Tech Learning Collective

Technology education for radical organizers and revolutionary communities.

Exploring Cyberspace: Network Sniffing and Scanning

Poster for Exploring Cyberspace: Network Sniffing and Scanning
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Have you ever wondered what’s between your computer and the websites you visit? Are you curious about where your messages actually go in order to get from here to there? Do you wonder what a map of computer networks really looks like? Come exploring with us as we embark on a journey into cyberspace, the final Final Frontier! In this beginner-friendly workshop, we’ll throw a metaphorical message in a bottle into the expanse of cyberspace, and learn how to sense and track its movement as it makes its way back to us—or not!

These are the voyages of frames, packets, and segments—our messages—as they make their way across the vast reaches of the Internet. On the way, they’ll encounter both friendly and unfriendly devices, such as routers, firewalls, traffic inspectors, or NAT tables. At each step of their journey, a complex series of decisions are made to determine where they’ll be routed to next, or if their journey is at an end. By using network mapping tools such as nmap along with digital wiretapping tools like Wireshark we can sense what happens on the far side of a network connection in much the same way as looking at the ripples on the surface of a river can tell us something about the shape of the riverbed.

Join us for a two-hour mission: to explore strange new networks, to seek out new devices and new organizations, to boldly go where only packets have gone before!