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Web Stalkers
Chapter 8 -
Identity Theft

Virtual Identity Theft

In contrast to the previously mentioned information gathering methods, electronic-based theft does not require physical proximity to the victim.  The Internet has made the world smaller, thus criminals can now reach their victims without leaving their state, much less their house.

Network Sniffing Tools

Network sniffing is a process by which a device can monitor the communication on a given network; much like a dog sniffing the trees to determine whom else has been there. 

Legitimate reasons for network sniffing would include technicians troubleshooting a network problem.  There are a large number of tools available to do this, including tcpdump, ethereal and others.  Unfortunately, the use of these tools for network sniffing is not just limited to authorized technicians.  The identity thief can use these tools to copy all communication that comes and goes from a PC.  With a little technical know-how, from these packets of information they can extract details about the web pages visited by the user. 

Figure 8.1 - An example of Network Sniffer logs

Figure 8.1 shows raw data gathered by a network or packet sniffer such as tcpdump.  While this may be uninteresting data to most people, to the identity thief this small snippet of the log file generated tells them that their future victim is probably an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball fan. 

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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