Smartphones and other Wi-Fi enabled devices send radio signals called probe frames to locate nearby wireless networks, which makes them easy to track by listening for their unique MAC address. To show how this kind of tracking works, we can program a NodeMCU in Arduino to sniff the air for packets from any device we want to track, turning on an LED when it's detected nearby.
The most common Wi-Fi jamming attacks leverage deauthentication and disassociation packets to attack networks. This allows a low-cost ESP8266-based device programmed in Arduino to detect and classify Wi-Fi denial-of-service attacks by lighting a different color LED for each type of packet. The pattern of these colors can also allow us to fingerprint the tool being used to attack the network.
Smartphones and laptops are constantly sending Wi-Fi radio signals, and many of these signals can be used to track us. In this guide, we'll program a cheap IoT device in Arduino to create hundreds of fake networks with common names; This will cause nearby devices to reveal their real trackable MAC address, and it can even let an attacker take over the phone's data connection with no warning.
Hackers and makers are often grouped under the same label. While hackers draw on computer science skills to write programs and find bugs, makers use electrical engineering to create hardware prototypes from microprocessor boards like the Arduino. We'll exercise both sets of skills to program a $6 NodeMCU to display the status of a Wi-Fi link via an LED, allowing us to monitor for jamming attacks.