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HOW TO MONITOR INSTANT MESSENGING ON A 3COM SWITCH

Posted on 2005-03-16
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a 3com switch and want to monitor traffice using third party software.  My question is how can I do that with the switch?  I want to be able to monitor instant messenging and web sites and stuff like that.  Could somoene give me instructions on how to set it up or what I need in order to set it up.  Thanks
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Question by:Rosen500
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by:rshooper76
ID: 13556813
If the switch has snmp abilities you can monitor network information about the switch using something like mrtg.  You would not be able to monitor instant messaging and web sites using that, at least not to my knowledge.  However, it sounds like you want a proxy server, which would allow you to do this.
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ngravatt earned 1000 total points
ID: 13557377
on cisco switches you can setup port mirroring.  For each port, you can mirror the traffic to your network port and then use a network sniffer program to look at all the traffic on your port.  Also, take a look at this product:

http://ww2.websense.com/global/en/ProductsServices/WebsenseEnterprise/

this product is designed to look at all your network traffic and tell you what websites users are going to.  You can download the free evaluation from the website.  They have instructions on how to setup the software so you can see all your network traffic.
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by:Suertreus
Suertreus earned 1000 total points
ID: 13561065
I strongly recommend Ethereal (http://www.ethereal.com)- a free/open source win32/linux packet sniffer with good filtering capability as well as built-in protocol handlers so you can easily monitor AIM (et al) and HTTP traffic, particularly AIM message text and HTTP domains visited.  You would be able to trace the packets to the machine from which they came (by MAC, IP, and optionally DNS addresses) if you're looking to bust somebody =P.  It will capture in promiscuous mode, but that isnt likely to be able to see all traffic on a switched network without some pushing and shoving (I've heard that most switches can be fooled into divulging 'private' information as switching is more for speed than privacy anyway).  In your case I would recommend putting Ethereal on a machine upstream of the clients in question that either retransmits the packets itself (i.e. a box running NAT (iptables/routing & remote access/internet connection sharing host) like I use) or on a machine on a non-switched network (i.e. a hub) somewhere upstream that will see the packets en-route.  If you must opt for the latter note that the packets will be much harder to trace to specific clients if you are so far upstream that there is a layer of NAT between the sniffer and the clients.  Good luck!
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