From charlesreid1

Physical (Layer 1) Attacks

This page covers the use of Kali to carry out attacks on layer 1. Also see Kali/Workflow.


Let's review the network stack before we launch into network layer attacks.

NetworkStack  · e

Layer Name Function
7 Application Topmost layer, provides users a means to access network resources (only level seen by end user)
6 Presentation Transforms data received into a format that is readable by the application layer. Handles encryption/description for secure data
5 Session Manages communication sessions between computers. Manages connections with other devices. Half-duplex or full duplex.
4 Transport Provide reliable data transport services to lower layers.
3 Network Routes data between physical networks. Handles addressing, via IP. Handles packet fragmentation and error detection. Router level. Most complex layer.
2 Data Link Transports data across a network. Provides addressing scheme to identify physical devices, bridges, switches, MAC addresses.
1 Physical The physical medium for the network communication signals.

(Please Do Not Touch Steve's Pet Alligator)

Layer 1 is the Physical layer. It handles the physical hardware, i.e., the radio, radio antennas, and radio modem, as well as the entire 802.11 protocol stack. All of that will get you to Layer 2.


A physical attack is any in which you interfere with the physical channel of communication between two nodes. The simplest example of a Layer 1 attack is a phone tap - this is a physical device inserted into a phone line in order to eavesdrop on the conversation between two parties.

Evil Twin AP

In the case of wifi, a physical attack can be conducted, called the Evil Twin attack, in which the radio onboard the sheep's device (the sheep's Layer 1, hence the Layer 1 attack) is tricked into thinking that the evil twin, and its radio, are the access point. This is done by overpowering the radio signal of the true access point.

See Evil Twin for info.