If you’ve done much work with BackTrack and wireless penetration testing you’re likely using (or at least have heard of) the Alfa AWUS036H . If you haven’t, it is simply a USB-connected wireless adapter that supports long range, various external antennas, has built-in driver support in BackTrack, and supports the all-important (for this type of work) monitor mode.
After doing a bit of reading, and preparing my lab equipment, I fired up BackTrack, attempted to put the card into monitor mode and… nothing. The following is a listing of the steps I took and what I did to get it working. At this point I should also note that I’m doing this work on an HP EliteBook 2760p which has its own in-built wireless adapter.
Then I attempted to list the available interfaces for monitoring using the aircrack-ng tools
and it would just hang here for as long as I wanted to wait.
I spent a good bit of time poking around and trying to ascertain what was/wasn’t working and assumed that maybe it was a driver issue. I ran lshw –c network to get a list of my network devices and the drivers that they were using.
From this, I could see that both devices were loaded and appeared to be running the correct drivers. On a whim, I decided to eliminate extra variables and disable the in-built wireless card by issuing modprobe –r iwlagn (the driver for the built-in card).
And running WireShark or other tools were now able to see the device and capture packets.