How do I prevent being "sniffed"?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by squash, Jun 13, 2005.

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  1. squash

    squash Registered Member

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    I know that a Firewall can prevent unauthorized intrusions on a PC from the Internet. But what happens if you get sniffed? I use Dial-up Internet and am _not_ on a network, is there any chance in which I will get "sniffed"?.

    As a precaution, how do I prevent this and is there any FREE program that can prevent this (don't suggest SNORT, too complicated even for a person like me)?
     
  2. StevieO

    StevieO Guest

    Hi squash, it depends on what you mean by " Sniffed "

    ZoneAlarm free when set to max security blocks all pings etc to your PC from the outside world, so it appears as if you're not online and don't exist. Also all incoming ports will be blocked too. This is as good as it gets.

    Go to http://www.grc.com and the ShieldsUp page and do an All Ports scan. If it doesn't come back as FULL Stealth, all green, then try ZA.

    Remember to stop your current Firewall from running whilst ZA is, to avoid a possible conflict. If you like it, as i'm sure you will, uninstall your other FW. Unless it's the MS one that comes with XP, in which case just disable it.

    Let us know how you progress.


    StevieO
     
  3. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    "Packet sniffing" normally means someone intercepting the network packets sent between you and the server you are trying to communicate with. This can be done by software running on your PC, by someone monitoring traffic at the server or by anyone with access to one of the routers between you and the server. In other words, it doesn't matter how you connect to the Internet, all traffic you send and receive is visible to anyone with network access.

    Your ISP is the most notable case since any traffic you send, whatever its destination, will pass through its network. Furthermore many countries have passed legislation requiring ISPs to "sniff" (or at least log) traffic to some extent (normally just the addresses of sites you connect to).

    Communications with HTTPS sites are encrypted so the contents should only be visible to the destination server, but a packet sniffer could still identify where you were sending traffic to and most sites only use HTTPS for certain pages (e.g. entering credit card details).

    For more general protection, either consider a VPN or an anonymizing proxy (see Don't Fear Internet Anonymity Tools for a long discussion on these) which encrypts traffic coming from your PC - it still has to be decrypted at some point before reaching the server, but this is done "out there" with no way to easily link the traffic back to you.
     
  4. squash

    squash Registered Member

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    Thanks for the explaination. This is an unsafe world, we live in nowadays... :doubt:
     
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