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I'm a Yahoo Messenger addict and I use it extensively with Pidgin on Debian. Unfortunately I moved to a place where I have to share a privately operated network connection with a lot of people I'm not really familiar with.

Without having details about the network architecture I think it would be really easy to monitor network traffic here.

I use https connections for all my mails, university stuff and social networks, so I'm not too afraid about those sites.

However it is a nightmare of mine that someone could read my private IM conversations and I didn't find any information about how the Yahoo Messenger is implemented on Pidgin and if my conversations are encrypted.

Can anyone help how to find out?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

To monitor your network you can use Wireshark. It's the most popular software to analyse your incoming and outgoing network traffic.

And I think you will find out Yahoo Messenger is sent in clear text format... But it's great to find it out yourself what's encrypted and what's clearly visible for everybody!

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I doesn't seem to be available for Linux :-( –  Lea Hammerschmidt Mar 25 '13 at 12:58
    
It is using sudo apt-get install wireshark in terminal :-) –  Nick van Tilborg Mar 25 '13 at 12:59
    
@NickvanTilborg you can use tcpdump in linux does the same as wireshark and is probably built in. –  BigHomie Mar 25 '13 at 13:00
    
How embarassing :$ Thanks :-) –  Lea Hammerschmidt Mar 25 '13 at 13:01

Wireshark is a quick way to tell. In addition, if your IM traffic is in the clear, you can use a ssh proxy back to your home (or somewhere else) to encrypt your internet traffic, or even an OpenVPN setup. This will encrypt all your outgoing traffic, including your IMs.

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I try to connect to my university VPN once, but it didn't work :-| Seems like some ports are blocked... –  Lea Hammerschmidt Mar 25 '13 at 13:04
    
If you really want to secure your internet traffic, and don't care about bandwidth, you can setup your own OpenVPN server at home, and connect to it from anywhere. It's a fair amount of work, but it's worth it imo. –  BigHomie Mar 25 '13 at 13:12

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