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identify physical intruders SSID


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Sorry if this is a noob question, but I want to be able to track anytime a device(cell phone wifi or car wifi) is within range of my wifi AP. I live in a corner house have have a lot of issues with kids doing stupid things to my house. Since most kids have cell phones I was thinking it would be nice to be able to track when incidents happen and all the SSIDs (or something like that) in the area at the time. I also have a ring doorbell but it is easy for them to just hid their face. 

Is this already a thing? Is it possible? I have been googling for a while but I get all kinds of things unrelated. 


If I don't get this resolved I am doomed to be a grumpy old man! 


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The pineapple has the ability to script notices when a mac address comes within range. 

Use the search function on the forum for the word ‘tracking’ these threads were of interest:






Good luck and if you figure something fun out, share the good experience. This place likes a good ‘happy ending’ story.

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Get yourself a wifi-cactus with the latest Kistmet, and sniff all the things...if they have cells with wifi turned on and actively probing for networks, you'll see them, but you'll need to work out the whole distance/proximity side of things to correlate how close they are and at what point it should set off an alert. People driving by 100ft away could set this off if you're just monitoring for different probes alone. Key is testing with your own phone or such, and measure the signal at different distances from your AP, or if using multiple devices or capturing like a raspberry pi in each room to the outer walls of the house perimeter, then measure feet to signal strength as you're walking further from the house. You'd kind of have to measure in all directions from the perimeter and have a way to see in real time, ok I'm at X feet and signal is XX, and so on, sort of work that out. I don't know of the links above will help(most seem like unfinished questions), but the tracking script looks like it has potential. I don't own a pineapple, so not sure if that code works.

Things that might help point you in the direction you want to go or to get started, since we don't know how versed you are in any of this yet, understanding scanning and probes basics:


and for the cactus, which is like the above but to the 9000+ power, D4rkm4tter's cactus talk -


All of the above might be overkill, if all you want is a proximity sensor on your property, you could have one setup as an invisible fence, then have it set off an alarm that triggers when people cross that threshold and then alert you either by email or text to your phone. That to me seems like a better way. Combine it with motion detection cameras(I actually did this when we lived in an apartment) that email you snapshots when triggered and will record video when triggered, and give you physical evidence in the event someone messed with your home. IP cameras are fairly simple to setup too, just not the cheapest thing for a good camera(s) and then the right software that has the recording features you want. D-link was the one I used that had all the capabilities I needed, including night vision.


Edited by digip
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On 11/18/2017 at 5:58 AM, Creol said:

Is this already a thing?

I think this one is worth adding to the above list of excellent ideas especially if you cant stretch to scanning all channels live. Its useful in 2 ways by scanning multiple times and checking frequency of appearances, e.g. if your mobile it can flag up mac addresses that stay in range (following you?) and if your stationary it can flag up new mac addresses (new in the area). but its not scripting responses or anything fancy.

2 hours ago, digip said:

but you'll need to work out the whole distance/proximity side of things to correlate how close they are

I didn't realize that was possible, so had a google and found this - i guess its for LOS tho not including obstructions or interference so your sample and record may be better but could be thrown by different device output powers I guess.

FSPL depends on two parameters: First is the frequency of radio signals;Second is the wireless transmission distance. The following formula can reflect the relationship between them.

FSPL (dB) = 20log10(d) + 20log10(f) + K

d = distance
f = frequency
K= constant that depends on the units used for d and f
If d is measured in kilometers, f in MHz, the formula is:

FSPL (dB) = 20log10(d)+ 20log10(f) + 32.44

From the Fade Margin equation, Free Space Path Loss can be computed with the following equation.

Free Space Path Loss=Tx Power-Tx Cable Loss+Tx Antenna Gain+Rx Antenna Gain - Rx Cable Loss - Rx Sensitivity - Fade Margin

With the above two Free Space Path Loss equations, we can find out the Distance in km.

Distance (km) = 10(Free Space Path Loss – 32.44 – 20log10(f))/20

The Fresnel Zone is the area around the visual line-of-sight that radio waves spread out into after they leave the antenna. You want a clear line of sight to maintain strength, especially for 2.4GHz wireless systems. This is because 2.4GHz waves are absorbed by water, like the water found in trees. The rule of thumb is that 60% of Fresnel Zone must be clear of obstacles. Typically, 20% Fresnel Zone blockage introduces little signal loss to the link. Beyond 40% blockage the signal loss will become significant.


d = distance [km]
f = frequency [GHz]
r = radius [m]


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there was another wifi project I can't remember the name of that worked on triangulation of people, without them even needing to give off a wifi signal. It was some kind of motion detection using multiple wifi devices and measuring the changes when someone walked between them, and it could sort of "image" the proximity and size of things and where they were. It might have even been a forum post here somewhere. Something along the lines of http://www.businessinsider.com/wifi-camera-sees-through-walls-2017-5 but not so much for taking imagery from it but used for "sensing" physical objects and movement in real time, could trip an alert similar to a proximity sensor for alarms, using just wifi alone. i think the invisible fence idea is a better solution though, in the even these kids don't have phones on them when they do something, detecting and documenting it with video and photos is best if you need to file charges against people. Matching a mac address to a device is only one point of correlation, but hard evidence like video or photos would certainly make things easier.


Edited by digip
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OMG you guys are awesome! 

Im going to call this project GOM (grumpy old man!) I will be researching all of this and working on it this week. I promise to reply with any results good or bad. 

Digip - I already use webcams with motion detection in a specific area, but it would be cool to trigger the cameras based on wifi signals on top of motion detection. 

Ironically my neighbor right in front of my house had his truck broken into last Saturday. They took a bunch of stuff. It had only been parked for 20min or so. My cameras would have captured an image, but his truck was not in my motion zones. The worst part was that they broke a window and scratched his paint too. 

My hope is that if it is the same people then eventually I will be able to identify them by MAC and any time they pass by my cameras will go off and I will get sms or email etc. 


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1 hour ago, digip said:

there was another wifi project I can't remember the name of that worked on triangulation of people, without them even needing to give off a wifi signal.

That is really cool!

while having a read i stumbled on this that may or may not be it. It certainly sounds similar https://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/user/fp/www/papers/wireless03.pdf   https://github.com/dysonltd/gts

Thanks for the info digip

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