
            denial-of-service attack.

        DISCONCODEINVALID   Fingerprint
        DEAUTHCODEINVALID   Fingerprint
            The 802.11 specification defines valid reason codes for
            disconnect and deauthenticate events.  Various client and access
            point drivers have been reported to improperly handle
            invalid/undefined reason codes.

        DHCPNAMECHANGE      Trend/Stateful
        DHCPOSCHANGE        Trend/Stateful
            The DHCP configuration protocol allows clients to optionally put
            the hostname and DHCP client vendor/operating system in the DHCP
            Discover packet.  These values should only change if the client
            has changed drastically (such as a dual-boot system).  Changing
            values can often indicate a client spoofing/MAC cloning attack.

        LONGSSID            Fingerprint
            The 802.11 specification allows a maximum of 32 bytes for the
            SSID.  Over-sized SSIDs are indicative of an attack attempting
            to exploit vulnerabilities in several drivers.

        LUCENTTEST          Fingerprint         Deprecated
            Old Lucent Orinoco cards in certain scanning test modes generate
            identifiable packets.

        MSFBCOMSSID         Fingerprint
            Some versions of the Windows Broadcom wireless drivers do not
            properly handle SSID fields longer than the 802.11
            specification, leading to system compromise and code execution.
            This vulnerability is exploited by the Metasploit framework.


        MSFDLINKRATE        Fingerprint
            Some versions of the Windows D-Link wireless drivers do not
            properly handle extremely long 802.11 valid rate fields, leading
            to system compromise and code execution.  This vulnerability is
            exploited by the Metasploit framework.


        MSFNETGEARBEACON    Fingerprint
            Some versions of the Windows netgear wireless drivers do not
            properly handle over-sized beacon frames, leading to system
            compromise and code execution.  This vulnerability is exploited
            by the Metasploit framework.

        NETSTUMBLER         Fingerprint         Deprecated
            Older versions of Netstumbler (3.22, 3.23, 3.30) generate, in
            certain conditions, specific packets.

        NULLPROBERESP       Fingerprint
            Probe-response packets with a SSID IE tag component of length 0
            can cause older cards (prism2, orinoco, airport-classic) to


        PROBENOJOIN         Trend/Stateful
            Active scanning tools such as Netstumbler constantly send
            network discovery probes but never join any of the networks
            which respond.  This alert can cause excessive false positives
            while channel hopping, and is disabled by default.

13. Other Configuration

    Kismet is divided into two main processes:  kismet_server and
    kismet_client.  The server portion (responsible for capture, logging,
    and decoding) is controlled by kismet.conf (by default in
    /usr/local/etc) and the client is configured via preferences options.

    For the most part, Kismet can run with no additional configuration by
    adding capture sources runtime with the UI, however for
    standalone/headless operation or advanced configuration, users will want
    to edit the config file.

    The Kismet config is a plain text file with option=value pairs.  Lines
    beginning with # are considered comments and are ignored.

    Most configuration options are self-explanatory or documented in the
    config file itself.

    By default Kismet only listens to the loopback interface on port 2501.
    This may be changed:

    listen=tcp://ip:port     Define the IP and port Kismet listens on.  By 
                              default, for security reasons, Kismet will 
                              listen only on, the loopback interface.  
                              To listen on any interface, use the IP
    allowedhosts=...         Comma-separated list of IP addresses allowed to 
                              connect to the Kismet server.  IP ranges may be 
                              specified with netmasks (ie
    maxclients=N             Maximum number of clients allowed to simultaneously
                              connect to the Kismet server.
    maxbacklog=5000          Maximum number of backlogged "lines" the server
                              keeps for clients which are not keeping up
                              with the network protocol.  This also affects
                              the amount of RAM potentially used by the
                              Kismet server process, and may need to be
                              lowered on extremely RAM-limited systems.

    Kismet servers may also be configured to act as Kismet drones, exporting
    a TCP stream of live packets:

    dronelisten=..           Same as above, for drone capabilities
    droneallowedhosts=..     ...
    dronemaxclients=..       ...
    droneringlen=65535       Equivalent of maxbacklog for Kismet clients,
                              maximum amount of space used for backlogged
                              packets as a drone.  May be reduced on
                              extremely RAM-limited systems.

    Kismet can export packets directly to other tools by creating a virtual
    network interface (supported on Linux, minimal support on OSX and BSD
    due to limited tuntap driver implementations on these platforms):

    tuntap_export=true       Enable tuntap export
    tuntap_device=kistap0    Virtual network interface created

    Kismet can decrypt WEP networks for which the WEP key is already known:


    Only the hex key can be given, since there is no consistent method to
    turn a pass-phrase into a hex key for WEP for different vendors.

    Sound and speech can be generated by the Kismet server, however
    typically this would be done by the Kismet UI instead.  Sound is
    disabled by default in the Kismet server:

        enablesound=true|false  Play sound
        soundbin=...            Path and options for sound player binary
        sound=xxx,true|false    Enable playing sound trigger xxx

        enablespeech=true|false Speak
        speechbin=...           Text-to-Speech player
        speechtype=raw|festival If using Festival (but NOT flite) speech
                                 type must be set to 'festival', all other
                                 tools should be set to 'raw'
        speechencoding=...      NATO, Spelling, Speech.  Encoding of speech
                                 fields for clarity, spell network SSIDs as
                                 NATO, spelled-out letters, or speak them
        speech=xxx,"format"     Format of spoken strings, see the Kismet UI
                                 section for more information on formatting
                                 of speech strings.

    The OUI file (used by Kismet to determine the manufacturer of a device)
    can be shared with other tools (such as Wireshark), so long as they use 
    a compatible format.  By default, Kismet searches:
    Additional search paths can be added with the 'ouifile=' configuration

14. Kismet UI

    The default Kismet UI uses the text-based ncurses library.  Additional
    UIs may be available from the Links page on the Kismet website

    The Kismet UI functions much as any other curses application (such as
    Midnight Commander or Links) does.  The menu is activated with 'escape',
    '`' or '~'.  Navigation between elements of the UI is done with 'tab'.

    Use of a mouse is supported in much of the Kismet UI, although not all
    widgets fully support mouse operation.  Basic use of the UI with no
    keyboard should be reasonable, however.

    The main Kismet window consists of the network list, GPS information,
    a summary of the current server statistics and packet source status, and
    the status panel where errors and announcements are printed.  Additional
    components of the main window may be turned on with the 'View' menu.

    - Preferences

    Configuration of the Kismet UI is done entirely inside the UI via the
    'Kismet->Preferences->...' menus.  Preference changes are (for the most
    part) immediate and do not require restarting.

    By default, the Kismet UI will prompt on startup to launch the Kismet
    server, this behavior (as well as auto-connection and server setup) can 
    be changed via the Startup and Shutdown preferences
    (Kismet->Preferences->Startup and Shutdown):

        Open Kismet server launch window automatically
            - Kismet will open the server startup window when the UI is
              loaded, if the default server is not running.
        Ask about launching server on startup
            - Ask to start a server (instead of just opening the server
        Show Kismet server console by default
            - Automatically open the Kismet server console window after
              starting the server
        Shut down Kismet server on exit automatically
            - Kill locally started servers and issue a shutdown command to
              remote servers when the UI exits
        Prompt before shutting down Kismet server
            - Don't kill servers without confirming

    Kismet menus support shortcuts, for example '~Wl' is the same as
    navigating to the 'Windows->Client List' menu option.

    - Sound and Speech

    The Kismet UI handles sound and speech playing for most users.  Sound
    playing is straightforward (WAV files are installed, by default, to
    /usr/local/share/kismet/wav) and can be played with any sound player
    compatible with your install.

    Speech is supported on Festival and Flite.  Any other text-to-speech
    program should work as long as it accepts plain text on standard in.
    Speech text is encoded depending on the type of speech event, where %1, %2,
    etc are replaced with data by Kismet.  The supported events and
    replacements are:
        New network:
            1. Network SSID encoded to speech encoding setting (spell, nato,
            2. Network channel
            3. Network BSSID
            1. Alert type
        GPS Lost, GPS Lock:
            No replacement options

    - Tagging networks

    Kismet can add custom data to a network in the form of tags.  In the
    Kismet UI, networks and clients can both have tags added to them.  These
    tags are displayed in the UI under network details, and logged to XML
    and TXT output.

    Tags can be set as permanent; By checking the "Remember note when
    restarting Kismet" checkbox in the Network and Client Note windows, the
    note is saved and will be re-applied to networks every time Kismet

    Client tags are applied to a specific client in a specific network;
    Currently there is no mechanism for adding a note to every instance of
    the client.

    - Sorting

    Kismet defaults to "autofit" mode, where it tries to put as many of the
    currently active networks on the screen as possible.  Because autofit
    mode is so variable, it doesn't make sense to try to allow selecting
    networks in autofit.

    To select a network and view details, first sort by another method (such
    as channel, time, etc) via the Sort menu, then select a network.

15. Kismet Drones

    Kismet Drones are designed to turn Kismet into a distributed IDS system.
    Drones support all of the capture methods Kismet normally supports,
    including multiple capture devices per drone.  Drones capture wireless
    data and forward to a Kismet server over a secondary connection (ie,
    wired Ethernet).  Drones do not do any decoding of packets and have
    minimal hardware requirements.

    A Kismet server connects to the drones and will provide a single Kismet
    UI display, packet dump, and alert generation point.  Capture sources on
    remote Kismet drones are forwarded to the Kismet server and appear as
    independent capture devices which can be configured for channel hopping,
    locking, etc.

    Using the tun/tap export function, the central Kismet server can export
    the packets from all attached drones to a virtual network interface for
    use with external IDS/packet capture systems (such as Snort).

    To start using Drones, launch the kismet_drone process on a remote
    system (editing the kismet_drone.conf file to control what hosts are
    allowed to connect) or turn on drone capabilities in the Kismet server
    (by enabling the drone config options in kismet_server.conf).  When
    running a kismet_server instance as a drone, local logging will act as
    usual and Kismet clients can be connected to the server as normal; When
    running kismet_drone, Kismet clients cannot connect directly to it, and
    it will not log, a Kismet server instance must be started to provide
    packet decoding, logging, and Kismet UI connectivity.

16. Talking to Kismet

    The Kismet client/server protocol is basic text.  Communicating with
    Kismet can be as simple as using telnet or netcat, however writing a
    full protocol dissector is suggested for serious applications.

    This documents a simple case of the Kismet protocol and the basics of
    communicating with a Kismet server, however for detailed information the
    source should be consulted.  A more complete documentation of the
    protocol will be done at some point.

    The Kismet protocol consists of commands and response sentences.  A
    command is of the form:


        Where ID is a number (which for proper error detection should be
        unique) and the remainder of the arguments are the command and any
        options it may take.

        Options which contain spaces but should be treated as a single
        argument should wrap those options in "\001...\001"

    And a response sentence is of the form:
        *HEADER: f1 f2 f3 f4

        Where HEADER is the sentence type, and the remainder are fields
        requested by the client, in the order they were requested.

        Fields are expected to be plain ASCII text, however a client should
        take precautions to be sure that the value is sane for the terminal
        before printing it.

        Fields which may contain a space (used as the separator character)
        are buffered with \001...\001.  As this could be any field, any
        protocol parser should be able to handle fields so buffered.

    Basic Kismet commands include:

        !{#} SHUTDOWN
            Shutdown Kismet instance

        !{#} CAPABILITY {Sentence}
            Query the accept fields for a protocol.  Returns the *CAPABILITY

        !{#} ENABLE {Sentence} {Fields}|{*}
            Enable a sentence, with either the provided fields and order, or
            all fields in the default order if * is specified.

        !{#} REMOVE {Sentence}
            Remove a sentence.  Stop sending a sentence.

        !{#} ADDNETTAG {BSSID} {Permanent} {Tag name} {Tag content}
            Add an arbitrary tag to a network.  If permanent, it will be
            cached in ~/.kismet/tags.conf

        !{#} DELNETTAG {BSSID} {Tag name}
            Remove a tag

        !{#} ADDCLITAG {BSSID} {MAC} {Permanent} {Tag} {Content}
            Add tag to specified client in network

        !{#} DELCLITAG {BSSID} {MAC} {Tag}
            Remove a tag

        !{#} ADDSOURCE {source line}
            Add a source dynamically.  Source line should be of the same
            format as a 'ncsource=' config line

    Protocol sentences:

        When a sentence is enabled, any existing sentence data is sent (at
        the discretion of the protocol handlers).  Additional data is sent
        in the form of deltas; To conserve bandwidth and processing time,
        only instances where the data has changed are sent.  For example,
        when the *BSSID sentence is sent, a block of *BSSID records are
        sent, for all networks previously detected by Kismet.  Until the
        sentence is disabled, a record is sent once per second for each
        network which has changed in some fashion (new packets).

    Mandatory sentences:

        Kismet expects a client to support AT LEAST the following mandatory
        protocols, which are enabled by default.  At the very least, any
        client should ignore these if it does not process them.  They may be
        disabled with the REMOVE command.  In general, any client should
        ignore protocols it does not understand.

                Basic Kismet startup info
                List of supported sentences
                Command response
                Command failure
                Server timestamp


        echo -e '\n!0 enable channel channel,networks' | nc localhost 2501

        Enable the *CHANNEL sentence with the fields 'channel' and
        'networks'.  The output could look something like:

            *ACK: 0 OK 
            *CHANNEL: 1 4 
            *CHANNEL: 3 1 
            *CHANNEL: 4 1 
            *TIME: 1245176426

17. Troubleshooting

    Congratulations!  You're actually reading the troubleshooting section of
    the README!  Many don't.

    If you are having trouble getting Kismet to capture packets at all,
    launch kismet_server independently of the client and watch the output,
    it may be easier to spot problems then.

    Some common problems with Kismet have easy solutions:

    PROBLEM:  Fatal errors about old configuration files/missing config
              Kismet has evolved over time, and has recently had a
              significant rewrite of the entire application, rendering many
              of the old configuration values obsolete, and changing many
    FIX:      Update your config files.  If you are moving to the latest
              release of Kismet, it may be best to just remove your old
              config files, copy the new ones, and reconfigure.

    PROBLEM:  Kismet crashes immediately while starting up
    FIX:      If you are building Kismet from SVN routinely, it's possible
              that the build system has gotten screwed up with a recent
              change.  Run 'make distclean' then './configure' and 'make'
              again.  If the kismet_capture binary is out-of-sync with the
              kismet_server or kismet_drone binaries, things will behave

    PROBLEM:  Kismet shows FATAL errors about permission denied
    FIX:      Are you trying to capture from a network interface without
              root privileges?  Kismet must either be installed as suid-root
              (and the user starting it must be in the kismet group) or it
              must be started as root, see the "Suid Root & Security"
              section of the README.

    PROBLEM:  Kismet can not autodetect my card type or doesn't understand
              the "type=..." source option.
    FIX:      Some drivers do not register with the /sys filesystem and can
              not be properly autodetected.  Check the list of capture
              sources known to be problematic in this README.
              Secondly, check the output of './configure' when building
              Kismet and make sure that support for your capture type is
              present, most commonly support for pcap or wext is missing.

    PROBLEM:  Kismet warns about interfering processes while starting up.
              Many network services can interfere with Kismet (DHCP,
              networkmanager, etc) by reconfiguring or shutting down the
              network interface while Kismet is running.
    FIX:      Only necessary if Kismet is not behaving as expected, or
              encountering errors.  Shutdown or kill the offending
              processes.  This can often be most quickly accomplished by
              stopping the networking services for your interface ('ifdown
              wlan0' for example).  In some specific configurations, these
              alerts may be spurious (dhcp and wpa_supplicant alerts on a
              multi-vap mac80211 interface doing sta+rfmon with a
              wpa_supplicant scanning option, for example).

    PROBLEM:  Kismet complains about multiple VAPs under madwifi-ng
    FIX:      Destroy the other VAPs, or ignore this warning if there are no
              run-time failures.  Madwifi-ng has historically had
              significant problems with multi-vap and rfmon (for example, a
              STA VAP and a RFMON VAP).

    PROBLEM:  Shortly after starting on madwifi-ng, Kismet stops reporting
    FIX:      There appears to be a race condition in madwifi-ng startup
              where an autocreated VAP causes errors in future VAPs.  A
              temporary fix is to reload the madwifi-ng driver before
              starting Kismet, with the 'autocreate=none' modparm ('rmmod
              ath_pci; modprobe ath_pci autocreate=none'), a more permanent
              fix is to put this in the default module parameters for
              ath_pci and make the necessary changes to your startup scripts
              to create a managed VAP on startup.

    PROBLEM:  './configure' is unable to find libpcap, wext, ncurses, pcre,
              or some other library when building from source.
    FIX:      Many distributions separate the runtime data from the data
              necessary to compile programs against a library.  Install the
              '-dev' or '-devel' or 'devel-' packages for each of the
              libraries ('apt-get install libpcap-dev' for example)

    PROBLEM:  Kismet exits immediately on Cygwin with no output.
    FIX:      Cygwin appears to have problems linking static libraries when
              they are not in a sub-directory of the build.  By default,
              './configure' will look in "Airpcap_Devpack" and
              "Winpcap_Devpack", you should probably just expand the devpack
              zips there.

    PROBLEM:  I can't capture on (some device that isn't an AirPCAP that I
              bought from CACE) on Windows!
    FIX:      Buy an AirPCAP and read the docs.

    PROBLEM:  I can't see some parts of the Kismet UI
    FIX:      Some terminals have bad default color assignments and render
              dark grey as black.  Go into the Kismet color preferences and
              change the items.

    PROBLEM:  A plugin crashes Kismet (server or UI)
    FIX:      Recompile the plugin and make sure it's build with the same
              code as the Kismet server/client.  This is especially
              problematic if you are following Kismet development in SVN.

    PROBLEM:  Kismet makes the mouse slow or crashes the whole system
    FIX:      This isn't actually Kismet.  Only the kernel layer should be
              able to cause the system to lockup or crash, or interfere with
              interrupts so badly that the mouse becomes unresponsive.
              Kismet may exacerbate this behavior by changing the card
              configuration and exposing flaws in the driver;  This most
              often can happen while changing channels, try disabling
              channel hopping (or slowing it down), and upgrade to the
              latest drivers for your device.

    PROBLEM:  Kismet cannot open a source, with the error:
              "can't get usb bus index"
    FIX:      Some versions of LibPcap interpret any interface with "USB"
              in the name as a USB device on Linux, and attempt to do USB
              bus capture instead of packet capture.
              Rename the interface (with ifrename or udev rules) to
              something that doesn't include 'usb'.  A newer version of
              libpcap may also resolve this problem.

    PROBLEM:  configure cannot find libnl on Ubuntu, but libnl-dev is
    FIX:      Some distributions (apparently, Ubuntu) require
              libnfnetlink-dev to be installed as well.  Currently there is
              no good way to autodetect this.

18. Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Where did the name Kismet come from?
    A: 'Kismet' means 'Fate' or 'Destiny'; While I wish I could take credit
       for some plan about picking it for Kismets ability to uncover any
       network in the area, I really just needed a name and clicked through
       a thesaurus until I found a word that wasn't used in any other OSS

    Q: Is there anything illegal about Kismet?
    A: In and of itself, there should be nothing illegal about Kismet (it's
       fundamentally no different than any other capture tool) but you
       should check your local laws first.  Note, however:
        - Recording data from networks that you do not have permission to
          may be considered an illegal wiretap.
        - Using networks you do not have permission to use may be considered
          'Theft of Service' and is illegal.
        - Don't be stupid.
        - If you are stupid, I'm not responsible.

    Q: Can Kismet crack WEP?
    A: Yes, but also, no.  The base Kismet code does not do any WEP
       cracking, however due to constant requests, there IS an Aircrack-PTW
       plugin which will do PASSIVE WEP cracking only.  It will NOT do
       arp-replay, fragmentation, or other active attacks, however if enough
       packets are gathered it will attempt to crack the WEP key and insert
       it into Kismet to decrypt that network.
       The PTW-WEP cracking plugin is in the Kismet source tree in the
       plugin-ptw/ directory.

    Q: What's the deal with Newcore, and where did it go?
    A: Newcore was a total rewrite of Kismet, which lasted years longer in a
       development state than planned.  If you're reading this, you've got
       the release that Newcore became already.

    Q: What happened to the version numbers?
    A: They stopped making sense.  3.0 to 3.1 was a 30,000 line change, but
       calling it 4.0 didn't make any sense either.  I hate project
       perpetually in 0.1, 0.9 status, but I also hate artificially
       expanding the version numbers.  So, now, it's versioned by the
       release date, YYYY-MM-RR.

    Q: Can I use the old Kismet UI still?
    A: No, sorry, too much has changed in the protocols, and the new UI is
       much more flexible anyhow

    Q: Can I use the old drones still?
    A: No, again, too much has changed (however from now on it should be 
       possible to mix versions since the drone protocol has been expanded
       to be expandable)

    Q: What is RFMON/Monitor mode?
    A: In the wired world, promiscuous mode turns off the filtering
       mechanism in the device and reports all packets on the Ethernet (or
       whatever) layer.
       With wireless drivers, this doesn't necessarily mean anything
       (sometimes it causes different results, sometimes it doesn't).
       Wireless drivers present a fake Ethernet device to the operating
       systems, which reports only 802.11 data frames.  When looking at WPA
       encrypted networks, this is even more limited, because packets are
       encrypted for each client and only multicast/broadcast packets or
       packets destined to the capture device could be reported as valid
       data frames anyhow.
       Monitor/RFMON mode is a special mode for wireless devices which
       reports all packets the card sees, with the 802.11 headers intact,
       including 802.11 management and control frames.

    Q: Does Kismet work differently than NetStumbler?
    A: Absolutely.  Netstumbler (and Ministumbler, InSSIDer, etc) work by
       instructing the card to probe for networks and report the networks
       the card sees responses from.  This method is obviously competent at
       detecting networks in the area, however it can't record data, find
       hidden networks, detect clients using networks, etc.

    Q: Why are some probe SSIDs full of strange nonsense characters?
    A: It appears with Windows Zero Config in many versions of Windows XP
       has an off-by-one error which leaks a little bit of memory into a
       probe request.  

    Q: Why is the range of a network sometimes totally bogus when using a
       GPS with Kismet?
    A: Doing real-time GPS averaging leads to increasingly bad data due to
       floating-point accuracy and averaging.  For more exact GPS data,
       process the gpsxml file.

    Q: What happened to gpsmap?
    A: gpsmap was the old mapper code for Kismet.  It stopped being useful a
       long time ago when the map sources it used went away.  It's being
       replaced with a tile-based mapper, the beginnings of which are in
       the kismap/ directory in the source code.  Kismap isn't quite
       finished for the RC1 release, but development continues on it and it
       will be available hopefully soon.

    Q: How can I merge multiple capture files?
    A: Use the 'mergecap' tool that comes with Wireshark.

    Q: How can I support device X with Kismet on operating system Y?
    A: Kismet is designed to be fairly modular (especially the newest
       versions based on Newcore).  So long as your environment is something
       like Posix and your device supports raw capture modes, it should be
       possible.  Swing by IRC (#kismet on freenode) and chat.

    Q: Why does Kismet make a new interface named foo-mon?
    A: When mac80211 is available, Kismet will use to create a new virtual
       interface, named after the existing interface (wlan0 for instance
       will cause a wlan0mon to be created).  Kismet will use this virtual
       interface for capture, so that it causes less disruption to the
       configuration of the existing interface.

    Q: What happens when I ask a question already here?
    A: I'll probably be rude to you (or someone else will).  But that would
       never happen, because everyone reads the docs all the way to the end,
       right?  Right!?

Kismet-Old Readme
Kismet-Old 2009-05-R1
Mike Kershaw
Licensed under the GPL

** NOTE **

This version of Kismet is based on the previous code base (previously known
as Kismet-Stable) and is now deprecated.  It is made available for those not
willing or able to make the switch to the new release, however it is not the
recommended version.

1.  What is Kismet
2.  Quick Start
3.  Feature Overview
4.  Typical Uses
5.  Upgrading From Previous Versions
6.  Suidroot & Security
7.  Required Libraries & Utilities
8.  Compiling
9.  Configuration
10. Panels Interface
11. Operating Systems
12. Capture Sources
13. Graphical Network Mapping
14. Drone Remotes
15. Intrusion Detection
16. Reporting Bugs
17. Troubleshooting
18. Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is Kismet

    Kismet is an 802.11 layer2 wireless network detector, sniffer, and
    intrusion detection system.  Kismet will work with any wireless card which
    supports raw monitoring (rfmon) mode, and can sniff 802.11b, 802.11a, 
    802.11n, and 802.11g traffic (devices and drivers permitting).

    Kismet identifies networks by passively collecting packets and detecting
    standard named networks, detecting (and given time, decloaking) hidden 
    networks, and inferring the presence of non-beaconing networks via data

2a. Quick Start

    PLEASE read the full manual, but for the impatient, here is the BARE
    MINIMUM needed to get Kismet working:

    * Download Kismet from
    * Run ``./configure''.  Pay attention to the output!  If Kismet cannot
      find all the headers and libraries it needs, it won't be able to do
      many things.
    * Compile Kismet with ``make''
    * Install Kismet with either ``make install'' or ``make suidinstall''.
    * Edit the config file (standardly in "/usr/local/etc/kismet.conf")
    * Set the user Kismet will drop privileges to by changing the "suiduser"
      configuration option.
    * Set the capture source by changing the "source" configuration option.
      CALLED "CAPTURE SOURCES".  The capture source you should use depends
      on the operating system and driver that your wireless card uses.
      USE THE PROPER CAPTURE SOURCE.  No permanent harm will come from using
      the wrong one, but you won't get the optimal behavior.
    * Add an absolute path to the "logtemplate" configuration option if you
      want Kismet to always log to the same directory instead of the directory
      you start it in.

    * Run ``kismet''.  You may need to start Kismet as root.

2b. Windows Quick Start

    PLEASE read the full manual, but for the impatient, here is the BARE
    MINIMUM method to get Kismet running:

    * Download the Win32/Cygwin Installer created by CACE
    * Run the installer
    * Start Kismet
    * Pick your AirPcap or Kismet Drone sources


2c. OSX / Darwin Quick Start

    PLEASE read the full manual, but for the impatient, here is the BARE
    MINIMUM method to get Kismet running:

    * Download Kismet from
    * Run ``./configure''.  Pay attention to the output!  If Kismet cannot
      find all the headers and libraries it needs, it won't be able to do
      many things.
    * Compile Kismet with ``gmake'' (NOT 'make'.  gnumake is required.)
    * Install Kismet with either ``gmake install'' or ``gmake suidinstall''.
    * Edit the config file (standardly in "/usr/local/etc/kismet.conf")
    * Set the user Kismet will drop privileges to by changing the "suiduser"
      configuration option.
    * Set the capture source by changing the "source" configuration option.
      For OSX/Darwin, this should almost always be a source of type 'darwin'.
      CALLED "CAPTURE SOURCES".  The capture source you should use depends
      USE THE PROPER CAPTURE SOURCE.  No permanent harm will come from using
      the wrong one, but you won't get the optimal behavior.
    * Add an absolute path to the "logtemplate" configuration option if you
      want Kismet to always log to the same directory instead of the directory
      you start it in.

    * Run ``kismet''.  You may need to start Kismet as root.

3.  Feature Overview

    Kismet has many features useful in different situations for monitoring
    wireless networks:

    - Ethereal/Tcpdump compatible data logging
    - Airsnort compatible weak-iv packet logging
    - Network IP range detection
    - Built-in channel hopping and multicard split channel hopping
    - Hidden network SSID decloaking
    - Graphical mapping of networks
    - Client/Server architecture allows multiple clients to view a single
      Kismet server simultaneously
    - Manufacturer and model identification of access points and clients
    - Detection of known default access point configurations
    - Runtime decoding of WEP packets for known networks
    - Named pipe output for integration with other tools, such as a layer3 IDS
      like Snort
    - Multiplexing of multiple simultaneous capture sources on a single Kismet
    - Distributed remote drone sniffing
    - XML output

4.  Typical Uses

    Common applications Kismet is useful for:

    - Wardriving:  Mobile detection of wireless networks, logging and mapping
      of network location, WEP, etc.
    - Site survey:  Monitoring and graphing signal strength and location.
    - Distributed IDS:  Multiple Remote Drone sniffers distributed throughout
      an installation monitored by a single server, possibly combined with a
      layer3 IDS like Snort.
    - Rogue AP Detection:  Stationary or mobile sniffers to enforce site policy
      against rogue access points.

5.  Upgrading from Previous Versions

    Upgrading to Kismet 2008-05-R1:
      "probenojoin" has been disabled by default in the config file, as 
      it's not terribly useful and generates a lot of noise.

      No other specific actions needed.

    Upgrading to Kismet 2007-10-R1:
      For Linux users, the config option 'vapdestroy' has been added.  If you
      are using an Atheros card with Madwifi-NG, this controls if non-rfmon
      VAPs are destroyed automatically.  Not including this new config option
      will default to 'false'.

      Wrt54 devices now have channel hopping enabled.  Packagers should
      probably turn this off by default.

      IV duplication tracking is now off by default to save memory, and is
      controlled by the 'trackivs' parameter.

      DBUS integration to try to quiesce Network Manager while Kismet
      is running, controlled by the 'networkmanagersleep' config parameter.

    Upgrading to Kismet 2007-01-R1:
      Make sure to either update your kismet.conf file from the one included
      in the distribution, or to copy the new ALERT enable lines.  If you
      do not copy the ALERT setup from the new config, new IDS alerts will
      not be enabled.

6.  Suidroot & Security

    In order to configure the wireless card for rfmon and start the packet
    capture, Kismet needs root access.  As soon as root access is no longer
    required, Kismet drops to a designated user so that potentially hostile
    remote data isn't processed as root.

    When priv dropping is enabled, Kismet forks and leaves a single process
    as root.  This process is used for channel control and for restoring
    card settings on exit.  The root process performs no interaction with
    user input, and only communicates with the base kismet_server via IPC

    For Kismet to have root access, it can be installed two different ways:
    - Normal installation via 'make install' requires Kismet be started as
    - Suid-root installation via 'make suidinstall'.  DO NOT INSTALL KISMET
      will allow unprivileged users to set the wireless card to rfmon (breaking
      any connections using wireless) and capture data.

    REMEMBER:  Installing Kismet suid-root is NOT SECURE ON MULTIUSER SYSTEMS.
    Most users of Kismet are likely using single-user laptops or handhelds, 
    where suidroot is very convenient.  If you have ANY OTHER USERS ON YOUR
    SYSTEM, suidroot Kismet can be used to shut down the wireless and put
    files where you don't want to allow them to be put.  If you have other
    users on your system, install kismet normally and 'su' to root before
    starting it.

7.  Required Libraries & Utilities

    Kismet is primary self-contained, however for some features it requires
    some external libraries or utilities.  For distributions which provide split
    library packages of somelib and somelib-devel, you will need both installed
    for Kismet to compile.

    - LibPcap (0.9+ preferred):
      REQUIRED for the majority of packet capturing systems

      LibPcap provides the common capture system Kismet uses to read from most
      Posix-style interfaces.  Without LibPcap, Kismet will be all but useless
      on most platforms.

    - GPSD (any version): 
      REQUIRED for GPS support
      GPSD is a daemon which listens on a serial port for GPS data, parses it,
      and makes it available via a TCP socket.  Kismet can use a GPSD on the
      local system, or if there is a wired ethernet connection available it can
      use a GPS via port 2947 on a remote host.  

    - Imagemagick (5.4.7+):
      REQUIRED for gpsmap map generation

      Imagemagick is a graphics generation library which can read and write in
      almost any format.  Kismet requires a recent version of Imagemagick due
      to IM's frequently changing API.  If you do not plan to use gpsmap, you
      can skip this library.

    - Expat (1.95+):
      REQUIRED for gpsmap map generation

      Expat is an XML processing library.  Kismet requires this for parsing
      netxml and gpsxml output logs.  If you do not plan to use gpsmap, you can
      skip this library.

      Some versions of Expat included in distributions or other system
      utilities (ie, XFree86-cvs) contain errors that make it impossible to
      compile expat.h.  Make sure you have the latest stable Expat version, and
      remove offending duplicate headers if necessary.

    - GMP:
      REQUIRED for gpsmap map generation

      GMP is an arbitrary-precision math library.  Kismet needs this for high
      precision math functions when calculating graphics in gpsmap.  If you
      do not plan to use gpsmap, you can skip this.

    - DBUS:
      OPTIONAL for networkmanager control

      Networkmanager is a network connection management tool.  It can
      reconfigure devices while Kismet is running, and should be stopped.
      If Kismet is compiled with DBUS support and the networkmanagersleep
      variable in kismet.conf is true, Kismet will use DBUS to send 
      sleep/wake commands to Networkmanager

8.  Compiling
    Compiling should be fairly straightforward.  It uses the normal configure
    scripts found in most open-source projects, and should build with any
    modern version of gcc.

    1.  Download any libraries and external utilities needed
    2.  Run './configure' with any special options you want (see
        './configure --help')
    3.  Run 'make' or 'gmake'
    4.  Run 'make install' or 'make suidinstall' - SEE THE SECURITY SECTION

    Crosscompiling Kismet can sometimes have problems with the libpcap 
    autoconf scripts not being able to detect the kernel type and version
    of the target system.  Overriding the configuration script variables
    and passing extra configuration options can fix this:

    'ac_cv_linux_vers=foo ./configure --with-pcap=linux ...'

    FreeBSD users should configure kismet to use the systemwide pcap, which
    supports multiple DLT types, with --enable-syspcap

9.  Configuration

    Kismet is controlled by 2 primary configuration files:
    kismet.conf controls the server backend, and kismet_ui.conf controls the
    panels user interface.  By default, these files are in /usr/local/etc/.
    Remote drone servers use a third file, kismet_drone.conf.

    Kismet configuration files are a simple 'directive=value' format.

    Basic server configuration:

    1.  Set up the target suiduser.  This is the user that Kismet will drop
        to after it sets the cards in monitor mode and attaches to them.  See
        the section 'Suidroot & Security' for more information.  If this is
        not set correctly, Kismet won't start.
        This is controlled by the 'suiduser' directive.

    2.  Set up the capture sources.  Most users will only need one, but it is
        possible to have any number of sources defined which will be combined
        into a single packet log.
        Sources are defined with the 'source' directive.  Source lines are
        defined with 'source=type,interface,name[,channel]'.  See the section
        'Capture Sources' for a list of source types.  The name can be anything
        that is useful for you to identify what source it is.  The initial
        channel is optional.  If an initial channel is requested on the command
        line it will take precedence.

    3.  Set up channel hopping.  The default channel hopping values will
        probably be fine for most, but the speed of channel hopping can be
        set with the 'channelvelocity' directive and the lists of channels
        to be hopped can be set with 'defaultchannels'.
        Additional per-source fine-grained channel hopping control is available
        via the 'sourcechannels' directives, which are explained in the 
        configuration file comments.
        Channel dwelling (similar to hopping) can be set with the channeldwell
        option.  Setting a channel dwell time controls the number of seconds
        between channel change, compared to the tenths of a second defined by

        Most users will want to use channel hopping, but remember - just like
        it's impossible to see all of a program while channel surfing on TV,
        channel hopping means missing some of the data on the network.

    4.  Set up what clients are allowed to connect.  By default this is 
        limited to 'localhost', which is fine for most users.

    5.  Set the log template.  By default, Kismet writes logs to the directory
        it is started in.  By putting a full path into the 'logtemplate'
        directive you can force it to write them to another location (such as
        a directory guaranteed to be writeable by the target suiduser).

    Client configuration:

    1.  Set the host and port.  By default, Kismet is configured to connect
        to the localhost and standard port.

    2.  Set columns to be displayed.  The default set should be fine for most
        but it can be changed/expanded.  Columns can be scrolled in the client
        with the arrow keys.

    3.  Set a sound player.  For most, 'play' from Sox (the default) should
        be fine.  If you use a sound daemon such as esd or ksd you will need
        to change the play command to call esdplay or similar.

    4.  Configure speech (or not).  Kismet can write to Festival for speaking
        information about networks.

    5.  Customize colors.  Most components of the Kismet panels UI can be 

    The annoying popup window that opens every time you start the client can
    be disabled by setting 'showintro' to 'false' in your kismet_ui.conf.

    More advanced server configuration:

	* To allow Kismet clients from remote hosts to connect, comment out the 
	  bind_addr field to default to INADDR_ANY (all network interfaces).

    * IDS alert rates can be controlled via the 'alert' directive, which 
      specifies the alert type, rate per timeframe (ie, 5/min), and the burst
      rate per timeframe (ie, 1/sec). These controls are similar to the 
      iptables limit controls.

    * Networks with known WEP keys can be decrypted in realtime with the 
      'wepkey' directive, which specifies a BSSID (or bssid mask) and the
      WEP key.

    * Runtime filtering of packets is controlled by the 'filter_tracker',
      'filter_dump', and 'filter_export' directives, which influence which
      packets are processed at all, logged to dump files, and logged to
      xml/csv/etc files, respectively.

      See the sub-section "Filtering Syntax" in this section for more 
      information on filtering.

    * Including subconfig files.  By using 'include=...' other files can be
      included into the Kismet config, with filtering, WEP keys, etc.
    * MAC address masking.  Nearly any directive which takes a MAC address
      (such as filters, WEP keys, etc) can take a masked address.  MAC masking
      works the same as netmask in TCP/IP, for example
      would match all addresses beginning with 00:11:22.  Masks do not have
      to break on whole pairs ('FF:FF:FF:F0:00:00' is a valid mask).

    * Log tuning.  The types of packets that make it into the logfiles can be
      controlled via the 'noiselog', 'beaconlog', 'phylog, 'mangledatalog',
      and other options.

    * Probe tracking.  By default, Kismet tracks probe requests and responses,
      and attempts to combine a probe request network with the network that 
      responds to it.  Sometimes this isn't the desired behavior, by setting
      'trackprobenets' to 'false', probe requests will always remain separate.

    * Channel delays.  Currently the easiest way to get Kismet to spend more 
      time on part of the channel hop list is to include that channel multiple
      times.  A hop list of "1,3,6,6,6,9,11" would spend 3 times as long on
      channel 6 as on the other channels.  Channels can be repeated 
      throughout the list, as well, for example "6,1,6,3,6,9,6,11" would have
      a similar effect while providing more frequent monitoring of other 

    * Fuzzy encryption detection.  Not all drivers properly set the WEP flag
      on encrypted packets.  As of 2005-06-R1, Kismet automatically attempts to
      manually determine if a packet contains encrypted data if it is part of
      a network which advertises encryption.  This behavior can be turned off
      via the "netfuzzycrypt" option, and it can be enabled for specific 
      capture types via the "fuzzycrypt" config option.

    Filtering syntax:

    Filters are "positive-pass": anything matched by the filter is passed and 
    all else is excluded.

    Filtering can be done on address types (ANY, SOURCE, DEST, and BSSID).

    To exclude a network with the BSSID AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF, the filter would be:

    MAC addresses can be masked in the same fashion as IP netmasks.  To 
    match all networks of a certian manufacturer, restrict to the OUI:

    Multiple MAC addresses can be used on the same filter line.  To filter
    out two known networks from being considered:
    Which is to say, all traffic not from 00..55 and not from 00..66 will
    be considered.

10. Ncurses/Panels Interface

    The ncurses/panels interface is the default frontend provided with Kismet.
    The panels interface is fairly intuitive, and has integrated help.  
    'h' will open the main help window showing all the options available.

    Primary functions:
        * Auto-fit and sorted network lists
        * Client lists for each network
        * Detailed network information
        * Packet rate graphs
        * Channel allocation graphs
        * Realtime packet type display
        * Compass-display of network locations
        * 'Locking' channel hopping to a specific network

    Other clients for Kismet are available from the links page on the Kismet

    All information about a network is contained in the network details window,
    and the following columns can be turned on in the main display:
      bssid     BSSID (MAC address) of the network
      channel   Last-advertised channel for network
      clients   Number of clients (unique MACs) seen on network
      crypt     Number of encrypted packets
      data      Number of data packets
      decay     Displays '!' or '.' or blank, based on network activity in the
                last 'decay' seconds (controlled by the 'decay' variable in the
                config file)
      dupeiv    Number of packets with duplicate IVs seen  
      flags     Network status flags (Address size, decrypted, etc)
      info      Extra AP info included by some manufacturers
      ip        Detected/guessed IP of the network
      llc       Number of LLC packets
      manuf     Manufacturer, if matched
      maxrate   Maximum supported rate as advertised by AP
      name      Name of the network or group
      noise     Last seen noise level
      packets   Total number of packets
      shortname Shortened name of the network or group for small displays
      shortssid Shortened SSID for small displays
      signal    Last seen signal level
      signalbar Graphical representation of signal strength
      snrbar    Graphical representation of signal-to-noise ratio
      size      Amount of data transfered on network
      ssid      SSID/ESSID of the network or group
      type      Network type (Probe, Adhoc, Infra, etc)
      weak      Number of packets which appear to have weak IVs
      wep       WEP status (does network indicate it uses WEP)

    The clients window has a similar selection of columns which can be enabled:
      crypt     Number of encrypted data packets transfered by client
      data      Number of data packets transfered by client
      decay     Displays '!', '.', or ' ' based on network activity
      ip        Last seen IP used by client
      mac       MAC address of client  
      manuf     Manufacturer of client (if known)
      maxrate   Maximum rate client seen transfering
      noise     Last seen noise level of client
      signal    Last seen signal level of client
      size      Amount of data transfered by client  
      type      Type of client (Established, To-DS, From-DS, etc)
      weak      Number of packets which appear to have weak IVs
11. Operating Systems

    Kismet will work (at some level) on any operating system which has POSIX
    compatibility, however for it to do native packet capturing it needs
    drivers which are capable of reporting packets in rfmon.  Remote sources
    such as WSP100 or Drones can be used on any platform you can get Kismet to
    compile on.

    - Linux (Intel, PPC, MIPS, X-Scale, Arm, etc)
      Known supported cards: Atmel_USB, ACX100, ADMTek, Atheros, Cisco, Prism2, 
       Orinoco, WSP100, Drone, wtapfile, pcapfile, wrt54g, ipw2100, rt2400,
       rt2500, rt73, rt8180, ipw2200, ipw2915, ipw3945, iwl3945, iwl4965,
       iwl5000, iwlagn, iwl5100, iwl5300
       Broadcom 43xx

      Kismet will work with any distribution of Linux.  Currently, Linux is the
      recommended platform for running Kismet because it has the largest
      selection of rfmon capable drivers.

    - OpenBSD
      Known supported cards: Prism2 (wi), Atheros (ath), Intel 2200/2225/2915
      (iwi), Intel 2100 (ipw), Ralink (ral, ural and rum), Realtek RTL8180L 
      (rtw), ZyDAS ZD1211/ZD1211B (zyd), Prism GT Full-MAC (pgt), Cisco 35x
      (an), WSP100, Drone, wtapfile, pcapfile.
      OpenBSD 3.7 and newer includes a software 802.11 stack and the Radiotap
      packet header format. Any cards that use the 802.11 stack and support
      monitor mode should work with Kismet via the radiotap_bsd_x capture
      OpenBSD 3.2 and newer report standard frames from the Prism2 drivers. 
      Thanks to the efforts of Pedro la Peu, Kismet works fully with prism2
      cards under OpenBSD.

    - FreeBSD
      Known supported cards: Atheros, Prism2, WSP100, Drone, wtapfile, pcapfile

      FreeBSD-current adds a common Radiotap packet header format.  Thanks
      to Sam Leffler, Kismet supports the radiotap headers and should work with
      current FreeBSD systems.

      FreeBSD users should configure with the --enable-syspcap option to get 
      multidlt support from the system-wide libpcap library instead of the
      bundled one.

    - NetBSD
      Known supported cards: WSP100, Drone, wtapfile, pcapfile, radiotap
      There have been no reports positive or negative about NetBSD drivers.
      Please email if you have them working.

      NetBSD has radiotap support, in theory the radiotap_bsd_... source
      types should work.

    - MacOSX
      Known supported cards: Viha, Darwin, WSP100, Drone, wtapfile, pcapfile

      MacOSX is supported for Airport Classic cards using the Viha 
      drivers at  

      Modern cards (Broadcom and Atheros) are supported via the 'darwin' capture
      source.  Read the comments below in the Darwin section of the source list
      for more information.

      Thanks for Kevin Finisterre for help adding the modern OSX capture sources.
      Other third-party drivers may support rfmon for other PCMCIA and USB
      cards under OSX - let me know if your drivers support rfmon, and I'll
      add support in Kismet.

    - Win32 (Cygwin)
      Known supported cards: WSP100, Drone, airpcap, wtapfile, pcapfile

      Win32 local packet capture is possible ONLY with the CACE Airpcap device.
      Thanks to Loris Degioanni for doing the bulk of the work adding airpcap
      support under cygwin.

      When compiling with AirPcap on Cygwin, it is necessary to pass both
      --enable-airpcap and --with-airpcap-devpack=Path, where Path is the
      CACE devpack containing winpcap and airpcap.  Cygwin appears to have
      a bug which prevents proper linking if the devpack is not in the same
      directory as Kismet is compiled in.  If kismet_server.exe instantly exits
      with no output, it is typically indicative of a linkage path problem.

      IN WINDOWS.  CACE has released a public API for their drivers to allow
      third-party programs to interface with them.  Standard Windows wireless
      drivers are not rfmon capable.

      Due to interactions with Cygwin, users of the kismet_client ncurses frontend
      should disable sound in kismet_client.conf

      Win32 is also usable with REMOTE captures such as the Kismet drone 
      running on a platform which supports native capture.

12. Capture Sources
    A capture source in Kismet is anything which provides packets to the Kismet
    engine.  Capture sources define the underlying engine needed to capture
    data from the interface, how to change channel, and how to enter rfmon
    mode.  It is necessary to tell Kismet what specific type of card you use
    because different drivers often use different methods to report information
    and enter monitor mode.

    Source type     Cards               OS          Driver
    --------------- ------------------- ----------- -------------------------
    acx100          TI ACX100           Linux       ACX100
                    ACX100 drivers handle the 22mbit cards branded by D-Link
                     and others.

    admtek          ADMTek              Linux       ADMTek
             (GPL driver)
                    ADMTek drivers used in many consumer 802.11b cards. With
                     the patches above, quasi-rfmon is possible - these cards
                     appear to be almost entirely software controlled and 
                     always in a rfmon-like state.  This card WILL BROADCAST
                     while in rfmon, rendering the sniffer visible.
                    The fully GPL drivers are supported, in addition to the 
                     hacks to the non-free drivers.

    airpcap         Airpcap USB         cygwin      CACE Tech
                    The CACE AirPcap USB device allows native capture on
                    The explicit airpcap source expects the Win32/Cygwin
                     interface name.  This should be used once the source
                     is identified via airpcap_ask or if multiple simultaneous
                     sources are required.

    airpcap_ask     Airpcap USB         cygwin      CACE Tech
                    The CACE AirPcap USB device allows native capture on
                    The airpcap_ask source lists available airpcap devices
                     and allows the user to pick interactively.
                    The 'capture interface' field is irrelevant and can be
                     filled with any value (for example, 'dummy')

    atmel_usb       Atmel-USB           Linux       Berlios-Atmel
                    These drivers work ONLY on USB cards (Sorry, no PCMCIA
                     support).  Monitor mode support is limited and "faked"
                     by bypassing part of the firmware and parsing packets
                     directly, and is likely to not report all of the 
                    This card MAY BROADCAST while in rfmon, rendering the
                     sniffer visible.
                    It appears that this card may be only formatting the 
                     beacons as an 802.11 stream, which means you likely
                     will not see data frames, rendering most IDS functions,
                     IP discovery, and data logging unavailable.

    ath5k           Atheros             Linux       Kernel/Madwifi
                    Based on the OpenBSD OpenHAL, the Ath5k drivers are the
                     future of Atheros support and will be mainlined into the
                     Linux kernel.

    ath5k_a         Atheros             Linux       Kernel/Madwifi
                    Ath5k source for 11a only

    ath5k_ag        Atheros             Linux       Kernel/Madwifi
                    Ath5k source for 11a/11g

    bcm43xx         Broadcom            Linux       BCM43XX
          , kernel
                    Linux native broadcom drivers incorporated into modern

    b43             Broadcom            Linux
                    B43 broadcom drivers for current Broadcom devices in
                     Linux kernels

    b43legacy       Broadcom            Linux
                    B43 broadcom drivers for legacy Broadcom devices in
                     Linux kernels

    cisco           Aironet 340,350     Linux       Kernel 2.4.10 - 2.4.19
                    Standard Cisco cards in Linux.  Works only with
                     the Linux kernel drivers, not the drivers found in
                    The drivers found on the site can be patched
                     with the files from the Kismet download site to add
                     monitor mode with channel control, HOWEVER these drivers
                     are extremely buggy for normal use and work only with
                     the 2.4 kernel tree.
                    The cisco drivers currently do not enter rfmon mode 
                     correctly, so channel control is not available.  The
                     firmware will hop to whatever channel it feels like 
                     hopping to, when it feels like hopping.

    cisco_wifix     Aironet 340,350     Linux       Kernel 2.4.20+, CVS  
                    Capture interface:  'ethX:wifiX'
                    Kernel 2.4.20+ and CVS drivers use ethX for normal mode
                     and wifiX for monitor mode.  Kismet needs to know both
                     devices, which may not necessarily be the same number,
                     for example 'eth1:wifi0'.
                    Linux kernel 2.4.20 and 2.4.21 have highly unstable cisco
                     drivers and should be avoided.
                    The cisco drivers currently do not enter rfmon mode 
                     correctly, so channel control is not available.  The
                     firmware will hop to whatever channel it feels like 
                     hopping to, when it feels like hopping.

    darwin          OSX native cards    OSX/Darwin  OSX
                    Supports both Broadcom and Atheros Airport-Extreme cards.
                    When using a Broadcom based card, it may be necessary to 
                     enable rfmon on the device for the first time using another 
                    When using an Atheros based card, 802.11a may also be supported
                     by adding a 'sourcechannels' line to kismet.conf.

    hostap          Prism/2             Linux       HostAP 0.4
                    HostAP drivers drive the Prism/2 chipset in access point
                     mode, but also can drive the cards in client and monitor
                     modes.  The HostAP drivers seem to change how they go
                     into monitor mode fairly often, but this source should 
                     manage to get them going.

    ipw2100         Intel/Centrino      Linux       ipw2100-0.44+
                    The Linux IPW2100/Centrino drivers for 802.11b cards
                    now support rfmon, so here's support for them.  They act
                    more or less like any other wireless interface would.

    ipw2200         Intel/Centrino      Linux       ipw2200-1.0.4+
                    The Linux IPW2200/Centrino drivers for 802.11bg cards
                    support rfmon as of 1.0.4 and firmware 2.3.  
                    Signal level reporting requires radiotap be turned on
                    in the makefile while compiling the driver.  Noise levels
                    are not reported.

    ipw2915         Intel/Centrino      Linux       ipw2200-1.0.4+
                    The Linux IPW2200/Centrino drivers for 802.11bga cards
                    support rfmon as of 1.0.4 and firmware 2.3.  
                    This is the same as ipw2200 but defaults to scanning the
                    802.11a channel range in addition to 802.11b/g.
                    Signal level reporting requires radiotap be turned on
                    in the makefile while compiling the driver.  Noise levels
                    are not reported.

    ipw3945         Intel/Centrino      Linux       ipw3945
                    The Linux IPW3945/Centrino drivers for Intel Core
                    802.11bga cards.

    ipwlivetap      Intel/Centrino      Linux       ipw2200/3945
                    The ipw3945 and patched ipw2200 drivers support a 
                    special mode which allows monitor-mode style sniffing
                    while remaining associated.  Channel hopping is not
                    possible, as the card is still associated to a 
                    specific AP, but single-channel IDS and sniffing can
                    be accomplished.  See the ipw driver mailing list
                    archives for information about patching your drivers.

    iwl3945         Intel/Centrino      Linux       iwl3945
                    Intel's new IPW drivers using the mac80211 kernel

    iwl4965         Intel/Centrino      Linux       iwl4965
                    Intel's new IPW drivers using the mac80211 kernel

    iwlagn          Intel/Centrino      Linux       iwl4965
                    Intel's new IPW drivers using the mac80211 kernel

    iwl5100         Intel/Centrino      Linux       iwl4965
                    Intel's new IPW drivers using the mac80211 kernel

    iwl5300         Intel/Centrino      Linux       iwl4965
                    Intel's new IPW drivers using the mac80211 kernel

    kismet_drone    n/a                 Any         n/a
                    Capture interface:  'dronehost:port'  
                    The remote drone capture source connects to a Kismet
                     drone and processes the packets.  Refer to the Remote 
                     Drone section of the README for more details about how
                     to set up a drone.

    madwifi_a       Atheros             Linux       madwifi
                    Capture interface:  'athX'
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX' (Madwifi-NG)
                    Madwifi drivers in 802.11a-only mode. 
                    When using madwifi-ng, be sure all non-monitor VAPs have
                     been removed, otherwise madwifi will not properly report
                     most traffic.

    madwifi_b       Atheros             Linux       madwifi
                    Capture interface:  'athX'
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX' (Madwifi-NG)
                    Madwifi drivers in 802.11b-only mode. 
                    When using madwifi-ng, be sure all non-monitor VAPs have
                     been removed, otherwise madwifi will not properly report
                     most traffic.

    madwifi_g       Atheros             Linux       madwifi
                    Capture interface:  'athX'
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX' (Madwifi-NG)
                    Madwifi drivers in 802.11g-only mode.  This will, 
                     obviously, also see 11b networks.
                    When using madwifi-ng, be sure all non-monitor VAPs have
                     been removed, otherwise madwifi will not properly report
                     most traffic.

    madwifi_ab      Atheros             Linux       madwifi
                    Capture interface:  'athX'
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX' (Madwifi-NG)
                    Madwifi drivers in 802.11a and 802.11b combo mode.  This
                     will seamlessly switch between bands during channel 
                    When using madwifi-ng, be sure all non-monitor VAPs have
                     been removed, otherwise madwifi will not properly report
                     most traffic.

    madwifi_ag      Atheros             Linux       madwifi
                    Capture interface:  'athX'
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX' (Madwifi-NG)
                    Madwifi drivers in 802.11a and 802.11g combo mode.  This
                     will seamlessly switch between bands during channel 
                    When using madwifi-ng, be sure all non-monitor VAPs have
                     been removed, otherwise madwifi will not properly report
                     most traffic.

    madwifing_a     Atheros             Linux       madwifi-ng
    madwifing_ab    Atheros             Linux       madwifi-ng
    madwifing_ag    Atheros             Linux       madwifi-ng
    madwifing_g     Atheros             Linux       madwifi-ng
    madwifing_b     Atheros             Linux       madwifi-ng
                    Capture interface:  'wifiX'
                    *Deprecated*.  Detection for madwifi-ng is built into
                     the standard madwifi sources.  The _ng source names
                     have been kept to allow old configs to continue

    nokia770        Nokia               Linux       Nokiea
                    Nokia770 capture interface.  Includes support for 
                    validating frame checksums to screen out junk 
                    packets, since the drivers pass us all data.

    nokia8x0        Nokia 800,810
                    Nokia 8x0 capture interface, including support for
                    FCS validation.
                    The Nokia drivers appear to exhibit instability while
                    capturing where they stop reporting packets.  This may
                    be minimized by setting the Network Scan interval to
                    "never" in the control panel->networking section.

    orinoco         Lucent, Orinoco     Linux       Patched orinoco_cs
                    The Orinoco drivers which have mainlined into the Linux
                     kernel do support monitor mode, however only specific firmware
                     versions are supported and often they do not work.
                    An up-ported version of the older Orinoco drivers which more
                     reliably supported rfmon may be available at:
                    Generally, Orinoco cards are not recommended for use with
                     Kismet due to these limitations.

    orinoco_14      Lucent, Orinoco     Linux       Orinoco 0.14+
                    This source is deprecated and should only be used with
                    pre-release versions of a driver since merged into the Linux

    pcapfile        n/a                 Any         n/a
                    Capture interface:  '/path/to/file' 
                    The pcapfile capture source feeds a stored 802.11-encap
                     dump file through the Kismet engine again.  This can be
                     useful for debugging or rescanning old logs for 
                     alert conditions.  Pcapfile sources are only available
                     if Kismet was compiled with libpcap support.

    prism2_openbsd  Prism/2             OpenBSD     Kernel
                    Full support for Prism2 under OpenBSD.

    prism54g        PrismGT             Linux       prism54
                    PrismGT 802.11g drivers supporting monitor mode.

    radiotap_bsd_ab Radiotap            BSD         Kernel
                    Dual-band cards with radiotap headers.

    radiotap_bsd_a Radiotap              BSD        Kernel
                    802.11a cards (or dual-band on 11a channels only) with 
                     radiotap headers. 

    radiotap_bsd_b Radiotap             BSD         Kernel
                    802.11b/g cards (or dual-band on 11b channels only) with
                     radiotap headers. 

    rt2400          Ralink 2400 11b     Linux       rt2400-gpl
                    Ralink 2400 802.11b cards using the serialmonkey GPL'd 
                     rt2x00 drivers.  Must use 1.2.2 beta 2 or newer drivers.

    rt2500          Ralink 2500 11g     Linux       rt2500-gpl
                    Ralink 2500 802.11g cards using the serialmonkey GPL'd 
                     rt2x00 drivers.  Must use 1.1.0 beta 2 or newer drivers.

    rt2860          Ralink 2860         Linux
                    Ralink rt2860 out-of-kernel drivers

    rt2860sta       Ralink 2860         Linux
                    Ralink rt2860 out-of-kernel drivers

    rt73            Ralink 73   11g     Linux       rt73-gpl-cvs
                    Ralink 73 802.11g USB cards using the serialmonkey GPL'd
                     rt79 drivers (tested only with CVS driver versions)

    rt8180          Realtek 8180 11b    Linux       rtl8180-sa2400
                    Realtek 8180 based cards (there seem to be an awful lot of
                     them) using the GPL drivers.

    viha            Airport             OSX         viha
                    Monitor mode support for Airport under OSX.  Does not
                     support Airport Extreme.

    vtar5k          Atheros 802.11a     Linux       vtar5k
                    vtar5k drivers handle some Atheros 802.11a cards.  Chances
                     are you'll have better luck with madwifi drivers.

    wlanng_legacy   Prism/2             Linux       wlan-ng 0.1.3 and earlier
                    Old wlan-ng drivers didn't support pcap capturing and
                     use a netlink socket to the kernel.  These are still in
                     use on some embedded systems (like the Zaurus).

    wlanng          Prism/2             Linux       wlan-ng 0.1.4 - 0.1.9
                    Wlan-ng prism2 drivers prior to the AVS headers.

    wlanng_avs      Prism/2             Linux       wlan-ng 0.2.0+
                    Newer wlan-ng drivers support a new header type and 
                     slightly different monitor commands to report wepped

    wrt54g          Linksys WRT54G      Linux       linksys
                    Capture interface:  'wlX'
                    Support for the newer firmware versions on the 
                     WRT54G/S/L devices (and any others using the broadcom
                     reference chipset).
                    Some systems generate a secondary device, prism0, while
                     in monitor mode and require special care while channel
                     hopping, it is no longer necessary to specify the prism0
                     device explicitly for Kismet.

    wsp100          NetChem WSP100      Any         n/a
                    Capture interface:  'host:port'
                    The WSP100 is an embedded device which reports 802.11
                     packets over UDP.  The wsp100 capture source is 
                     (generally) system agnostic, however over time it has
                     been less maintained than others.  If you'd like to
                     send me patches for this, please let me know.

    zd1211          ZyDAS USB           Linux       zd1211
                    The ZD1211 drivers have had some regressions which lead to 
                     data corruption while changing channel.  Some versions 
                     work, and typically the aircrack patches resolve the
                     corruption issues if your version doesn't properly handle

    Chipsets known to NOT WORK:
     Broadcom           - No linux drivers, only useable with ndiswrapper or
                          linuxant wrappers around windows drivers.
                          *** UPDATE ***
                          See the bcm43xx source type entry.  There are
                          experimental reverse-engineered drivers which have
                          monitor mode support now under Linux!  If they don't
                          work, however, then too bad.
     Airport Extreme    - Really a Broadcom, with no rfmon in the OSX drivers.
                          *** UPDATE ***
                          See the bcm source for linux on ppc, it MAY work, it
                          may not.  Currently theres no solution for OSX but
                          I'm looking for OSX hackers interested in redoing the
                          Kismet port and looking into adding more support.
     Atmel              - There is a hack for pseudo-monitor in USB.  There is
                          currently no equivalent hack for PCMCIA.
     HermesII           - Proxim successor to the Orinoco/HermesI.  No support
                          yet in the drivers, may be available in the future.
     ndiswrapper        - Anything using ndiswrapper is using WINDOWS drivers
                          AND CAN NOT BE USED WITH KISMET.

13. Graphical Network Mapping

    Kismet provides a tool for drawing networks overlaid on downloaded maps
    called 'gpsmap'.  Gpsmap reads the netxml and gpsxml files, sanitizes the

    GPSMap can download maps from several online sources (MapBlast, Tiger,
    Terraserver, Earthamaps, and more) as well as use user-provided graphics, 
    provided you know the scale and center coordinates.

    Main features:
        * Travel path/track
        * Approximate network circular range
        * Approximate network center
        * Convex hull of all network sample points
        * Interpolated (weathermap-style) graphing of power and range
        * Labeling of network centers
        * Scatterplot of all detected packets
        * Legend showing total sample networks, visible networks, colors,
          power ranges, network center, etc.

    'gpsmap --help' lists all of the switches for enabling different map 
    overlays, map sources, and coloring options.  The default map source
    is a blank image.

    GPSMap currently can use maps from:
        NullMap     (Blank white background)
        MapBlast    (Vector) (Broken)
        MapPoint    (Vector) (Broken, read warning)
        Terraserver (Satellite Photo)
        Tiger       (Vector) (US Census data)
        Earthamap   (Vector) (Requires perl) (Broken)
        Terraserver Topo (Vector-ish) 
    Due to changes in the map websites (or their removal by vendors or 
    corporate buyouts), many map sources no longer work.  These mapsources
    are marked as "Broken" or "Unavailable".  They have been left in GPSMap
    solely to enable easy plotting on previously saved map images.  These
    will FAIL if they are selected and a user map is not also provided.

    All of these map sources rely on external data.  By using them, you agree
    to whatever terms and conditions the map provider requires.  Visit the
    map providers website for these conditions.  It is highly probable that
    re-use of maps from vendors, in noncommercial or commercial situations,
    is against the terms of service.

    Plotting against non-vendor maps is possible by determining the equivalent
    scaling mechanism and setting the appropriate map type.  Typically this 
    must be done via trial and error.
    The extras/ directory contains an additional utility, 'gpsxml-sanitize',
    for cleaning invalid sample points out of the gpsxml data files for use in
    other programs.  GPSMap cleans the data set automatically, reprocessing the
    gpsxml files is only needed if they are to be used in third-party programs.

14. Drone Remotes

    Remote Kismet drones are designed to turn Kismet into a stationary, 
    distibuted IDS system.  Drones support all of the capture sources Kismet
    supports, and can have multiple cards per drone.  Drones capture wireless
    data and report it over a secondary connection (typically wired ethernet),
    and have very minimal hardware requirements.
    Each drone in the network can be configured for independent channel 
    hopping, and even different 802.11 standards (such as one drone monitoring
    802.11a and one monitoring 802.11b).

    A kismet server can be connected to all the drones in the network and will
    provide a single dump file and alert system.  Using wep decrpytion and a 
    named pipe output ('fifo' config file option), wireless traffic from around
    an installation can be sent to snort (or other layer3 IDS).

    To start using drones, set up a kismet_drone on the system with a wireless
    card, using the kismet_drone.conf file.  Then configure Kismet to have a 
    kismet_drone capsource pointing to that host, start kismet_server, and
    use whatever client you like to connect to Kismet.

    If a GPS is enabled on the drone, packets recieved from the drone will use
    that GPS for positioning information.  If the GPS is not enabled, then the
    GPS connected to the Kismet server will be used.

15. Alerts and Intrusion Detection

    Kismet will provide alerts based on fingerprints (specific netstumbler
    versions, other specific attacks) and trends (unusual probes, excessive
    disassociation, etc).  Kismet focuses on the 802.11 (layer 2) network
    layer, and provides integration via named pipes with layer3+ IDS systems
    such as Snort.

    Alerts are primarily meant to be used in a stationary IDS situation.  Some
    are potentially useful in a mobile/wardriving setup, but others may
    generate false or useless information.

    Alert name:       NETSTUMBLER
    Alert type:       Fingerprint  
    Alert on:         Netstumbler probe requests
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0025
    Alert message:    "Netstumbler ($version) probe detected from ($macsource)"
    Tool-specific:    Yes (Netstumbler 3.22, 3.23, 3.30)
    Details:          In an attempt to disclose the SSID of a network, 
                      Netstumbler sends out unique packets.  This is not done
                      in all situations, but when it is detected the potential
                      for false positives is very low.

    Alert name:       DEAUTHFLOOD
    Alert type:       Trend
    Alert on:         Deauthenticate/Disassociate Flood
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0019
    Alert message:    "Deassociate/Deauthenticate flood on $targetbssid"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          By spoofing disassociate or deauthenticate packets, 
                      arbitrary (or all) clients can be disconnected from a
                      network.  This attack lasts only as long as the attacker
                      maintains the flood.

    Alert name:       LUCENTTEST
    Alert type:       Fingerprint  
    Alert on:         Lucent link test  
    Alert message:    "Lucent link test detected from $sourcemac"
    Tool-specific:    Yes (Lucent/Orinoco site survey software)
    References: (requires login)
    Details:          Lucent/Orinoco/Proxim/Agere provide site survey 
                      software.  This rule will generate an alert when it is
                      in use.

    Alert name:       WELLENREITER
    Alert type:       Fingerprint
    Alert on:         Wellenreiter SSID brute force attempt
    WVE:              WVE-2006-0058
    Alert message:    "Wellenteiter probe detected from $sourcemac"
    Tool-specific:    Yes (Wellenreiter 1.5, 1.6)
    Details:          Wellenreiter attempts to use a dictionary to brute-force
                      a hidden SSID.  Between each probe attempt it resets the
                      card to probe for 'this_is_used_for_wellenreiter'.

    Alert name:       CHANCHANGE
    Alert type:       Trend  
    Alert on:         Previously detected AP changing to a new channel
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0019
    Alert message:    "Beacon on $bssid ($ssid) for channel $newchannel,
                      previously detected on $oldchannel"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          Man-in-the-middle attacks attempt to direct users to a
                      fake AP on another channel.  If Kismet sees an AP
                      change to a new channel, this is often suspicious

    Alert name:       BCASTDISCON
    Alert type:       Fingerprint
    Alert on:         Broadcast disconnect/deauthenticate
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0019
    Alert message:    "Broadcast [disassociation|deathentication] on $bssid"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          Many attacks use a broadcast disassociate or 
                      deauthenticate to disconnect all users on a network, 
                      either to redirect them to a new fake network or do
                      cause a denial of service or disclose a cloaked SSID.
                      Broadcast disassociations are rarely, if ever, 

    Alert name:       AIRJACKSSID
    Alert type:       Fingerprint
    Alert on:         SSID of 'airjack'
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0018
    Alert message:    "Beacon for SSID 'airjack' from $sourcemac"
    Tool-specific:    Yes (airjack)
    Details:          The AirJack tools set the initial SSID to 'airjack'.
                      This alert is no longer highly relevant as the AirJack
                      tool has long been discontinued.

    Alert name:       PROBENOJOIN
    Alert type:       Trend
    Alert on:         Clients probing for networks, being accepted by that
                      network, and continuing to probe for networks.
    Alert message:    "Suspicious client $sourcemac - probing networks but
                      never joining."
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          'Active' or 'Firmware' network scanning tools work by
                      letting the card probe for any network and recording
                      those that respond.  These tools include NetStumbler,
                      PocketStumbler, and many others.
                      Kismet raises this alert when a client is seen to be 
                      probing for networks but never joins any of the networks
                      which respond.
                      False positives are possible in noisy/lossy situations,
                      disabling this alert may be desirable in some 

    Alert name:       DISASSOCTRAFFIC
    Alert type:       Trend
    Alert on:         Traffic from a source within 10 seconds of a
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0019
    Alert message:    "Suspicious traffic on $sourcemac: Data traffic within
                      10 seconds of a disassociate."
    Tool-specific:    No
    References:       "802.11 Denial-of-Service Attacks: Real Vulnerabilities 
                      and Practical Solutions"
    Details:          As discussed in the above research paper by Bellardo, J. 
                      and Savage, S., a host which legitimately disassociates 
                      or deauthenticates from a network should not be 
                      exchanging data immediately thereafter. Any client which 
                      DOES exchange data within 10 seconds of disassociating 
                      from the network should be considered a likely victim of 
                      a disassociate attack.

    Alert name:       NOPROBERESP
    Alert type:       Fingerprint
    Alert on:         Probe response packet with 0-length SSID tagged 
    WVE:              WVE-2006-0064
    Alert message:    "Probe response with 0-length SSID detected from 
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          Many firmware versions from different manufacturers
                      have a fatal error when they receive a probe response
                      with a 0-length SSID tagged parameter.

    Alert name:       BSSTIMESTAMP
    Alert type:       Trend
    Alert on:         Invalid BSS timestamps indicative of an access point 
                      being spoofed.
    WVE:              WVE-2005-0019
    Alert message:    "Out-of-sequence timestamp on $bssid got $timestamp 
                      expected $timestamp - this could indicate AP spoofing"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          The BSS timestamp sent with beacons and some probe frames
                      cannot be spoofed with standard firmware or drivers even
                      when forging raw frames.  A BSS mismatch is likely an
                      indication of an attempt to spoof the SSID and BSSID of 
                      an access point.
                      This alert contains flap-detection to minimise false
                      positives caused by random bogons and AP recycling.

    Alert name:       MSFBCOMSSID
    Alert type:       Signature
    Alert on:         MAC src address used as CPU instructions by MSF when 
                      exploiting the Broadcom SSID overflow
    WVE:              WVE-2006-0071
    Alert message:    "MSF-style poisoned exploit packet for Broadcom drivers"
    Tool-specific:    Yes
    Details:          Some versions of the Windows Broadcom wireless drivers
                      do not properly handle over-long SSIDs, leading to
                      code execution.

    Alert name:       LONGSSID
    Alert type:       Signature
    Alert on:         SSID advertised as greater than IEEE spec of 32 bytes
    Alert message:    "Illegal SSID length ($len > 32) from $srcmac"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          The IEEE 802.11 spec allows a maximum of 32 bytes for
                      the SSID, however the IE tag structure allows for 256.
                      Oversized SSIDs are indicative of an attack attempting
                      to exploit SSID handling.

    Alert name:       MSFDLINKRATE
    Alert type:       Signature
    Alert on:         Beacon frame with over-long 802.11 rates tag containing
                      exploit opcodes
    WVE:              WVE-2006-0072
    Alert message:    "MSF-style poisoned 802.11 rate field in beacon $srcmac
                      for D-Link driver attack"
    Tool-specific:    Yes
    Details:          Some versions of the Windows D-Link wireless drivers
                      do not properly handle over-long 802.11 accepted rate
                      fields, leading to code execution.

    Alert name:       MSFNETGEARBEACON
    Alert type:       Signature
    Alert on:         Large beacon frame containing exploit opcodes
    Alert message:    "MSF-style poisoned 802.11 over-sized options beacon $srcmac
                      for Netgear driver attack"
    Tool-specific:    Yes
    Details:          Some versions of the Windows Netgear wireless drivers
                      do not properly handle over-sized beacon frames, leading
                      to remote code execution

    Alert type:       Signature
    Alert on:         Unknown / reserved / invalid reason codes in deauth and
                      disassoc packets
    Alert message:    "Unknown {disassociation | deauthentication } reason code
                      0x$rc from $sourcemac"
    Tool-specific:    No
    Details:          Various drivers and access points have been reported to
                      improperly handle unknown/invalid reason codes.
16. Reporting Bugs

    Bugs happen, and I'm sure some are still in the code.  To make a useful
    bug report:

    * Check the "Troubleshooting" section to make sure it's not a known
      user error
    * Check the development CHANGELOG to make sure it hasn't already been
      fixed in -devel.
    If the bug appears to be tied to specific packets:

    * Start Kismet
    * Use TCPDump to get a capture of the packets outside of Kismet, until
      Kismet crashes.  (``tcpdump -i foo0 -w crashlog.dump'')
    * Run the capture through Kismet:  Does it still crash?  (use the 
      pcapfile capture type)  ``kismet_server -c pcapfile,/path/to/dump,foo''
    * Send me the dump file and the info

    If the bug happens otherwise:

    * Recompile Kismet from source and don't use ``make install''.  The install
      scripts strip debugging info from the binaries that we need.
    * Run Kismet inside gdb (``gdb ./kismet_server'' or ``gdb ./kismet_client'')
    * When it crashes, get a backtrace:  ``bt'' in gdb
    * Send me the info

17. Troubleshooting
    Some common problems with Kismet have easy solutions:

    PROBLEM: Fatal errors about old configuration file values
      Kismet has evolved over time.  This has made changes to the config files
      necessary, and obsoleted old options.  Kismet will automatically detect 
      old config files and alert on them.
    FIX: Upgrade your config files.  'make forceinstall' or 'forcesuidinstall'
      will replace old files, or you can copy the config file from the conf/
      directory manually and update it for your configuration.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about being unable to find the suiduser
      Kismet drops the privileges of the main packet processor to a specified
      user for security - handling hostile remote data as root is just a bad
      idea.  If a nonexistent user is specified, Kismet will bail.
    FIX: Set a valid user as the suiduser config variable.  If you're sure you
      don't want privilege dropping, you can run configure with the 
      '--disable-setuid' option, but this is NOT reccomended for most users.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about specifying a uid-0 target for suiduser
      Kismet needs to drop out of root for security purposes.  If you tell it
      that the user to switch to is 'root' (or another uid-0 user, if you
      happened to make one), it can't do this.
    FIX:  See fix above for errors about finding the suiduser.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error enabling monitor mode, 'monitor' ioctl not available
      Some capture sources use a private ioctl, 'monitor', to enable rfmon.
      If Kismet is unable to find this ioctl, it means that the wrong 
      interface was specified, the wrong capture type is being used, or 
      most commonly, the drivers you are using have not been patched or the
      patched drivers are not being loaded.
      Be sure to download any patches needed for the drivers you are using, 
      and make sure that no other copies of those drivers exist in your
      /lib/modules/kern-version/ directory.  You may need to restart pcmcia-cs
      if your wireless card was already running when you installed the patched
    FIX: Provide the correct interface and ensure that the patched drivers are

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about a Cisco card not reporting the correct 
      link type in Linux
    FIX: Use the correct Cisco card drivers.  The ones from and
      the ones in pcmcia-cs don't support rfmon, but act as if they do.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about being unable to open a file for writing
      The most common cause of this problem is that the suiduser you specified
      for Kismet to drop to does not have rights to write to the directory 
      Kismet is trying to log to.
      If you did not modify the 'logtemplate' configuration file variable, 
      Kismet defaults to the current directory for saving logs.  You can set
      an explicit path in the logtemplate variable to put your logs in the same
      place every time.
    FIX: Start Kismet from a directory that the suiduser can write to, or set
      the logtemplate variable to always put the logs in a directory the 
      suiduser can write to.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about being unable to open the pidfile
    FIX: By default Kismet writes the pid to /var/run/.  If you didn't install
      Kismet as suidroot, you need to start it as root so it can write to this
      directory and bind interfaces.  If you're only using capture sources that
      don't require root, you can change this in kismet.conf to put pidfiles
      in /tmp (or any other directory).  This isn't reccomended if you use
      Kismet as root on a system with untrusted users.

    PROBLEM: Fatal error about interface no longer available, and DHCP
    FIX: Many distributions turn on DHCP for wireless interfaces.  When DHCP
      is turned on and rfmon is used, one of two things happens:
      1. rfmon is entered before DHCP gets an address.  After approximately
         a minute, DHCP times out, and turns off the interface.
      2. DHCP gets an address, but when the address expires, it is unable to
         renew it, and turns off the interface.
      MAKE SURE YOU DISABLE DHCP before starting Kismet - either turn it off
      entirely for that interface, or kill the client (usually dhclient,
      dhcpcd, or pump) before starting Kismet.

      Similar problems can occur if networkmanager is running and active
      while Kismet is running, as it will try to reconfigure the interface
      Kismet is using.  If Kismet is compiled with DBUS support, it can
      automatically put networkmanager to sleep if the 'networkmanagersleep'
      variable is set to true in kismet.conf

      Be sure to also disable wpa_supplicant on any interfaces being used
      by Kismet, as it will try to reconfigure the device.

    PROBLEM: Configure is unable to find libncurses or other libraries, but
     they're installed.
    FIX: If you are running a RPM-based distribution, you will need the 
     foo-devel.rpm packages for each library.  These packages contain the 
     headers needed to compile against the libraries.

    PROBLEM: The panels client fails with the error 'unable to open 
     terminal xyz'.
    FIX: Set your TERM environment variable to something libcurses has support
     for.  'vt100' is usually a good choice.

    PROBLEM: My GPS hardware claims to have a signal lock, but Kismet shows a
     fix of 0 and does not log any GPS inforation.
    FIX: Some GPS units have invalid NMEA streams which gpsd doesn't understand
     correctly.  Set the "gpsmodelock" option to "true" in kismet.conf

    PROBLEM: I can't lock Kismet onto a single channel in the panels client,
     it says the server doesn't support channel hopping.
    FIX: You need to start Kismet with channel hopping enabled to be able to
     lock a source to a specific channel.  Kismet will automatically disable
     channel hopping if none of the enabled sources support setting the channel.

    PROBLEM: Kismet says it couldn't take the card out of monitor mode on
    FIX: The source you're using won't come cleanly out of rfmon, or I didn't
     implement it for some reason.  You'll need to reconfigure (or restart)
     the interfaces manually.

    PROBLEM: Kismet says it took the card out of monitor mode, but it still
     doesn't work.
    FIX: Sometimes cards don't come out of monitor mode cleanly.  If it doesn't
     work, you'll need to manually restart your card, sorry.  Restarting your
     card depends on your drivers and distribution, Google is your friend.

    PROBLEM: I get 'invalid mode: monitor' or similar errors trying to go 
     into rfmon with madwifi
    FIX: First, make sure you have madwifi-cvs.
         Second, make sure you're running a recent kernel.  You need wireless
          extensions >= 15.  To be safe, upgrade to the latest stable kernel.

    PROBLEM: Kismet can't compile, there are errors about not finding libpcap
    FIX: Kismet no longer includes libpcap source, and expects your system to
     have a relatively modern (0.9+ preferred) libpcap install.  Install 
     libpcap, and if your distribution provides it, libpcap-devel.

    PROBLEM: Kismet immediately exits on Cygwin with no output
    FIX: Cygwin appears to have a problem in the linker.  If Kismet is linked
     to the CASE airpcap/winpcap libraries, they MUST be inside a sub-directory
     of the Kismet source for compilation.  Recompile Kismet with the airpcap 
     devpack inside the source directory.

    PROBLEM: Kismet stops capturing packets with Madwifi
    FIX: Madwifi seems to have a race condition of some sort which is
     exposed while hopping channels.  Decreasing the channel hop rate may
     reduce the frequency of the failures, but will not entirely stop the

     It has been reported that loading the madwifi modules with the module
     parameter "autocreate=none" helps, by not automatically creating the
     initial managed VAP, subsequent creation of the monitor vap doesn't
     exhibit the lockup while channel hopping.

     Madwifi-ng development has switched to the Ath5k driver, which may
     perform better.

18. Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Where did the name Kismet come from?
    A: The word itself means Fate or Destiny.  While I wish I could make up
       some smart comment about picking it because Kismet will ultimately 
       uncover every active wireless network in the area, really I just needed
       a name and was clicking through a thesaurus and liked the sound.

    Q: Is there anything illegal about Kismet?
    A: In and of itself, there should be nothing illegal about Kismet, and it's
       no different than any other network capture tool.
       Note, however:
        - Recording data from networks for which you do not have permission may
          be considered an illegal wiretap.
        - Using networks you do not have permission to use may be considered
          theft of service.
        - Don't be stupid using Kismet.
        - If you are stupid, I'm not responsible.

    Q: What happened to the version numbers?
    A: They stopped making sense.  3.0 to 3.1 was a 30,000 line diff, but 
       calling it 4.0 doesn't make sense either.  So, it's getting versioned
       by the release date, which should also help keep stable releases coming
       in a timely manner.

    Q: Why is rfmon different from promiscuous mode, and why can't you just use
    A: In the wired world, promiscuous mode turns off the filtering mechanism 
       in your network card, causing it to pass all packets to the operating
       system.  With most drivers, it means the same thing in the wireless 
       world, -BUT- it only applies to the network you are currently associated
       with, and it only passes the packets as 802.3/Ethernet-II.  This means
       no 802.11 headers, no 802.11 management frames, and nothing from 
       networks other than the one you're associated with.
       Rfmon is a special mode that reports all packets the wireless card sees,
       including management packets and packets from any network the radio can
       Kismet can't just use promisc mode because it won't be able to gather
       information about the networks, and would only be able to get data from
       the network you've already joined.

    Q: Does Kismet work differently than NetStumbler?
    A: Absolutely.  Netstumbler (and MiniStumbler, and others) work by querying
       the firmware of the card for networks the card has seen.  While this
       method is obviously able to detect networks in the area, it is noisy
       (people can see you're running NetStumbler), it can't decloak hidden
       networks, and it can't record data.

    Q: Will Kismet work with Linuxant or NDISwrapper drivers?
    A: No.  These wrappers use the Windows drivers, which don't support rfmon.
       Until there are native drivers with rfmon support, Kismet won't work 
       with these cards.

    Q: What can I do to get you to support card 'xyz'?
    A: Kismet support of a card is largely dependant on available drivers with
       rfmon support.  I'll be happy to get in touch with driver authors about

    Q: My distro loads the orinoco drivers for my prism2 card, is this OK?
    A: No, not really.  The orinoco and prism chipsets are based off the same
       reference design, but there are subtle differences, especially in the
       firmware timings.  Using the orinoco drivers may work for a while, but
       you're likely going to have problems with lost frames, corrupt frames,
       and system hangs.  Plus, if you ever have problems and mention you're
       using the orinoco drivers, I'll yell at you.

    Q: Why am I not seeing all the traffic on a network?
    A: You're most likely channel hopping.  You can't see all the traffic on
       a channel if you're hopping, just like you can't see all of a show on
       TV if you're channel surfing.  If you need to see all of the data from 
       a single network, you'll need to disable hopping or lock Kismet onto the
       network you want to watch.  Additionally, Kismet can only process packets
       which are passed by the drivers.  Some drivers, firmware versions, and 
       cards simply don't send all the data frames while in rfmon, and not much
       can be done to solve that.

    Q: What about 802.11n?
    A: Some 802.11n cards with the Atheros chipset are supported, however
       currently the link type still appears as 802.11g.  In theory these
       cards will work with the madwifi-ng capture sources.
    A2: Intel ABGN cards using iwlwifi should work.

    Q: Why do I get a lot of nonsense networks, or lots of networks that only
       have one data packet?
    A: Some drivers (currently the worst offenders are wrt54g, zd1211rw, and
       some versions of prism54) toss up garbage packets sometimes.  Usually
       these are chunks of valid frames, several valid frames mangled together,
       valid frames with extra noise before them, etc.  Kismet does the best
       it can to screen these out, but if the packet headers look like a 
       data frame it will usually get past - management frames can be 
       rigorously validated, but data frames could contain anything so they
       slip past.
       There isn't a really good solution to this, but you can turn on the
       'autogroup_data' option in kismet_ui.conf to make them less intrusive.

    Q: What are the signal and noise levels measured in?
    A: Depends on the drivers.  Firmware.  Modes.  In other words, who knows.
       Most cards and drivers don't do very well measuring signal levels in 
       rfmon.  Some, like Cisco, don't even give us a per-packet signal level.
       To make matters worse, signal levels are often quite binary - rarely
       will a signal dwindle to 10 or 20 as you travel away from the source.
       Beyond a certain point the radio is unable to assemble a packet out of 
       the weak signal, and it will simply disappear.
       Generally speaking, a signal level of 200 is better than a signal level
       of 100, but individually the numbers don't have much relevance.  They
       can be useful for coloring the maps as "better" and "worse", but thats
       about the most you should use them for.

    Q: Can Kismet be used in a commercial product?
    A: As long as you follow the requirements of the GPL, I can't stop you. 
       It would certainly be nice if you're using Kismet to make a profit to
       take a look at my wishlist or make a donation though.

    Q: What about plugins?
    A: Yeah, I know, I'm working on them.
    A2: Look at newcore.  After years of work, it will be releasing soon.

    Q: 'configure' says it can't find libncurses/libcurses
    A: First, did you install ncurses-devel?  Kismet needs the development
       Second, run 'ldconfig'.  Some distributions (Fedora) seem to have an
        out-of-date library cache that means ld can't find the library.
       Third, make sure you installed the libstdc++/g++ packages.  Configure 
        will erroneously blame libncurses if the linkage with libstdc++ fails.

    Q: Configure failed on something else
    A: Look at config.log and see why it failed.  Sometimes packages don't
       properly define all their dependencies and linking fails.

    Q: When channel hopping, the orinoco keeps going to channel -1 and not
    A: Apply the latest patches available on the Kismet download page, these
       fix a number of issues with the orinoco drivers and seem to alleviate
       this problem for most users.

    Q: What are the SSIDs full of strange characters, like ^A^B^J^J^K^H?
    A: WindowsXP leaks bits of memory into the probe requests.  These are legit
       packets, and thats whats really in them.

    Q: Why is the range of a network sometimes hundreds of miles inside Kismet,
       but normal in GPSMap?
    A: GPSMap does some moderately advanced filtering on data points which 
       allows it to sift the data collected and clean out invalid samples.  
       These methods require all of the sample points to be available, however,
       and won't work during a live capture.  If the GPS reports a momentary
       invalid, but not wholly invalid, sample then Kismet will get confused.

    Q: How can I merge multiple capture files into one?
    A: Use ``mergecap'' that comes with Ethereal to combine dump files.

    Q: How can I include all the standard known manufacturers in the manuf
    A: There is a script in the extras/ directory that will convert the 
       standard OUI list (such as that provided with Ethereal) into the format
       Kismet uses.  This will make Kismet take a LOT more ram and a moderate
       increase in CPU to store and search the expanded list.  If your hardware
       can handle it, by all means, but not recommended for lowpower systems.

    Q: What if configure can't find the linux wireless headers?
    A: Make sure you installed the kernel-headers package for your distro.
       Barring that, find the location of your kernel headers, and pass 
       configure the directory with:
       ./configure --with-linuxheaders=/path/to/headers

    Q: Do I need wiretap support?
    A: Not really.  Wiretap is only for specific situations (reading compressed
       packets, or reading packets captured by some different system like
       aironet.  Generally speaking, you can just use the pcapfile capture type
       which is included with libpcap.

    Q: What cards work in *BSD?
    A: Any card with radiotap support should work in any of the BSD variants
       (Net, Open, or Free).  Check your kernel docs and consider upgrading
       to the latest release to get more radiotap device support..  With the 
       exclusion of OpenBSD, non-radiotap devices are not supported.
       If you want to add support for a non-radiotap card, contact me over
       email or IRC and I can help explain it.

    Q: Why can't I use prism2 or USB cards on Darkwin?
    A: Because I don't have patches for them.  Send me some.

    Q: I want to port Kismet to (X) or I want to support card (Y)
    A: Kismet is designed to be fairly modular.  Contact me over IRC or email
       and I can explain what parts need to be changed.

    Q: Why won't Kismet work on Windows?
    A: Because there are few legally unencumbered drivers for Windows.  I am
       unwilling to risk the legal repercussions of attempting to leverage
       the commercial drivers from sniffer demos.  
       Thanks to the efforts of CACE Tech, the AirPcap device is available
       for Windows with drivers designed to let OSS projects use the
       device legally.  Kismet will now work with this device on Windows, 
       however this is the ONLY local capture device which will work.

    Q: What happens when I ask a question thats already answered here?
    A: I'll probably be rude to you and tell you to go read the docs. 
       But of course everyone already read the docs all the way to the end,
       right?  Right?