City-Hunter: Hunting Smartphones in Urban Areas

Xuefeng Liu, Jiaqi Wen, Shaojie Tang, Jiannong Cao, Jiaxing Shen

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The security issue of public WiFi is gaining more and more concern. By listening to probe requests, an adversary can obtain the SSID list of the APs to which a smartphone previously connected, and utilizes this information to trick the smartphone into associating to it. However, with the enhancement of security level, most smartphones now do not proactively disclose their SSID lists, making these attacks obsolete. In this paper, we propose City-Hunter, an attacker that can lure nearby smartphones without knowing their SSID information. City-Hunter establishes and maintains an SSID database by integrating both offline and online information. Meanwhile, it smartly chooses some SSIDs to hit a smartphone according to the past record and freshness. We evaluate the performance of City-Hunter in different public places. The results demonstrate that City-Hunter is able to successfully hit 12% ∼ 18% smartphones without knowing their SSID information, which is about 4 ∼ 8 times improvement compared to the similar attacks like KARMA and MANA.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE 37th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781538617915
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2017
Event37th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017 - J.W. Marriott Hotel, Atlanta, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 20178 Jun 2017


Conference37th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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