Thursday, April 22, 2004

Fat Fingered Idiots
My phone rang a few minutes ago, I silenced it sending the call to voicemail. It could have been my wife, but I was trying to finish up with my students. My wife is respectful when she calls my cell phone, and the first thing she always asks is "do you have a minute?". Instead of leaving a voice mail message, they hung up and called right back. It could be important, so I take the call. Here it's some idiot foreigner who mis-dialed my number TWICE, and obviously didn't listen to my voice mail message which begins with my full name. And then they hang up on me. No apology. No remorse. No callback number. What the hell is wrong with people? Most people are THAT rude. I know, because when I am at the grocery, they try to run into me with their cart, and I end up being the only one to say "excuse me". If you are one of those people, go fuck yourself ... TWICE.

So here I am in Tiffin Ohio again. I hate driving out here. I end up with nearly 4 hours between classes, and I have absolutely nothing to do. I should be filling out my paperwork that I was supposed to have handed in last Friday. Now that its a week late tomorrow, I should probably get on that. But all I want to do is watch TV and listen to my stupid music collection. I feel like slacking. And then, when it's all over I get to drive home ... which takes over two hours.

True Security Horror Stories
I don't know if you have tried driftnet yet, but you need to. Driftnet is a program that sifts through network traffic looking for JPG or GIF headers. When it finds them, it absorbs the traffic and then displays it in a window. So basically, you can sniff pictures off the wire. My initial results with the program were pretty bleak. I got nothing. Why? Not because nobody was surfing the web, because none of their traffic was coming to me! Damn switches and their secure ways.

Driftnet by itself will reveal little more than your own traffic. I have found that I could run driftnet on my router and set it to focus on my outgoing traffic. Although undocumented, driftnet allows you to specify a nic to use with the -i argument. Of course, I had to pipe the pictures back to my running X session. It was a little buggy, but it did work.

So how can you see any more than your own traffic? That will require a little more work. If you have never learned to use ettercap, you are missing out. Ettercap is an application that will scan your network looking for active hosts, and then it displays them. You can pick a host on the left, and their target on the right, and then sniff the traffic inbetween. If you know anything about routing, you will say "yeah right!". But, it works. Ettercap basically convinces your victim that the gateway can be found at a new MAC address, and it offers up yours. So they will start sending all their traffic to you where you can sniff it with a packet analyzer, or display it with driftnet. The bad news? Their traffic ends with you. I have found you can actually forward the traffic for them to the gateway, becoming that proverbial man in the middle. But as far as I can see, the gateway cannot be set from the command line options. So instead, you have to put everything into a configuration file, and sacrifice the easy Interactive mode that ettercap offers.

Glitches aside, it's surprisingly easy to set up a man in the middle attack and begin surfing the traffic of your fellow network users. It also proves to be a pretty interesting past time. Ever wondered what your boss is really looking at in there? Now you will know.

My advice: Try ettercap on a test environment before taking into a production network. It's tough to configure with a gateway, and without a gateway you will only be fucking up peoples transmissions. And that's just not nice.

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