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What is Kismet?

Kismet is an 802.11 layer2 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system. Kismet will work with any wireless card which supports raw monitoring (rfmon) mode, and (with appropriate hardware) can sniff 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g, and 802.11n traffic. Kismet also supports plugins which allow sniffing other media such as DECT.

Kismet identifies networks by passively collecting packets and detecting standard named networks, detecting (and given time, decloaking) hidden networks, and infering the presence of nonbeaconing networks via data traffic.


Wed Sep 25 2013 - Released the first version of Smarter Wi-Fi Manager for Android - Automatically learn where you use Wi-Fi and keep the radio disabled when you aren't near a known spot.

Mon Apr 08 2013 - Kismet-2013-03-R1b released. Somehow the latest configure script didn't get into the R1 release so it blew up on libnl1 detection; No code changes, no package changes.

Wed Mar 27 2013 - Kismet-2013-03-R1 released! While this does not have major new features (phy-neutral is still in development) it includes a long list of bugfixes, including better ncurses color support, radiotap fixes, better interface control when setting channels, memory leak fixes, better packaging for distros, and various other quirks. At the usual download page

Thu Dec 06 2012 - Busy busy busy. Two new Android utilies now up - rfmon with a USB NIC, capturing to pcap, no root required, in Android PCAP Capture. To go with that, an easy way to upload pcap files from Android to CloudShark, a web-based implementation of Wireshark: CloudShark Uploader

Mon Jul 23 2012 - While phy-neutral is finishing up, added Ubuntu 12 packages for Kismet 2011-03

Thu Jul 05 2012 - Kismet moving to Git source control. Subversion is moved to code-old/svn (details on the download page) and the old SVN repository is disabled. Git checkouts at

802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11a, 802.11n sniffing
Standard PCAP file logging (Wireshark, Tcpdump, etc)
Client/Server modular architecture
Multi-card and channel hopping support
Runtime WEP decoding
Tun/Tap virtual network interface drivers for realtime export of packets
Hidden SSID decloaking
Distributed remote sniffing with Kismet drones
XML logging for integration with other tools
Linux, OSX, Windows, and BSD support (devices and drivers permitting)

Development Info

For more detailed development information than the changelog or news provides, general wireless info and link-whorery, and other stuff, check out the development blog here.

You can also follow Kismet development updates on Twitter here.


Presentations from various talks I've given are here.


Screenshots of the Panels UI and GPSMap mapping tool are here.

Stop by #kismet on


Open source hardware, firmware, and tools for 802.15.4 (which includes Zigbee) packet sniffing from Kismet and Android.

The Kisbee page has more information.

Open source drivers and visualizers for the Wi-Spy spectrum analyzer hardware are on the Spectools page here

Android Pcap
802.11 monitor mode on Android, without root, using the RTL8187 USB device.
Android PCAP

Android Cloudshark Uploader
Upload directly to the Cloudshark service, or to your own Cloudshark appliance
Android Cloudshark Uploader

Android Smarter Wi-Fi Manager
Intelligently manage your Wi-Fi by only having it enabled in locations you've previously used it.
Android Smarter Wi-Fi Manager