Networking – Is it possible to track browsing history inside a wireless network


I'm using Internet, shared through wireless network. Now, is there any possibility to track me (i.e. my browsing history) from another computer of same network using "Wireshark" or other tracking software? If so, how to block this.

Best Answer

Any other computer in the same wireless network can receive the packages you are sending out and that are sent to you. The relevant data contained in such a package is the source and the target address and the actual data. This makes it possible to see what other computers you are communicating with.

Lets take your example of the browsing history. If you enter an URL in your browser, lets say a request is sent out via your network. Every other wireless client does can receive the package as it is sent out in all directions as radio signal. This package can be read using tools like Wireshark. The person reading it would see that the request goes to IP It is very easy to find out what website this IP belongs to.

If you are not using SSL (https) the data of the package can also be read. In our google example it contains e.g. your search request. If you login on a site that doesn't use https, even your username and password are contained easily readable in that data. As James already stated in the comments it is even possible to attack SSL secured connections.

To avoid this you can use a tunnel (e.g. SSH, VPN). The attacker could still see you communicating with the tunnel endpoint, but all the other information will be encrypted.

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