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When I use Google Talk over can anyone read (sniff) my messages?

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as it's using https, no. not without cracking the ssl encryption, which in this context isn't feasable. – Sirex Aug 17 '11 at 9:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted


Whenever you're using a HTTPS connection with a valid certificate to connect to a server you trust, every bit of content sent over this channel is encrypted using SSL/TLS.

If you are on a channel where it is easy to sniff the sent data, i.e. on a switched LAN or on an unsecured WiFi network, an attacker could only see the encrypted data and not the plain text you are sending.

Take a look at the security information your browser shows you:

enter image description here

Here are the relevant bits:

  • The certificate is valid and signed by a well known authority (Thawte)
  • The connection is encrypted with TLS 1.0, however it loads some unsecured content as well (for example these could be static images like the Gmail logo)
  • The connection is encryped with 128-bit, which can't really be compromised as of today
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So, can attacker or a software crack encyrepted datas or can a firewall monitor messages which that works on LAN? – Kerberos Aug 17 '11 at 10:46
No. The encryption method used is too strong to be cracked. The only thing you should care about is whether you can trust the certificate of the site you're on. – slhck Aug 17 '11 at 10:50
+1 for a great answer. In addition to this, Google (like many other online communications services companies) "may retain your communications" -- see the "User communications" point in Google's Privacy Policy document for the list of conditions (it doesn't specify how long they will retain information, which is also common): – Randolf Richardson Aug 17 '11 at 10:50
Thanks for adding that, @Randolf -- I was talking about the more general case here, but it's interesting to have the official Google policy here. – slhck Aug 17 '11 at 10:51
Thank you very much. – Kerberos Aug 17 '11 at 11:59

Not generally, but it doesn't mean that someone is not viewing or storing the conversation. Since the connection is encrypted, it will not be captured in transit, but if you are using a company computer, and they are using a monitoring application like Spector 360 from SpectorSoft, either on your end or the other, than that conversation can be recorded and stored.

SpectorSoft Spector 360

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