War Dialing and War Driving

Table 3-4 shows the summary information for the war dialing/driving attack.

Table 3-4. War Dialing/Driving

Attack name

War dialing/driving



Example implementations

War dialers: many options; Tone Loc is popular

War driving: Netstumbler (http://www.netstumbler.com/)



Pertinent vulnerability

Usage or policy vulnerability

Typical use

Find insecure modems or wireless APs connected to a victim network

Attack result

Increased access

Likely follow-up attack


OSI layers



Nearly impossible

(http://winfingerprint.sourceforge.net/aptools.php), regular checking using war-driving tools

Rogue modem: Regular audit

Detection difficulty


Ease of use






Overall rating


War dialing and war driving allow attackers to get into the victim network without going through the front door. In war dialing, the attacker dials the phone number prefixes assigned to the victim or the victim's area, searching for modem connections. From this list of reachable modems, the attacker can then guess which systems are on the other side. By dialing these numbers, an attacker can very likely bypass a large part of the victim's security measures because, after a successful war-dialing attack, the attacker might appear to be a trusted employee.

War driving is very similar to war dialing except the attacker drives a car with a high-gain wireless antenna around the physical location of the victim. The attacker's goal is to identify poorly secured wireless LAN access points (APs) through which the attacker can connect directly to the victim network. For more information on war driving, check out http://www.wardriving.com/.

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  • Maija
    How to prevent a War Dialing computer attack?
    6 months ago

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