Embedding apps in wifi finders


[Matt] sent in this excellent wifi finder reverse engineering project. The goal is to enable custom embedded apps that take advantage of the independent operating mode of the wireless adapter. One of the chips lacked any useful manufacturer markings, so he got some guys at a lab to etch the top of the chip off and get a partial chip id. So far he’s got boot-loader access, so now it’s just a matter of some development.

Comments

  1. jimmythecow says:

    so this is a lot of effort to make a cheap device sniff wifi signals? seems a round about… cool. but from what im reading, pretty useless on a grand scale. cool, but nothing.

  2. ScrappyLaptop says:

    er, no. read the article and you will find that the device is a wifi adapter + a microcontroller. what he wants to do is make a single-app device using that micro that can connect to his server and trade information, such as the status of his inbox or perhaps dump data to his server (not necessarily sniffed wifi data; my first read assumed something like a wireless temperature logger, to start with something really simple).

  3. nate says:

    Yeah, he can basically put any app on the wifi finder he wants now, and use the peripherals for whatever he so pleases. Pretty cool if you ask me!

  4. strider_mt2k says:

    I’m taken aback somewhat by a steady negative response to many of the hacks on here lately.

    Look, come up with _something useful_ to add that might make it _better_ or stay in the peanut gallery!

    These folks are doing stuff. Stay our of their way.

    personally I try to see what the basis of the hack is and how it’s doing for the person who developed it.
    _many_ cool wifi hacks have come from here and I enjoy reading all of them.

    I just picked up a very inexpensive trendnet tew-424ub usb adapter to play with and hacks like this open up doors to more cool ideas with stuff like this.

    So I say good o! rock on!

  5. peter says:

    omg fucking brilliant!!!!

    think of an µLinux witch running aircrack :-D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. EllisGL says:

    Now if I can hook up a GPS and have it save to a USB storage device as a NetStumbler file it would be really kick ass..

  7. Unixgeek says:

    Why the hell does everyone write crap in Visual Basic?..

    Reverse engineering work: Good.
    Windows Advocacy: Lame.

  8. matt says:

    better question: why do unix geeks always post random crap, rather than talk about something useful?

  9. Dirk says:

    @unixgeek

    because it’s fast and easy.

  10. pc486 says:

    Unfortunately, it wont run Linux as it’s just an 8051 or similar. That said, it’s a $50 device for a 8051 uC with attached wifi chip! I hope there’s enough flash and ram to stick on a wifi and TCP/IP stack.

  11. There’s not much ram at all – only 2k. So any apps are going to have to be very light on their memory usage. Should be no problem though, as people have TCP stacks running on 8051’s and even PIC micros already.

    PS – I think VB is easy as hell to write in, and there was some mention of extreme laziness..! Maybe you can port the dumper program to a new language for them. I’d certianly rather use C than VB.

    Thanks for the fun!

  12. mungewell says:

    Yes, being 8 bit no chance of running Linux. However there are plenty of ways of using Linux as the development platform and downloading the code. That said if this uber-hacker wants to use VB that’s his choice.

    Once he get some code and a tcp stack running I think this would make a really cool wireless mesh node…. but maybe that just me ;-) Any other suggestions?

    Definately qualifies as a cool hack!
    Mungewell.

  13. dru says:

    …gumstix mobo?

  14. Mycroft says:

    @pc486:

    An 8-bit OS with a tcp/ip stack, you mean like http://www.sics.se/contiki/ or it’s subproject http://www.sics.se/~adam/uip/index.php/Main_Page ?
    The Contiki project probably brings too much to the table for this device, but the uIP stack should be perfect – written in C, already working on the 8051, and tiny like a demo.

  15. Washu says:

    I wonder if one could make a wifi to bluetooth transceiver from this that could allow any bluetooth smart phone that can run a version of skype to make calls over the internet?
    It also could allow chat wap etc without burning through your minutes.

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