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Routers - What can they do, what can't they do?


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#1 Physics-is-Phun

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 06:33 PM

I'm having some concerns about privacy and security in my home. Without going too far into detail, here's the network setup:

internet (the world!)
|
modem
|
D-link DIR-655 wireless router
| | | | |
my laptop my brother's laptop parent's laptop parent's computer other various devices

I'm trying to figure out if the router that I have is capable of logging specific websites any of the above devices visit. From what I can tell by logging into the router, it logs some interaction, but the outputs it's giving me aren't anything like IP addresses or URL names.

Supposing the router isn't capable of that, is there any kind of software that someone could install on the router that would monitor network traffic? If there is, how would I go about investigating whether there was any such software on the router?

Thank you in advance for any input you all can offer!

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:01 PM

Wire shark will allow you to monitor traffic on your network and see where its going. What is the concern with specific websites? Are you trying to snoop on another person? If you are worried someone else's actions will leave your computer vulnerable keep your virus software up to date and you should be fine. If you are spying on a family member then you should confront that person with your concerns rather then spying on them.

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#3 Physics-is-Phun

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 09:51 PM

I have confronted the person that I am sure is spying on someone else in the house, but the person who's doing the spying won't outline any of their methods or tools, so I just figure it's safest for me to assume the worst and hope for the best. I'm not looking to spy on a family member, but rather to understand what their methods are and whether or not my computer is "safe" from being spied on. (The kicker is that I'm not even doing anything illicit/immoral/etc on the computer, I just don't like the idea that this person potentially has the ability to look in.)

My antivirus (AVG Free 2011) and antimalware (Malwarebytes) are as up-to-date as I can keep them, and I'm doing pretty much weekly sweeps of both, in addition to monitoring Event Viewer pretty regularly. But I still get the feeling that that's not enough, given that it hasn't stopped the spying member of the family from spying on their target; if they have no compunction about spying in any capacity, I think it's just safer for me to assume that my stuff "can" be monitored.

#4 Sneakycyber

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 10:43 PM

There is a vast number of programs that allow parents to monitor their kids computer usage. There are key loggers that log every keystroke made on a computer, software such as spector that monitors everything and allows the parent to view what is on the computer, network monitoring software that logs websites and browser history. There are many moral lines that this issue crosses. If its your parents monitoring (or spying as you put) they have every right in my opinion to do so. Its their home, quite possibly they pay for the internet, and they are trying to protect you from online predators. I can understand a child's feeling of having their privacy invaded however they are your parents. If your not doing anything against their wishes then you have nothing to worry about. There is a program you can use to guard your personal files such as a journal or diary. Its called Truecrypt and you can download it for free at WWW.Truecrypt.org. This will only prevent files from being opened and unless your an advanced user it does not hide its presence. My advice is to purchase a flash drive and keep the program and the files on that. This will also help if the flash drive is ever lost or stolen.


Edit: To answer your question about the router, Yes it can log and send to another computer every website or ip address that was accessed on that network.

Edited by Sneakycyber, 09 September 2011 - 10:58 PM.

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#5 Physics-is-Phun

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 12:04 AM

Can I add that I'm 22 years old and starting to wrap up a college degree? True, it's their home, and it's their internet, but I think once their child is 16-18, ideas about "protecting one from an online predator" no longer apply. (And up until now, they've given me no indication otherwise. In fact, throughout my entire life, there was never any kind of parental filter/control on tv, computers, game systems, etc.)

Given my circumstances, I think the entire situation simply crosses moral lines, now- I don't believe that there's any justification my parent can give me that would make it okay to spy on the other parent (which means, to me, that the ability could exist to spy on mine or my brother's computer (he is also 22)).

I do have TrueCrypt, and I do use it, but I'm looking more for ways to detect monitoring tools on the router. If I can detect it, I can at least understand that it's happening and bring it to light at some kind of family meeting. But my immediate concern is more of a technical one than a moral/psychological one.

#6 Sneakycyber

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 06:25 AM

To turn off Logging on the router you can do a Hard reset using the reset button. This will change all settings to default, then you can change the log-in and password. As far as monitoring software installed on your machine you can scan for them (I would use some Free online scanners as well as AVG, ESET for example), You can also check your installed programs menu in the Control panel, lastly check the C: drive and C: Drive Programs Folder for any out of place folders or folders that you do not know what they belong to (you can Google the name to find out what it is).

Edited by Sneakycyber, 11 September 2011 - 06:26 AM.

Chad Mockensturm 

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#7 Physics-is-Phun

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:33 PM

I haven't reset the router yet, but I do have control of it. I've scanned with AVG Free 2011, Malwarebytes, and- at the advising of a tech on a different forum on this site- SuperAntiSpyware. The best I've come up with were a couple "security hijacks" that may have actually just been innocent files (Process Explorer, believe it or not). Other than that, no keyloggers or anything else detected, though that issue is still being looked into elsewhere on this forum.

I've already gone through Add/Remove Programs list and uninstalled a lot of bloatware I never got around to removing in addition to anything I haven't been using and anything I thought could possibly be suspicious. I've also run through my Program Files as well as Program Files (x86) folders several times and have come up pretty blank. I've also taken a ridonkulous number of steps to lock down my computer to the point where I feel like I'm in control of literally every connection my computer makes with the outside world, and even with every connection programs on my computer make with other programs on my computer. This leads me to believe that any kind of monitoring left to find is either solely on any/all of my father's computers (the apparently-intended target of my mom's attempts at any kind of monitoring at all), or is on the router. Leaving my dad's computers aside, I still want to find a way to verify whether anything is going on on the router. Since I'm the only one that knows the password to the router, I feel that I have the ability to do virtually whatever I want in terms of finding stuff installed/whatever else there; whoever put anything on there, I think, can't get it back off without logging in (unless I don't understand what tools they have on the router, which is very possible, as I don't know what tools they have or what the tools are capable of).

That's kind of the hard of my question on this forum- can you detect any kind of monitoring on a router, or are you just stuck not knowing and you're "forced" to reset the router to defaults if you suspect anything?




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