Monitoring my network

Posted on 2006-07-18
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Is there a program or something to monitor chats n stuff coming thru my network??  I have 2 computers hooked up to my router.
Question by:d0s
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LVL 35

Accepted Solution

Raynard7 earned 500 total points
ID: 17136031
Ethereal is a network protocol analyzer for Unix and Windows. It has an extensive list of features.

This looks at the packets going through your network - if you want to look at particular ports (ie chat) you can filter them out and see what data has been submitted.

Author Comment

ID: 17136677
kool thanks for the reply..yea that program looks cool..But is there any program that will like monitor the other computer thats hooked up through my router?? like watching their desktop?
LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 17137187
> .. is there any program that will like monitor the other computer ..
there dozens of them, but you need to install them with admin privileges on the computer in question
for example vnc
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Expert Comment

ID: 17137900
well depends if you want to do it stealthed
things like

as mentioned above

is a remote desktop tool. for remotely controlling the other PC.

 If you are wanting to look at what the other person is typing and doing on there screen while on yours. there is some tool that can do this.
often these tools are called sniffers or often actully contain some trogan.  i wouldet recommend doing that.
There are quite afew "hacking " tool taht take Screenshots allow you to look at what peoople are doing and intercept Msn/http/p2p traffic on a pc . but i dont think im allowed to post em here. and as i said above i DONT recommend you do this.

Expert Comment

ID: 17138819
To remotely "monitor" the other computer you will first need to allow your computer to see the packets that go to/from the computer needing to be monitored. right? So you would have to configure the router to forward all the packets to be cast to the port your computer is attached to. Sometimes that is called "monitoring port" and sometimes a "promiscuous mode port" and sometimes smth else depending on your router and software running on it. If the software you're currently running does not allow you to do that, you might want to flash it with the one that allows. For instance, google for a "OpenWRT".

If for some reason the router doesn't give in and all hope is about to be abandoned, do not give up. You can install a network hub (not a switch) between the computers and the router. That shoud also make your "monitoring" computer able to "see" the packets of the computer needing to be "monitored". For added stealth you might want to match the port speed of the hub with the one of the router.

That done, there are a multitude of options of analyzing the traffic, one of which, the free and open Ethereal, was already mentioned. You might want to check out several Linux LiveCD distributions if you're scared to install anything.
Google for "whax", "helix live cd" or browse through the security related distributions.

PS. Enjoy your newly acquired h4x0r skillz ;)

Expert Comment

ID: 17138923
That all said, I also have relief for people afraid of being sniffed upon -- there are tools to conceal and hide the traffic from the curious router owners ;)
you might want to google for "Vidalia tor", "gnupg frontends" and "skype" (alternatively you can click the link and earn me a few skypesharing points while acquiring a secure way to chat with instant messages, audio and also video! NB: linux versions do not support video just yet)
LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 17139084
> .. tools to conceal and hide the traffic .. and "skype" ..

Expert Comment

ID: 17139131
Laugh away :)
I hereby challenge you to crack skype traffic to recover an IM session of at least one party from the captured packets
LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 17139598
no, no, my laugh wasn't about cracking, but about hiding (think about your privacy;-)

Expert Comment

ID: 17145547
by using internet for whatever you're using it for, you are already voluntarily giving up much of the privacy anyway.

to curious bystanders: the skype protocol headers and some of the packets aren't very well protected and it could indicate the identity of the other party you're communicating with. (where I see no problem because oftentimes the destination IP gives out that information just as well). To learn more about the issue you might want to google for "dissecting skype traffic".

but well, for better privacy there's the tor - the Onion Router (that I also mentioned). through which you can proxy just about any kind of traffic.. provided it's slender enough to go through.

Expert Comment

ID: 17145592
anyway, if I had to choose (and I have) between any of the plaintext IM protocols and the proprietary sometimes obfuscated and mostly encrypted Skype protocol, I'd go with the latter.

I may be biased for I am somewhat involved, but casting that aside and realizing that they do have to protect their business model somehow, I am happy with the service they provide and recommend it over MSN messenger any day of the week.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Rich Rumble
ID: 17150263
You can sniff the traffic, and break it down by protocol usage... Ntop
You can monitor what web-sites they use by forcing them through a proxy server, CCproxy
You can monitor traffic overal usage with Cacti/RRD tool
You can use a "spy" program like backOriface or Spector Pro

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