Sunday, November 22, 2009

Maybe I'm too paranoid

I was being paranoid about what my computer was connected to earlier today, which prompted among other things a reboot.

One of the domains in my netstat output had caught me off-guard: Don't try it in your web browser, it doesn't work. I did some searching and then promptly facepalmed as I realized it was owned by Google. 1e100 = 1 * 10^100 = a googol = another of Google's bad jokes. It shows up as the reverse DNS for GTalk and GMail. That's almost as bad as Microsoft's faked reverse DNS of whatever.phx.gbl for when you're connected to MSN.

In the process of discovering this I happened upon a pretty neat tool called TCP View. It shows you not only what your computer is connected to, but also which process owns each connection. It's basically netstat on steroids. In addition, it updates constantly, letting you know what's happening. It also provides some useful tools, such as the ability to kill the process or the connection, or to whois the remote host.

The verdict: eases paranoia.

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