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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Web Stalkers
Chapter 8 -
Identity Theft

Network Sniffing Tools

When this information is combined with the fact that Qwest provides the DNS services, it narrows down the possible geography of the user.  Finally, the IP addresses contained in this log file tell the interested observer what network addresses are in use at the target site. 

All of these components become a part of making a profile of the target. Of course, the more information thieves learn about their intended victim, the more damage they can inflict. Potentially, even usernames and passwords could be available to a sniffer, but encryption is becoming more and more common.  Encryption is a process through which data is encoded so as not to be understandable to anyone but the recipient.  Using encryption makes the data that is gathered more difficult to analyze since the encryption must first be deciphered before any readable text is found. 

Using a network sniffer becomes less useful for a hacker when the network is switched or segmented into virtual LANs (VLAN).  This is because of the way a network transmits information between machines.  A non-switched network transmits all information to all of the machines on that network and leaves each machine to ignore any unintended messages. 

In comparison, a switched network only sends the information to the intended recipient machine.  A switched network is still at risk if a hacker is able to compromise or break into the switch, but that is usually more difficult than just compromising any workstation on the network.  A hacker can also use other tools like DSNIFF to steal or borrow network packets and read private information.

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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