ESP32 Deauther Support

ESP32 Deauther Support


3 min read

We often get asked if our ESP8266 Deauther firmware could run on the ESP32 too. The answer No might seem obvious given the project's name, but let's explore why that is.

ESP8266 vs ESP32

ESP-WROOM-02D Module and ESP32-WROOM-32E Module

The ESP32 is the successor of the ESP8266 and, therefore, newer and loaded with more power and features. Here are some of the differences to give you an idea:

RadioWiFiWiFi, Bluetooth
CPU1x 160 MHz2x 240 MHz
RAM80 KB520 KB

But there's not just one ESP32. Espressif continues to release more WiFi SoCs like the ESP32-C3 and ESP32-S2.

Why ESP8266 Deauther?

First ESP8266 Deauther Prototype

When I wrote the first Deauther proof-of-concept in 2016, the ESP266 was The thing in the maker community! It was cheap, it was powerful, and it had integrated WiFi with excellent Arduino-IDE support. Moreover, I found that with an older SDK and some tricks, you could make it send any WiFi packets you want. And so, I continued to create a project out of it and released the ESP8266 Deauther to Github in January 2017.

No ESP32 Deauther

Frowning ESP32 Module

While the ESP32 was already around when the Deauther project emerged, it wasn't easy to get and had little software support. But most importantly, it lacked the exploit needed to send deauthentication frames.

One thing that made the ESP8266 Deauther so successful as a project is that anyone can build it. All you need is a computer, an ESP8266 dev board, and a USB cable. In addition, Arduino-IDE makes it easy to flash or modify the firmware.

There's been some progress on getting the ESP32 to send deauthentication frames, but it's simply not as straightforward as on the ESP8266.

The number of different variants of ESP32 SoCs, Modules, and development boards is overwhelming. It's more complicated to flash; it's physically bigger and more expensive. But most importantly, it doesn't provide any immediate improvement to the Deauther project as-is.

The ESP8266 Deauther is already working great as a cheap and straightforward hacker tool for beginners to learn more about WiFi, hacking, and Arduino. That's why we will not port the Deauther firmware onto the ESP32 platform at this point.

ESP32 Hacking Tools

ESP32 Marauder

Nonetheless, the ESP32 is an excellent platform for hacking tools. With the extra CPU core and memory, it's possible to build more feature-rich applications. And such projects may include a deauthentication attack. One example of that is the ESP32 Marauder project.

We at Spacehuhn Technologies are constantly working on new hacking tools. Some of them are based on the ESP32. Some aren't. So let's keep the ESP8266 Deauther where it is and instead use the opportunities of different platforms for new projects!

And who knows, maybe soon it will be easier to get, use and program the ESP32 than the ESP8266 and we can work on a new adaptation of this popular project.

We hope this explains our point of view on this frequently asked question.