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Pwnagotchis: Silent, but Deadly! Clear the Air with These Security Steps

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Imagine your home network as your digital home. Just like your real home, it needs to be secure. But unlike a physical home, the threats to a digital home can come from anywhere, even a cute little device called a Pwnagotchi. Despite its digital face that changes expressions depending on what it's doing, it’s a serious threat that even an unskilled person can obtain at low cost to breach your network.

A Pwnagotchi is a new self-contained, autonomous, battery operated tiny computerized device that hackers can place anywhere your WiFi network signal reaches to intercept logins in order to obtain passwords and access files. It uses AI and special tools to find and remember important details about networks. It can remember different types of "handshakes" or greetings that WiFi networks use. It listens to the WiFi networks around it and can try to join them. The more it learns, the better it gets at finding and remembering how to get into networks.

Your best defense against hackers gaining unauthorized access to your network is by using wireless MAC filters

In order for your network to recognize a device, it needs to have a unique identifier assigned to it known as a MAC address. Wireless MAC filters are like a guest list for your network party. They let you specify which devices are allowed to connect to your network. By using a wireless MAC filter, you can effectively prevent unauthorized access to your network, including Pwnagotchi attacks.

Setting up a wireless MAC filter is simple after you log in to your router’s interface*:

1. Navigate to Wireless MAC Filter: Go to the Wireless section and then find the Wireless MAC Filter.

2. Enable Wireless MAC Filter: Select 2.4 GHz and/or 5 GHz for your device selection

3. Choose MAC Filter Mode: Select the "Accept" mode. This is a whitelist mode where only the devices you specify are allowed to connect.

4. Add Devices to Whitelist: Choose a device from the Client Name or manually type in the MAC address. Add the device to the whitelist.

While most routers will automatically tell you the MAC addresses of your network devices to simplify the above task, you may need to manually find them in the device's network settings or on the actual device’s physical label.

*Note: If needed, your router’s documentation can give you additional information for your specific situation.

By using wireless MAC filters, you're adding an extra layer of security to your home network and keeping your digital home safe from Pwnagotchi and other attacks.

For more details, check out this below video, “Pwnagotchi — hacking WiFi networks in seconds | Real Experiment”


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