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Extending Wireless Time at Panera

By December 21, 2009Hacking, Networking


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I love heading over to Parena for lunch.  You can take along a computer and hash over things with friends.  The only issue is that Panera started instituting a 30 minute time limit during lunch hours.  Well, that just won’t do – nope, we need to extend that.  This is how.

The first time I noticed the 30 minute time limit, I knew I had to try to extend it.  I thought about how they were accomplishing tracking.  The simplest way to do it is by mac address filtering on the network card.  Well, those mac addresses can be spoofed, a technique that is also helpful in numerous wireless penetration techniques.  I have read through walk throughs on how to bump ppl at wireless hotpsots at airports etc.  I don’t like that.

Linux Mac Spoofing

If you are linux user, then you have an easy way to accomplish this.  All you have to do is grab macchanger from the repositories.  So, if you’re running Fedora, simply enter “yum install macchanger” .  That will install the app.  If you’re running Ubuntu, enter “sudo apt-get install macchanger”.  Yes, it’s that simple to install.  You can also look for it in the add/remove programs areas.  Now, using macchanger is super easy.  Go to the terminal and enter “ifconfig”.  If you get an error message saying it can’t find it, you may have to enter the entire path “sbin/ifconfig”.  If that isn’t the path, just enter “locate ifconfig”.  Now, we are looking for the wireless interface.  It’s usually wlan0, but could be something else for you.  Enter “macchanger wlan0” and you have successfully changed your mac address.

So, this is how it works.  You’re at Panera, and the message says your time has expired.  So, disconnect from the network, bring down the wireless card interface, use the macchanger command above, bring the wireless interface back up, reconnect to the Panera network and you’re ready to roll.  Seriously, it’s that easy.  To bring down your wireless card, issue “su” (Fedora) command, issue this command “ifconfig wlan0 down”, issue the macchanger command, then issue “ifconfig wlan0 up”.   Now rejoin the Panera network.  In Ubuntu, you would “sudo ifconfig wlan0 down”.  Hopefully that makes sense.

Mac Mac Spoofing

Now, if you are on a Mac, it’s just as simple.  Bring your interface down again with “sudo ifconfig wlan0 down”.  Issue this command from the terminal “sudo ifconfig interface ether mac address“.  Bring your wireless interface back up with “sudo ifconfig wlan0 up”  Now, rejoin the Panera network.  So, for example, say we have a wireless interface called wlan0 on the mac.  You could issue the command “sudo ifconfig wlan0 ether 00:11:22:33:44:55”.  I’m doing this from memory, so forgive me if it’s not exact.  I’ll have to confirm it next time I’m on a Mac.

Windows Mac Spoofing

Unfortunately, Windows is the most difficult when it comes to spoofing manually.  You would have to hack registry keys.  And I’m assuming that 99% of Windows users have no inclination to do that – heck I wouldn’t.

So, go get MacMakeUP.  This will allow you to change your mac address from a user interface.  Again, disconnect from the Panera network.  Use MacMakeUp to change your Mac address.  Now, reconnect to Panera.  You should be ready to rock.

sudo ifconfig en1 ether



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