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OSINT WIFI Tutorial: Track People using WiFi via Wigle

Due to the drastic growth of internet access, Wi-fi networks have become progressively popular. Wi-fi technologies link to the network topologies allows users to browse through a massive database of information on the internet. Some search engines, such as Google, are still at the forefront while searching for anything. However, Google gathers a great deal of information about web searches. WiFi OSINT can be conducted using some specialized tools, such as Wigle. This article discusses the steps to perform wifi osint.

How Organizations Track People using WiFi

Several network technologies use the internet nowadays. Organizations gather the router’s MAC address to determine someone’s location. Commonly, everybody uses their phones or computers to do online searches. Most internet-connected systems use dynamic IP addresses. Dynamic IP addresses are allocated to devices temporarily. So, the MAC address, or BSSID of routers, nearby wi-fi networks, is gathered to build a database. This information enables organizations to track any individual.

Organizations gather user locations to display search results depending on the user’s current location. But wonders how these firms utilize client locations. Today I am going to converse about Wigle. But, before discussing it, let us go through with a vital definition.

Understand the WiFi Access Point (AP)

An access point (AP), also known as a hotspot, is a device on a local area network (LAN) that connects computers wirelessly, such as Wi-fi or Bluetooth. The access point is a wireless radio signal transceiver that serves as a hub. And many wireless APs endorse Wi-fi in houses, public hotspots, and businesses.

An AP builds into a standalone router or wired router. Microdevices that mimic broadband internet routers are known as standalone access points. The home networking access point develops inside the hardware of wireless routers and operates with standalone AP.

Wigle (Wireless Geographic Logging Engine)

Wigle is an OSINT method/tool that an analyst may use to try and find a suspect. It is handy to look for accessible or free wi-fi connectivity. It is a website that gathers WIFI networks from all around the internet. Users create an account on the site and post hotspot information such as MAC address, GPS location, SSID, etc., used on the discover hotspots.  Wigle uses a wireless network to raise awareness of the importance of safety. Wigle captures location coordinates via 802.11 wireless standards. The purple dots on the map reflects the detected wireless network.

wifi osint

Search for the suspect with a known Access Point

  • Navigate to net.
  • Click View >> Basic Search.

  • Type my wifi as an access point in the SSID search bar. (my wifi is assumed APs of the suspect).
  • Press Query >> Results in the display.

Access points (APs) support wireless encryption standards:

  • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP).
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).
  • WPA2, and WPA3.
    • The red color presents the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) security of APs.
    • The yellow color presents the low-level security of WPA.
    • The green color presents the WPA2/WPA3 security of APs.

  • Select any wifi name from list >> the location of APs is display on a map.

  • There are multiple options available to look into the map.
    • Map – shows a street map.
    • Satellite – shows an imaginary view.
    • Pegman – human icon on the right side of the map shows the 3D view of the street.
  • Drag and drop the peg man on the map >> 3D view is open of APs location.

osint wifi

Track People Through Mobile Device

Let us try suspect tracking using any mobile device name such as Android.

  • Click basic view >> Select advance search.

  • Type APs device name in SSID search bar >> Run query.

Run query

  • A long list of available android APs appears in the result. The found results are:
  1. Net ID.
  2. SSIDs of APs.
  3. First and Last seen of APs.
  4. Location coordinates etc.

  • Click on the map of APs Net ID >> location appears.

Conclusion

Wigle is an OSINT method/tool that an analyst may use to try and find a victim or it can help to perform WiFi OSINT. Wigle also values the confidentiality of everybody who demands to delete details from the database.  It allows locating suspects through various ways like an access point name or mobile device name.

Right now, thirty-one satellites are zipping around the world with nothing better to do than help you find your way to the grocery store.

― Ed Burnette.

Sana Qazi
Sana Qazi is a technical writer specialized in Information Security. She enjoys writing about technology and reading multiple genres like suspense. When not writing, she can be found traveling, dinning out, watching series etc. She manages her medium blog as well.

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