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How can I find out what type of security a wireless access point (essid) is using? wep/wpa/wpa2 (preferably using commandline tools)

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can use the iwlist tool to print out all details of access points nearby. Assuming your wireless device is called wlan0:

sudo iwlist wlan0 scan

The output from iwlist will show each 'Cell' (or access point) that it finds, including the following details about the encryption type:

                    IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                    Group Cipher : TKIP
                    Pairwise Ciphers (2) : CCMP TKIP
                    Authentication Suites (1) : PSK

This indicates that a network near me is using WPA2, using a pre-shared key (PSK).

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Why sudo?. You should be able to use iwlist as a normal user, at least I can in my computer. –  Javier Rivera Oct 25 '12 at 7:43
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From the iwlist manpage, "Triggering scanning is a privileged operation (root only) and normal users can only read left-over scan results". –  Sepero Oct 25 '12 at 16:16

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