Internet Traffic

Posted on 2012-08-12
Last Modified: 2013-11-19
How does internet traffic get recorded? What kind of information can a hacker potentially get from google searches and your ip address? How can hackers search you from public computers?
Question by:probegala
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    Well actualy a hacker can't do anything with your google searches.

    A hacker will let you execute a program to create a backdoor to your system, from there he can do anything on your system. So he still needs passwords, for that he needs a keylogger he'll also try to install.

    Then There is the mitm (man in the middle) if you have wireless internet he can intercept everything you do. He can spoof websites so you think you're typing your paypal password in paypal but actually he spoofed the website.

    With MITM he can achieve everything, but only if you have a low wifi security.

    A real hacker can do everything, but he won't attack you. But if they would attack you, they'll find exploit of software you're running so you can't do anything.
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    How can hackers search you from public computers?

    Depends on what the hacker has in mind, hacker basically are of two types, 1 belong to the genre of robbing everyone - these are the ones who would be looking towards gaining your credentials to websites / email accounts etc. Using your credentials he could have access to websites you logged on and try to sniff through data that is valuable to you etc etc. Similar to a robber, who'll try to gain access to information that'll help him rob you.

    2. belong to the genre of simply harming you w/ or w/o being linked to money. They'll damage your PC / accounts / access / anything they want. these are the ones who'll sniff around everything / leave trojan - malwares etc on your box and will damage it for fun sake.  

    To answer your question, what they'd do with google searches - well they cannot do much with that data esp. if one is a hacker. Except next time, if they know your searches and find that you are regular to a website. They might want to use s/w (keygen sort of) to track your credentials and have fun with it w/ what ever is on their mind.


    P.S - I liked the post above too :)
    LVL 34

    Expert Comment

    Your questions have limitless answers.

    Your internet traffic is recorded by your computer & by your InternetServiceProvider.

    Most if not all routers today come with very competent firewalls built-in, and all software firewalls deny all incoming traffic by default. If you are behind a router and have a software firewall (Windows Firewall is good enough for that purpose) they can't get to you through your IP.

    They would have to install a trojan on your pc to be able to gain access.

    If a competent hacker manages to enter your computer through a Trojan Backdoor, then they have full access to all your data (less so to encrypted data) / history / etc. as though they had physical posession of your computer via any where in the world.

    Further info. here:
    What can criminal hackers really do to your PC
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    To answer a few of your first questions, lets go on the assumption that the "hacker" hasn't actually gained meaningful access to your personal computer, since that would be a complete breach of security and is a very extreme scenario.

    Internet traffic is recorded by the SERVERS that operate the websites you visit, and it is recorded by the SWITCHING EQUIPMENT in-between those servers and your personal computer

    1) When you visit a website, that website obtains a fair bit of information about you. Some of the things they can deduce about you:

         - Your IP address, which roughly identifies the local network you are on
         - Who your Internet provider is
         - The address of the previous page you were on (called the "referrer")
         - Basic PC specs - Operating system, browser version, type of device, etc
         - Your approximate location in the world

    The website operator keeps statistics about this information. There are many legitimate tools to help website operators do this for example Google Analytics is one of them.

    If a hacker were to gain unauthorized access into the servers that run the WEBSITE, they could potentially get access to this information about you.

    2) All data that you transmit over the internet travels through wires and runs through several pieces of networking equipment, hopping from device to device until it gets to the website you want to visit, and then the response travels in the opposite direction. Some examples of this equipment are:

          - Your computer's network card
          - The wireless access point
          - The router
          - Network switching equipment around the world
          - The destination server's network card

    Any of these pieces of equipment are capable of scrutinizing the data that passes through them, and monitoring and taking statistics on the volume and quantity of data. This is the second way that internet traffic is recorded.

    If a hacker were to put themselves in between you and one of these pieces of network equipment they could scrutinize the data that themselves, essentially "spying" on you.

    This is the reason why sensitive data - e.g. online banking, paypal, etc. - are ENCRYPTED before transmission, to prevent prying eyes from seeing information that they shouldn't have access to.
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    How can hackers search you from public computers?

    The exact same way that YOU can. Go to Google and search for yourself. Try googling:

    - Your full name and home town
    - Your email address
    - Your telephone number
    - Your internet monicker or nickname
    - Your IP address (discover it by going to

    The hacker would see the same sort of stuff. It's surprising how much you can learn about somebody by looking at where they pop up on the internet.

    There can be coincidences - sometimes more than one person has the same internet monicker, sometimes there is more than one person in the world with the same name, but it's entertaining.
    LVL 77

    Accepted Solution

    Suggest you look at episode 364 Matt Honan's Bad Weekend.  Apple and Amazon have since changed their policies.

    Basically the hackers gathered enough information to convince others that they were the target and used information from one to influence another. They only wanted to take over his twitter account but could have taken over his bank account or worse.

    Author Comment

    Very informative

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