I am impressed that you are taking a practical approach to your hacking and not just reading about it. Keep up the good work. Now the next question is how far do we go as ethical hackers? I think technically speaking its ok to war drive and even go so far as to see if you can crack a key. As long as you don’t actually join a network that you are obviously not allowed or pop a box that you have no permission, you are walking on safe ground. On the other hand, I know of even some CEH instructors that confess that they practice their hacking more forcefully. One CEH I know says he like to practice on infiltrating the local University network. University networks have had a bad reputation in the past for being easy to crack. Jeeze, I should have given myself a couple of graduate degrees by now, LOL!
Cracking your home router is different from trying to do it outside the house. I think there is a misconception that wep and mac filtering and not using dhcp has little value. Part of me would love to issue a challenge to those that hang out on the aircarck-ng site and see how much actual wireless properly wep encrypted networks they can connect to in the real world. As far as home networks, most in my discussions will give up quickly if it takes more than 30 minutes, especially if they have to sit outside in a car. If there is one character trait of a hacker, its paranoia and nothing can make you feel more paranoid than sitting pointing a cantenna at someone’s front door for an hour or more, LOL! There are too many easier targets. Sometimes cracking wireless from the parking lot is amazingly easy and other times it can take some time. You can get the key and an approved mac address and you still can’t join! Other times you slip right in. I had one assignment were I was testing a local wireless and 2 days in a row I was having problems, could have been due to a lot of wireless noise. The 3rd day I slipped right in like it was nothing. Our biggest disadvantage as ethical hackers is our time limits.