How to Recover, Find or Crack Wi-Fi Password?
How effective are the security measures we take for our wireless networks? Is cracking WiFi passwords really as simple as it appears in American movies and TV series?
Let’s start by saying that yes, unfortunately wireless networks can still be cracked, but fortunately two clicks are not enough as we often see on TV. Or rather, they are not enough if the connection you are trying to attack is adequately protected: it has a complex password — possibly different from the default one provided by the provider that provided the modem / router — and above all it uses a secure encryption algorithm.
At present, the safest algorithm for Wi-Fi networks is WPA2-AES which is not invulnerable — as indeed nothing in the computer world is — but it turns out to be very difficult to crack compared to other types of WiFi keys.
The most vulnerable is instead WEP which, being obsolete, suffers from various security flaws and is easily attackable with any program suitable for the purpose.
But what are these software used to crack WiFi passwords and hack wireless networks? Are they really that easy to find and use? Let’s try to find out together.
Warning: Breaking into someone else’s wireless networks can be a crime, so use the tools recommended in this guide only to test the security of the connections you have permission to access.
Wi-Fi Password Recovery
Wi-Fi Password Recovery, unlike other similar programs which are very complex to use, is able to recover and find passwords of any Wi-Fi network in various ways.
There is the Recovery mode which allows you to find the passwords of the Wi-Fi networks that you have already used in the past on the PC and which are stored in the computer, or the Finder mode which instead searches for the key by checking all the possible passwords loaded by a file (dictionary).
But let’s see in detail how this program works. First download the free demo version from this link (compatible with all Windows systems)
When the program starts, the following initial screen will open, with the list of all the Wi-Fi networks you have already used on that PC.
To recover a password of one of these networks, all you have to do is press on the corresponding line, click with the right mouse button and choose the option Properties
Immediately after this, another screen will open with all the details of that network and on the PASSWORD line you will find the information you need:
If, on the other hand, the Wi-Fi network you are trying to find the password for is not in the list, then you have to press on the left on FINDER. This screen will open:
Click + at the top right to view all Wi-Fi networks in your range. Choose the desired Wi-Fi network and press SELECT to select it and return to the previous screen
The next step is to import a DICTIONARY, that is a text file with all the possible passwords to be tested. Click on the other + icon at the bottom and choose this file from your computer
After importing the dictionary, press START to start the verification. The program will try to connect to the selected WiFi network using the passwords written in the dictionary file. As soon as the correct password is found the program will stop the search and you will see a screen like this:
Note: You can find FREE password lists (dictionary file) making a simple search “Wi-Fi dictionary password” in Google. You will be able to download these kind of dictionary file (in txt format). Then import into the program and start the scan.
If you are interested in understanding how to crack WiFi passwords, Kali Linux undoubtedly appears to be of fundamental importance in this sense. It is in fact a Linux distro that can be used in live version (ie without installing it on the computer) from any DVD or USB stick that includes numerous tools to monitor and violate wireless networks.
It is not very easy to use (you have to do almost everything from the command line) but it is, in fact, one of the few software really capable of attacking networks protected with advanced encryption algorithms. If you are interested in learning more about how it works, search for its name on Google or YouTube: you will find numerous tutorials about it, both in English and in other languages.
Kali Linux is completely free, and can be downloaded as an ISO file (32 or 64 bit) from its official website. It weighs just over 3GB, so make sure you have a fast enough connection before you start downloading it.
How to Find Wi-Fi Password on Smartphone
As pointed out at the beginning of the post, connections that use unsafe encryption algorithms (eg WEP) and predefined passwords (those set by Internet providers when they grant the modem / router on loan for use) can be “punctured” in a very simple way. Even with smartphone apps.
To better understand what I mean, try taking a look at Wi-Fi Recovery and WiFi WPS WPA Tester for Android or Wifi-Pass for iOS. These are free applications which, using a database made up of old modem / router passwords granted on loan for use by some providers (eg TIM and Fastweb), allow you to connect to networks that are not adequately protected.
Their operation is tremendously simple: once started, they show the list of available networks nearby. Then you select the connection to attack and, if this is vulnerable, the password is revealed. All in just a few seconds.
How to Recover Wi-Fi Password on Windows
When you are able to physically access a computer or smartphone on which the password of the network to be “attacked” is stored, everything becomes easier. On Windows just download the free application WirelessKeyView which, in fact, allows you to reveal all the access keys of the wireless networks stored by the PC in such a way as to be able to crack WiFi passwords even from other devices even without having to sift through the entire documentation of the modem / router of reference.
To use it, connect to the main page of the application by clicking on the Download WirelessKeyView item if you are using a 32-bit operating system or on the Download WirelessKeyView for x64 item if you are using a 64-bit operating system to download the program to your PC. When the download is complete, double-click on it to open the archive you have just downloaded (eg wirelesskeyview-x64.zip), extract the contents into any folder and start the WirelessKeyView.exe program to start WirelessKeyView. In the window that opens, you will find the list of all Wi-Fi connections stored in Windows with their WPA / WEP keys.
Be aware that some antivirus (including Windows Defender) may recognize WirelessKeyView as a potential threat. However, this is a false positive due to the fact that the program can “read” the passwords stored on the computer. There are no real risks related to malware or viruses, rest assured!
If you do not want to resort to using external applications, you can crack WiFi passwords by discovering those associated with wireless networks to which the computer has been connected even by acting directly from Windows. Find out how to do it below.
If you are using Windows 10 or Windows 8.x, click on the Start button (the flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen), search for Control Panel in the menu that opens and choose the first occurrence from the search results . In the classic Windows control panel, go to Network and Internet> Network and Sharing Center, select the Wi-Fi network whose access key you want to find out, click on the Wireless Properties button, select the Security tab from the window that opens and put the check mark next to Show characters. The network password will be displayed in clear text in the Network Security Key field.
Recover Wi-Fi Password on macOS
On macOS, a result practically similar to that just seen on Windows can be obtained using the Keychain Access application included “as standard” on the Mac and thanks to which it is possible to view all the passwords saved on the system (not only those relating to Wi- Fi).
Using it is really simple. To begin with, start the application by accessing the Launchpad, clicking on the Other folder and then clicking on Keychain Access. You can also access Keychain Access by calling Spotlight by clicking on the appropriate icon depicting a magnifying glass located in the upper right part of the menu bar, by typing keychain access in the displayed search field and then double clicking on the first result that comes to you.
Alternatively, you can start Keychain Access by “invoking” Siri by clicking on the colored icon located at the top right of the menu bar and saying open keychain access.
After starting it, select the paths Keychain> System and Category> Password from the left sidebar and double-click on the name of the connection you are interested in.
Then, select the Attributes tab from the window that opens, put the check mark next to Show password and type the password of your user account on macOS (the one you use to access the system). The reference network password will be displayed in clear text in the Show password field.
How to see Wi-Fi Password on Android
If you use an Android terminal, you can recover the passwords of all the Wi-Fi networks stored on the device using WiFi Key Recovery.
This is a free application that, a bit like the aforementioned WirelessKeyView software for Windows, displays the access keys of all the networks previously stored in the system in clear text.
It does not require any particular configuration, it is perfectly compatible with all the most popular versions of the mobile platform of the “green robot”, but unfortunately it only works on terminals that have been subjected to the root procedure.