Sniffing threats have become a major threat to investors and users of blockchain technology. Knowing more about packet sniffing threats will help you avoid unnecessary losses. 

1. Packet sniffing definition

Packet sniffing is defined as  a technique whereby packet data traveling over a network is detected and observed. Network administrators use packet detection tools to monitor and authenticate network traffic, while hackers can use the same tools for nefarious purposes.

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2. “sniffer” and “Sniffer” – they are just one?

When spelled with an “s”, the term “sniff” indicates the use of a packet sniffer for good or nefarious purposes. In the hands of authorized network administrators, an evaluator is used to maintain an unobstructed flow of traffic through the network. Conversely, in the hands of a hacker, a sniffing device can be used to illegally monitor the network.

When spelled with a capital letter “S”, the term “Sniffer” refers to the technology that has been trademarked from NETSCOUT. This branded evaluator allows network administrators to monitor bandwidth and ensure that no user is using too much available space.

3. The way hackers use packet sniffing?

Hackers in usual will typically use one of two different sniffing methods to surreptitiously monitor a company’s network. In the case of organizations whose infrastructures are configured using hubs that connect multiple devices together on a single network, hackers can use sniffers to passively “track” all traffic flowing in the system. Passive sniffing, such as this, is difficult to detect.

When a much larger network is involved, using many connected computers, and the network shifts to only directing traffic to specific devices, passive monitoring simply won’t provide the right access to all network traffic. In such a case, sniffing would not be useful for legal or illegal purposes. Hackers will be forced to bypass constraints created by network switches. This requires active detection, which will add more traffic to the network and thus make it discoverable to network security tools.

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4. How to protect the network from illegal snoopers 

Organizations can take several steps to protect their networks from illegal tracking activities.

  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi networks: Wi-Fi networks found in public spaces often lack security protocols to fully protect users. 
  • Rely on a trusted VPN connection: When accessing the internet remotely, always use a Trusted Virtual Private Network that encrypts the connection and hides all data from snoopers. Any snooper trying to track traffic over the VPN will only see the data scrambled, rendering hackers useless.
  • Always deploy robust anti-virus software: By installing effective anti-virus software, organizations can prevent malware from entering networks and systems. Powerful antivirus engines will also detect sniffers present in the system and offer to remove them.
  • Look for secure HTTPS protocols before surfing: Before surfing the web, look for “HTTPS” in the address bar of a website. Some websites only say “HTTP”. 
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SmartOSC solutions for packet sniffing use packet data to enable rapid IT troubleshooting, threat detection, network topology, and health diagnostics reporting, so that users can minimize the risk. 

Contact SmartOSC to know more about their solutions. 

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