Sniffing as a Surveillance Tool
Analyzing traffic has perfectly legitimate uses. Traditional wiretaps
have aided many investigations. Capturing data packets could provide similar
benefits if law enforcement can make sense of all the data it has gathered.
However with more automation and less oversight, the potential for abuse
is far greater in cyber space.
- Pen Register/Trap and Trace
Pen Register/Trap and Trace
On a traditional telephone system, the government can use pen registers
and trap and trace devices to monitor a suspects phone. These devices
collect routing information about the call, namely the source and destination
numbers. This information is used by the phone network to establish a
connection. Once the call is connected, the monitoring device stops recording.
Carnivore is a sniffer developed by the FBI. It collects all the packets
and filters based on the source and destination addresses. This is significantly
different from traditional surveillance devices because it collects the
content of ever stream first and deletes portions later. There has been
at least one case were a glitch prevented Carnivore from deleting all
the irrelevant packets. This means that the FBI had collected the content
of a data stream it was not authorized to see. In order to be effective,
a Carnivore sniffer needs to be placed at every ISP.
Echelon is a collaborative surveillance effect between the United States
and her allies. No details are known, but it is generally believed to
involve sniffers on the Internet. Unlike Carnivore, these sniffers are
probably located in other countries. This system is headed by the NSA,
however there is no single governing body and consequently little oversight
on its behavior.
Related Sniffer & Network Monitoring Software:
- Capture HTTP packets, monitor Internet web traffic, and show URL visited
by LAN users.
- Monitor password from HTTP, email (SMTP/POP3), FTP, TELNET on LAN.
- Capture network packets and provide view for full TCP conversations and
Sniffer & Monitor
- Capture MSN messenger chat and conversations on your network.