However difficult it might be to stand up and go the router or wireless access point, the easiest way how to get WiFi password is still just going straight to the source. Many SOHO (small office home office) routers have a default WiFi password stuck on some sort of sticker, or printed into the surface on one of their sides. If that password has changed, you can do a hard reset and have the original credentials restored.
For many routers, you can visit an IP or similar address, and configure or view what the password is. If you don’t know the defaults, a simple internet search of the model name can give you default login information.
For Windows, the easiest way to show the WiFi password is by pressing the Windows key, and then typing in “View Network Connections”. In the window that opens you would then right click on the WiFi network you’d like, and select Status.
Once there, click on Wireless Properties, and once the next pop up window opens, click Security. Now check off “show characters”, and the WiFi password will now be visible.
If you feel like working from the command line, you would instead take advantage of the netsh utility. First, launch a Windows command prompt, and use the command:
Linux distributions are many and varied, so we will focus on the common Debian-based Ubuntu. The fastest way to get the WiFi password here is to have the GUI show us. In Ubuntu you’ll see this in WiFi Settings. You can find this by clicking on the top right of the screen, on the connections icon.
When the Settings menu comes up, click on WiFi, and select the network you want, clicking on the gear icon for it.
If you want to get fancier, you’ll have to go to the command line interface (CLI), by opening up a terminal. CTRL+ALT+T or searching for “terminal” with the super key should get you there. You’ll start at the home directory (you can go here with “cd ~”), and use “cd ..” to climb directories, pressing “ls” after, until you reach the directory with the etc directory.
Now type “cd etc” and “ls” once there, and look for the network directory which should show the WiFi password. In Ubuntu, it will be NetworkManager.
“cd Network Manager”, and if you ls you’ll find system-connections.
Go to that directory, type “ls”, and you’ll see your saved networks. From here just print the desired network with sudo cat “network name”, and your password should now be visible in the “PSK=” field.
If for whatever reason you’ve lost the password to a WiFi network you fully legally own, and in no way can be held liable for accessing or cracking, there is still hope. If you have access to Kali Linux, and a WiFi card capable of going into monitor mode, you can use Wifite to try and crack the password, especially if it’s a simple password. Your mileage will vary for more complex passwords, depending on both available wordlists, computer processing power, and how much time you’re willing to spend.
As expected of a Linux install, you open up a terminal, and type ifconfig or iwconfig to find out the name of your WiFi interface. In the below screenshot we’ve used iwconfig, and we can see our WiFi is “wlan0”. An added benefit to this command is knowing if the card is in managed or monitor mode.
Now you can go get a snack or check on your plants, while the attack carries out. Even if you fail, you can refer to a saved file of the captured handshakes for an offline dictionary attack later. Don’t forget to return to managed mode to regain internet access with “airmon-ng stop wlan0mon”. Check you’re back with “iwconfig”.