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using wifi adapter to capture different wireless traffic

Discussion in 'Radio and Wireless' started by fadeh, Sep 1, 2012.

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  1. fadeh


    Sep 1, 2012
    Hello guys,

    I wish to be able to read wireless traffic sent from my wireless keyboard. At first I thought I could just buy some board like Arduino, plug in a module like nRF24L01+ and use this combo. Since I'm not good at all with electronics I'd rather find another solution and, eventually, I thought that I already have a transreceiver for wireless comunication: my laptop wifi adapter. As I said I don't know much about electronics so I wonder if it's actually possible to write, let's say, a linux device driver for my adapter in order to make it able to capture and process wireless communication other than wifi. Is there some electronic impediment? Is this just a software problem or maybe my wifi adaptare firmware won't allow me to read anything except from wifi traffic?

    Thank you!
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    You may find that the transmission between the keyboard and the receiver is encrypted. It's a pretty common feature these days.

    Here is an article from 2007 talking about how easy it is to break the encryption.

    If you think you can replicate that, then off you go!

    Note that this article speaks only of a single method used 5 years ago by a single manufacturer, and the keyboard may have been obsolete at the time (27MHz?!?!)
  3. CocaCola


    Apr 7, 2012
    My Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse run at 27.095 - 27.145MHz still...
  4. fadeh


    Sep 1, 2012
    Thank you for your answer!

    Yeah I'm aware of the encryption but that's not my problem right now, what I need to know is if it's possible to capture the traffic with my wifi adapter or not because of some electrical impediment I'm underestimating. Theoretically, it is possible to write a driver for the wifi adapter in order to capture wireless traffic not necessarily the one a wifi adapter is suppose to capture or I have to move to a custom board and program it's microcontroller?
    My keyboard use the 2.4Ghz frequency.

    Thank you!
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