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Advanced/Expert Computer Users: A Challenge.





ProfessorY91
Hello there. You are encouraged to post in this topic even if you don't think you have sufficient knowledge to answer the question.

I attend the University of Minnesota. I am attempting to securely operate uTorrent using my personal laptop on campus, to take advantage of University bandwidth and higher download speeds. Using the wireless network on campus is useless, as you must do a server authenticated login to get access to the internet. You can easily be tracked that way.

I have submitted my Mac Address to the university so that I can have access to the wired network on campus. The submission process is simple, and web driven - and I can make up whatever Mac Address I wish.

There are freeware programs that change your mac address to whatever you would like it to be, ad I intend to use them to my full advantage to get access to the wired internet on campus. I can also scramble my ip address with a proxy - as that is not an issue when connected to the wired network (wireless, another story).

Here is the question: What other methods do corporations and universities use to identify an individual computer? -and- Is my plan foolproof so far?

Thank you for your time,

Y.
ocalhoun
1- That sounds like you are stretching the boundary between legitimate use and hacking.
2- They could use a packet sniffer to detect your torrent traffic and find out what computer it is going to. Packet sniffers sample all packets on the network, and can display the type/contents of any of them. If the school has a dedicated packet sniffing computer connected with the right kind of cable/adapter, then it will be impossible to detect, because it would accept only incoming data, and make no outgoing data at all. Once they know which computer is doing torrent traffic, they can block that computer's mac or IP address, which will stop you whether they are fake or not. It is unlikely that they have this set up to happen automatically though, so that would only stop you after an administrator takes notice and does something about it.
milk
You cannot change a MAC address; it is bound to that network adapter. However, you could probably spoof it with some active intercepting program (don't know much about that.)

A proxy would be useless in your case, it hides your ip from whatever server you're on, the network itself recieves all the info the proxy gives you, then hands it to you.

With the MAC address you submit to them, they might only accept connections from that MAC address, so yes, you would have to spoof it to that.

What on earth are you going to do, anyway? Torrenting isn't bad.
ProfessorY91
Thanks for replying!

@ milk
Quote:
You cannot change a MAC address; it is bound to that network adapter. However, you could probably spoof it with some active intercepting program (don't know much about that.)


Actually a MAC address is bound to an individual machine. There are programs that allow you to enter a "fake" MAC address, therefore changing the MAC address of my laptop. The network adapter isn't at issue because it's the University's adapter - that address automatically has internet access.

The proxy is to prevent them from uniquely identifying my ip address, therefore if they detect and block the proxy's ip address, a simple reboot or scramble would change that. IP address identification is the most basic way to identify the computer. This university issues subpoenas to the DMCA to receive names associated with IP addresses - something they can't do if I utilize a proxy.

Assume that I'm merely going to download a few movies. Cool

@ ocalhoun

1- If I wasn't stretching the boundries somehow, I wouldn't be this paranoid now, would I?
2 - I have no doubt that the University has a dedicated packet sniffer to detect torrent traffic. I'm banking on the fact that when I yank out the Ethernet Cable of one of the computer lab computers and stick it into my laptop, that ?channel? won't be monitored. Or else it would lead to a network adapter that was otherwise configured for straight access from the server.

I'm also hoping that if they ban the "fake" mac address / IP address, I can scramble it in seconds and reregister the address. I have built a script to do this. What I need to know is if the packet sniffer would be able to distinguish my masked IP address (despite using a proxy) or if, somehow, it could pick up the real mac address associated with my computer. I doubt the real mac address would be broadcasted along with the fake one, but then again, I don't know for sure, and I also don't know what a packet sniffer is capable of detecting identification-wise, other than network traffic type. Do you?

Y.
jeremyp
ProfessorY91 wrote:
Thanks for replying!
Actually a MAC address is bound to an individual machine. There are programs that allow you to enter a "fake" MAC address, therefore changing the MAC address of my laptop.

Wrong. Each network interface in your computer has a MAC address. In the old days your ethernet card would have come with the MAC address hard wired so you couldn't change it. Nowadays, the MAC address tens to be configurable, but if two network cards on the same Ethernet LAN have the same MAC address chaos will ensue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC_address

Quote:
The proxy is to prevent them from uniquely identifying my ip address, therefore if they detect and block the proxy's ip address, a simple reboot or scramble would change that. IP address identification is the most basic way to identify the computer. This university issues subpoenas to the DMCA to receive names associated with IP addresses - something they can't do if I utilize a proxy.

Several things wrong here:

Your IP address also uniquely identifies a network interface, not a computer.

If you're connected to the University network, you have to use the IP address they allocate you or you risk duplicating somebody else's IP address or their routers not being able to route traffic to you.

You can use a proxy outside of their network but you'll need to encrypt the traffic between your computer and the proxy or they'll still be able to tell what you're doing.

Quote:
I'm also hoping that if they ban the "fake" mac address / IP address, I can scramble it in seconds and reregister the address. I have built a script to do this. What I need to know is if the packet sniffer would be able to distinguish my masked IP address (despite using a proxy) or if, somehow, it could pick up the real mac address associated with my computer. I doubt the real mac address would be broadcasted along with the fake one, but then again, I don't know for sure, and I also don't know what a packet sniffer is capable of detecting identification-wise, other than network traffic type. Do you?

Y.

Lots of ifs there. I think I'd expend my efforts on something more creative and just buy the films on DVD.
Diablosblizz
As well as the Mac address being changeable on a computer, if configured with a router you are able to change the Mac Address on the router to obtain a new outside IP address, clearly getting around any bans.
ocalhoun
ProfessorY91 wrote:
I also don't know what a packet sniffer is capable of detecting identification-wise, other than network traffic type. Do you?


try downloading one (like ethereal) and using it yourself, then you'll see exactly what its capable of. You'll also be able to test your evasion tactics on it without risk.
ProfessorY91
Again, thanks for all the feedback.

@ jeremyp


Quote:
Wrong. Each network interface in your computer has a MAC address. In the old days your ethernet card would have come with the MAC address hard wired so you couldn't change it. Nowadays, the MAC address tens to be configurable, but if two network cards on the same Ethernet LAN have the same MAC address chaos will ensue.


Obviously, a MAC address is still bound to a machine. Whether it is bound to a particular part of that machine is irrelevant, especially since I clearly stated that I will be using a wired network, therefore my ethernet card. Whether or not an individual machine can have multiple mac addresses is also irrelevant, as only one will be broadcasted in my case. Thank you, though.


Quote:
Your IP address also uniquely identifies a network interface, not a computer.


At this point, I'm sure you understand that I'm not going to be accessing the internet holding a computer chip in my hand and praying that my brain signals will do the work. If you insist, I will change my tune to: "I don't want my network interface to be identified."


Quote:
You can use a proxy outside of their network but you'll need to encrypt the traffic between your computer and the proxy or they'll still be able to tell what you're doing.


Awesome, thanks!

Oh, and ... I said assume that I'm downloading movies.

@ Diablosblizz

Unfortunately, I don't have access to the router. But at least I know scrambling of my mac addresses will work.

@ ocalhoun

Thank you, I will test out ethereal myself. I will assume that ethereal will be on par, in terms of features, with whatever sniffer is being used at the University (or perhaps a little less powerful).



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Appreciate it,

Y.
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