Playing with Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~Arthur C. Clarke

Network forensics

On Thursay (12/8) I made a guest appearance in Dr. Paul Edmiston’s Forensics class. Prof. Edmiston wanted to demonstrate to his class some of the tools used by the FBI and CIA to catch cyber criminals. To that end I demonstrated the Ethereal packet sniffer to the class. I made clear that what I was doing would be against the College’s acceptable use policy and would get them in serious trouble. We captured some traffic in the chemistry building and tried to capture some e-mails from Prof. Edmiston. Due to network configuration we were unable to capture any of Prof. Edmiston’s e-mails. This was just as well as he really didn’t want to have to change his password.

The take home message was that it is relatively easy to capture internet traffic and identify personal information. It seemed to make a number of the students take note and several asked what they could do to protect themselves. All-in-all it was a great experience for everyone.