It can be hilariously easy for a hacker to steal your data over the internet or WI-FI. There are pieces of hardware and software that can make stealing data much more accessible. People who resort to such things know precisely what they’re doing.
However, if you don’t want to be the person on the receiving end, learn how to protect yourself and which hardware you can use to make your wireless business or home network safer. Let’s discuss WI-FI Pineapple.
What Is WI-FI Pineapple?
It’s not a wireless fruit, it’s just the name. The WI-FI Pineapple is a device that’s like a router, and it has similar specs to those of a router. First, the most recent product is the WI-FI Pineapple Mark VII.
There’s a WI-FI Pineapple Enterprise edition meant for large companies. Hak5 developed the device. We’re going to discuss both devices and their specs, and we’re going to speak a little about their features:
- WI-FI Pineapple Mark VII specs: It’s equipped with 802.11 b/g/n standards operating in the 2.4GHz frequency. Featuring three antennas, it’s also equipped with an Ethernet port, a USB 2.0 port, and powered by USB-C.
Introduction to Wi-Fi Pineapple Mark VII
- WI-FI Pineapple Enterprise specs: Meant for a higher traffic volume, it’s equipped with 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless standards operating on 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. There are four antennas, two Ethernet ports, a USB 3.0 port, and AC power.
See, it’s much like a regular router with all the antennas, the ports, and the USB capabilities. It follows wireless standards operating in wireless frequencies, and it has an interface you can access through a browser, but the features and the uses speak otherwise.
Uses of WI-FI Pineapple
There are two sides to hacking. Ethical hacking and the ‘not so ethical’ hacking. WI-FI Pineapple can be used for both. Although, a skilled hacker (both sides) doesn’t need the WI-FI Pineapple hardware to do what they do.
Auditing Wireless Security
The first and original use of the WI-FI Pineapple is ethical hacking, i.e. auditing wireless security. It can help cybersecurity experts improve the cybersecurity of a company through penetration (pen) testing. It can be a good choice because:
- Pine AP: An outstanding feature that can do a few cool things to help with improving cybersecurity. You can allow associations to your WI-FI Pineapple and the devices trying to connect to your network will connect to the WI-FI Pineapple.
How to Use PineAP module
- Intelligence: With features that include tracking scripts, logging, and reporting, you can gather enough info to determine which devices are the most vulnerable. These devices might need security improvements.
- Compatibility: The best thing is that you don’t need WI-FI Pineapple for Windows, Linux, or other operating systems. The platform works from your browser, and you can use it on any device and OS.
- Cloud: Another significant feature of the latest WI-FI Pineapple is that you can connect to the cloud and control it remotely from anywhere. This feature works best for enterprises that have many access points to pen test and secure.
- Ease of use: The user interface on the web that we use through our browser is quite easy to use, and as they advertise it, intuitive. However, any skilled pen tester won’t have difficulties using it.
- Recon: This feature lets you scan the area for access points, and you can detect the clients on those access points. Once APs are detected by the device, you can click on the clients and de-authenticate them, basically denying them the WI-FI service.
- Modules: Once you click on this section, you can get all the modules from Hak5’s website. The modules provide options like evil portals (fake captive portals), de-authentication modules, security control compromised systems, etc.
Wi-Fi Pineapple – Feature Overview
The Other Use
This is the use we’re strongly against. It’s unethical hacking, something that you should never consider, but it is possible. The most common way to use WI-FI Pineapple for unethical hacking is to create a hotspot honeypot.
Recommended reading: What Is a Group Key Rotation Interval? (WPA Group Key Rotation Explained)
One feature of the WI-FI Pineapple is that we can create a fake WI-FI AP (Access Point) which poses as a legit one. Users usually connect to this hotspot believing that it’s a real one, and we can get all the data or do man-in-the-middle attacks.
How To Improve Wireless Security?
Now, you might be a pro and know how to boost your WI-FI security easily. But you also might be just another person reading something out of curiosity because you’ve come across the term WI-FI Pineapple. We think everyone can benefit from these simple security recommendations:
- Change admin login: The scale of the network shouldn’t be a determining factor. Change the admin login credentials of your router. Make a strong password and username, don’t leave it in default.
- Best encryption protocol: Don’t use outdated routers that support only WEP, WPA, or WPA2 protocols. Get a wireless router that supports the WPA3 protocol. Anything after 2018 should do the trick.
- MAC filtering: Every device that connects to your WI-FI has a MAC address (Media Control Access). This address is the address of the network card in your device, and it’s unique. So, you can allow access to known addresses and deny access to the unknown.
- Group of networks: This applies if you’re running a network in a company, or you’re running a large wireless network. Instead of having one large whole, divide the larger network into smaller groups.
- Update regularly: Instead of always having one SSID and password, update them weekly or monthly. The size of the network can determine the update interval.
WI-FI Pineapple was developed to help network administrators improve cybersecurity, and it shouldn’t be used otherwise. It’s a device that helps perform pen tests, and it has several modules that can help you execute these tests.
Finally, if you’re a home network user, you don’t need to run tests to see how secure your WI-FI is. Just follow the mentioned methods to improve your WI-FI security, and you won’t have any trouble with your wireless network.
Hey, I’m Jeremy Clifford. I hold a bachelor’s degree in information systems, and I’m a certified network specialist. I worked for several internet providers in LA, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Seattle over the past 21 years.
I worked as a customer service operator, field technician, network engineer, and network specialist. During my career in networking, I’ve come across numerous modems, gateways, routers, and other networking hardware. I’ve installed network equipment, fixed it, designed and administrated networks, etc.
Networking is my passion, and I’m eager to share everything I know with you. On this website, you can read my modem and router reviews, as well as various how-to guides designed to help you solve your network problems. I want to liberate you from the fear that most users feel when they have to deal with modem and router settings.
My favorite free-time activities are gaming, movie-watching, and cooking. I also enjoy fishing, although I’m not good at it. What I’m good at is annoying David when we are fishing together. Apparently, you’re not supposed to talk or laugh while fishing – it scares the fishes.