Whenever possible, it will create a new VIF and reconfigure it, instead of modifying the existing interface.
Kismet identifies networks by passively collecting packets and detecting networks, which allows it to detect (and given time, expose the names of) hidden networks and the presence of non-beaconing networks via data traffic. Upgrading from recent versions 2009-06-R1 has changed some basic behavior when using multi-vif capable devices (ie, modern in-kernel Linux drivers).
The wireless interface must be enabled in the wireless control panel for Kismet to work, otherwise it will not find any networks.
Kismet currently ONLY works with the Airport wireless devices, NOT USB WIRELESS DEVICES.
If it does not, you will have to manually define the capture type (as explained later in this README) * Logs will be stored in the directory you started Kismet from, unless changed via the "logprefix" config file or "--log-prefix" startup option. Kismet has a lot of features and a lot of configuration options, to get the most out of it you should read all of the documentation. Windows quick start * Note, at the time of this writing, the updated CACE install is not yet * available, so users wishing to take advantage of the newcore * functionality will need to build Kismet themselves in Cygwin Using the CACE Package: * Download the Win32/Cygwin installer created by CACE and linked from the download page ( * Run the installer * Start Kismet * Pick your Air Pcap or Kismet Drone sources * READ THE READ OF THIS README.In nearly all cases, Kismet will autodetect the device type and supported channels.If it does not, you will have to manually define the capture type (as explained later in this README) For many Macs, this will be 'en1', however start a terminal and check the output of "ifconfig -a".* Logs will be stored in the directory you started Kismet from, unless changed via the "logprefix" config file or "--log-prefix" startup option. Suidroot & Security In order to configure the wireless card for monitor mode and start capturing packets, Kismet needs root access.There are two ways to accomplish this: Start Kismet as root, or install it so that the control components are set to start as root. What is Kismet Kismet is an 802.11 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system.Due to bugs in Cygwin, it appears that the airpcap and winpcap directories must be inside the kismet source directory. OSX/Darwin quick start * Please note: Many have complained that i Term does not send correct key events. If Kismet cannot find all the headers and libraries it needs, major functionality may be missing. The libpcap included with OSX does not support PPI logging. Most notably, compiling Kismet yourself will require the development packages and headers, usually called foo-dev or foo-devel. To take advantage of the new features, replace your existing configuration files with the latest configuration data. * New filtering options * New alert options * Completely new UI * Revamped network protocol * Significantly less CPU used for high numbers of networks * Plugins While this release breaks almost everything from previous releases, it opens the door for smoother upgrades and major feature enhancements. Quick start PLEASE read the full manual, but for the impatient, here is the BARE MINIMUM needed to get Kismet working: * Download Kismet from * Run "./configure". If Kismet cannot find all the headers and libraries it needs, major functionality may be missing.Starting Kismet as root means that Kismet will continue running as root.In theory this presents no additional risk, however if there are any flaws in the Kismet packet dissection code then it may be possible for a malicious packet to cause code execution as root.