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Recording IM traffic? (Skype / QQ)

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  • Recording IM traffic? (Skype / QQ)

    Just got tasked with finding tools to record any and all IM chat that goes through Skype / QQ. It's for compliance purposes, so no need for legal stuff to be brought up in this thread.

    So far I'm only finding software that resides on the client app end. I'm trying to find something that all the traffic must go through (e.g. so that the end users can't erase the logs). So far no luck.

    Any suggestions? Also, if you have any similar recommendations about GTalk that would be great, but we're probably just going to ban it (as well as the websites that you can chat using IMs).

    **edit** Of course right after posting this I found this SW, never heard of it before, thoughts? http://www.imfirewall.us
    Last edited by Wired; 16th February 2009, 16:16.
    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

  • #2
    Re: Recording IM traffic? (Skype / QQ)

    I am not sure about their product but I'll be surprised if they could control any Skype traffic.
    Skype is written very well and uses both UDP and TCP and it chooses a communication port randomly, almost everything is ciphered and there is another layer of network obfuscation on top. Although UDP traffic can be controlled and stopped, it's impossible to do the same with TCP.

    Best way IMO would be to controll users desktop rather than looking for a way to control the skype traffic.

    Cheers
    Caesar's cipher - 3

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    • #3
      Re: Recording IM traffic? (Skype / QQ)

      Do you just want stats. on this such as times used, tpe of IM device etc. , length of time. name of employee or do you need a log of the actual conversations etc.

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      • #4
        Re: Recording IM traffic? (Skype / QQ)

        We use facetime.
        http:// www.facetime.com/
        cheers
        Andy

        Please read this before you post:


        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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        • #5
          Re: Recording IM traffic? (Skype / QQ)

          Originally posted by L4ndy View Post
          Best way IMO would be to controll users desktop rather than looking for a way to control the skype traffic.
          It's a compliance thing, so we can't assume we'll always have control of their systems. Looking for something foolproof that any and all traffic (e.g. ISA) would HAVE to go through, so it wouldn't matter what port, etc. You're right about Skype, seems they do a lot of encryption and the like. They have a GPO template you can use to control some of the options however, so that may be a way to force all of the clients to use the same port, etc.


          Originally posted by Virtual View Post
          Do you just want stats. on this such as times used, tpe of IM device etc. , length of time. name of employee or do you need a log of the actual conversations etc.
          EVERYTHING. Who said what to whom and when.


          Originally posted by AndyJG247 View Post
          We use facetime.
          http:// www.facetime.com/
          I'll compare the FaceTime device to Barracuda's systems (we already have 2 of their spam appliances). However I have the feeling they'd want a more SW (e.g. cheaper) approach.
          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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          • #6
            Re: Recording IM traffic? (Skype / QQ)

            Not sure with regards to IM but I know websense has the ability to analyse https traffic. They become the secure endpoint for clients locally and then encrypt the traffic to the website.

            Whether they can do what you want, I'm not sure but it may be worth contacting them to find out.

            http://www.websense.com/content/home.aspx

            I believe they are a solution for establishments that have 500+ Clients to make it a cost effective solution. It may be overkill for your scenario but just a thought of mine.

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            • #7
              Re: Recording IM traffic? (Skype / QQ)

              Originally posted by Wired View Post
              It's a compliance thing, so we can't assume we'll always have control of their systems
              Skype is said to be a tough nut, as its IP traffic is highly obscure. Maybe a client-side firewall with per-application rules would be a solution for blocking it? Skype's got a GPO template for some tuning, but it is quite limited.

              For the compliance thing, declare an office policy which forbids users to install Skype or any other unapproved IM client. Talk with your boss and HR staff about what kind of process violators will go through. Audit the computers in regular a manner. The bottom line is, you can't solve social problem with technology.

              -vP

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              • #8
                Re: Recording IM traffic? (Skype / QQ)

                This has nothing to do with out of control users or anything. We can control who does and doesn't have software easily enough. Some of our guys use specific IM clients for the job (e.g. specific sales guys uses Skype, and users who deal with China use QQ). New compliance rules are coming down the pipe, and to comply with them we have to have logs of all IMs.

                Just talked w/ Barracuda, and they don't know much about QQ. They said it appears it may be built off of the ICQ protocol, so it could be supported if that's correct. Just read the same Wikipedia article, and it was only a name similarity in the beginning. Proprietary code as far as I can see.

                Can't monitor Skype due to the encryption apparently. Man this sucks lol.

                It also appears that FaceTime has a device that can block it, but not log it.
                Last edited by Wired; 16th February 2009, 21:06.
                ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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                • #9
                  Re: Recording IM traffic? (Skype / QQ)

                  Will have to look into it, we use it for the IM side of things. Will let you know mate.
                  cheers
                  Andy

                  Please read this before you post:


                  Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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