I am planning a number of articles which focus on using aircrack-ng and hashcast to recover WPA wireless security passwords. However to get into that you need to have a specific wireless device which supports monitor mode and packet injection. I decided on the Alfa AWUS036AC, but some work was required to get the drivers installed.
This guide is based on Kali Linux 2019.4 – but the drivers are certified for earlier versions of Kali and the kernel that 2019.4 uses. See updates below for getting this working on Kali 2020.4.
Hardware – AWUS036AC
My choice of hardware for WPA password recovery was the Alfa Networks AWUS036AC – https://amzn.to/34LlqXY
Full manufacturer specifications – https://www.alfa.com.tw/products_detail/3.htm
Increased Wireless Signal Penetration
With unmatched Wi-Fi signal strength and coverage. AWUS036AC not only has maximum WiFi range, it helps to penetrate walls, and eliminate Wi-Fi dead spots in your living space easily.
If you are conductin a wireless assessment, this is great news because you can conduct your testing from the comfort of your desk chair.
|Dual Band 2.4GHz or 5GHz
|RP-SMA female x 2
|2.4G/5GHz Dual-Band 5dBi dipole antenna
|802.11a: up to 54Mbps
|802.11b: up to 11Mbps
|802.11g: up to 54Mbps
|802.11n: up to 300Mbps
|802.11ac: up to 867Mbps
|64/128 bit WEP,WPA/WPA2,WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK,WPS
|Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1 and Windows 10 32/64bit,
|macOS 10.5 to 10.14 or later
AWUS036AC (rtl8812au) Driver Installation
Assuming that you are loged into a terminal session on your kali linux machine as root, the following commands are required to download and install the drivers from source:
Clone the aircrack-ng git repository:
git clone https://github.com/aircrack-ng/rtl8812au
Enter the newly downloaded directory:
Build and install the source files:
Reboot the Kali instance to complete:
There are a number of other git repositories where you can obtain drivers for this usb wireless adaptor. My findings were that the aircrack-ng repo was the only place which supplied drivers supported in the current kernel version for Kali 2019.4 – kernel 5.3.9
Verify your device
To ensure that your device is available and ready to be used in Kali, you can run the following command to confirm that the OS can recognise the adapter:
As you can see from the Github issue reports, https://github.com/aircrack-ng/rtl8812au/issues, there are a lot of active issues with these drivers.
As of 11/01/2021, I was able to get this chipset working on Kali with the following driver install method:
apt install realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms
And just to verify, here is my curent Kali version:
root@kali:~# lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Kali
Description: Kali GNU/Linux Rolling
…and here is proof of function with airodump-ng:
Some yummy WEP networks in there for my troubles!
It is worth noting that
iwconfig shows the interface
wlan0 in monitor mode; a
mon0 interface is not created like most online tutorials demonstrate: https://www.computerweekly.com/tip/Step-by-step-aircrack-tutorial-for-Wi-Fi-penetration-testing.