February 5, 2005

Unwired at Borel

We’re coming to you live from Borel Eye Doctors this morning. I came here for contacts a couple months ago since they were across the street from the old office and when Tabitha mentioned she was due for a checkup, I recommended them. She’s in the midst of her appointment and I have a PowerBook.

They’ve got the wireless action going and once again I find myself wondering: 1) Is it cool to just go around using unsecured access points like this? 2) How many of my passwords are still flying around unsecured? (Specifically wondering about my .Mac password which is tied to my iDisk which updates itself quite often and (I suspect) is sent in the clear.)

Anyone have suggestions for good Mac software (or built-in command line tools) that monitor network traffic?

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Well, OSX has two major active wireless scanning tools, iStumbler and MacStumbler and one major passive scanning tool, KisMAC, which I reccomend.. Then there’s that program that lets you pick up unencrypted images floating by on a wireless network but I can’t remember the name of it…

Thanks Nick. KisMAC is interesting, I hadn’t heard of that one. I was more asking though about tools that monitor your network and watch the data passing in and out, track port usage, watch traffic, so forth. I came across Net Tool Box which looks pretty interesting. The 3.0 release recently came out. (It turns out iDisk does do some password encryption.)

jens tinfors

And there is always www.ethereal.com - very good for real time scanning and has powerful filtering

Little Snitch keeps track of all outgoing network activity.

Have you looked at OS X’s “Network Utility”?

Andreas Graulund

I know this was maybe not exactly what you were looking for, but Douglas Bowman at Stopdesign has a tutorial for secure e-mail on Mac OS X in a wireless network. And who knows, maybe you can use the application he’s describing in the tutorial for something else?

Jens, thanks. I get the impression that the Mac version is a little under-supported though. Daniel, I’ll check out Little Snitch. The stuff Network Utility does isn’t really what I was looking for. Andreas, the timing of Bowman’s post was perfect. =-) Thanks again all.