Stealth Internet Usage

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Vick77, May 7, 2010.

  1. Vick77 macrumors member

    May 5, 2008
    Hi, I'm in university accommodation and therefore share a wireless router, however one of my flatmates has just got an updated version of McAfee internet security software (Windows PC) and one of it's features is it's able to track the IP addresses of each different device connected to our network, and therefore generate logs. I'm not sure what else it can do.

    I know it's no big deal, but it makes me kind of uneasy knowing that consumer software has that capability and that this guy could be monitoring me. I was wondering if anybody could tell me how I could hide my IP address, kind of like a stealth mode? ...Is that what a dynamic IP is?

    Sorry for the ignorance, I'm really new to internet / network security.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Riemann Zeta macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    The best option is probably to just ask your flatmate to disable the log feature of the router--it is easy to do. If you really want to be paranoid and attempt to obfuscate your traffic a bit, look into tor and i2p. But if you live in the same flat as the surveilling appliance, why not just disable the surveillance program.
  3. lannister80 macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2009
    Short answer: You have nothing to worry about, unless you're trying to hide the presence of other/more computers on your network.

    Long answer:

    Looks like it just shows a map of your local network (which any computer connected to a network can do by analyzing ARP packets and packet TTLs) and allows your roommate to administer the McAfee installations on other computers (which I assume you don't have installed on yours).

    So not much to worry about. Your roomate cannot determine how much bandwidth you're using if you're on a switched network (as his computer will never receive any traffic going to/from your computer), nor can he see what websites you're going to. Even if you WEREN'T on a switched network, he'd have to have his network card in promiscuous mode to measure your bandwidth use, which means his network card could only listen not really do anything else useful.

    Now, if he controls your router, that's another story (as all traffic has to go through the router).

    The more you know.... ;)
  4. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    From what you're describing, it's highly unlikely your roommate will know anything beyond the fact that your computer is connected and its local IP address. He shouldn't be able to log what sites your visiting unless he's rigged the network somehow so that his computer is assigning you that IP and all traffic is routed through his machine.

    If you're still worried, you could also check and see if your university has an IPSec or Cisco VPN that you could log into. If they do, you could connect to that and assuming your roommate has control of the router and can log your traffic, he would only see constant hits to the VPN server.

    If there's no VPN server, most universities at the very least have a UNIX shell server that they let their students log into. Which case, you could roll your own VPN using an SSH tunnel and apps like this one.

    Also, at the risk of making you even more paranoid, you should check your University's IT department web pages and see if they list their policies regarding monitoring. Some aggressively log traffic just like your roommate is claiming too, while others (typically larger institutions) don't know and don't want to know...
  5. Vick77 thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2008
    Thanks so much for your replies, I've had a look at the links which were provided, aswell as reading what you guys wrote.

    I didn't expect such detailed answers but they've put my mind to rest. Thanks very much. :)

Share This Page