Im taking this Network Concepts class that covers all that network protocol goodness and one of the assignments the teacher puts up for us to do is packetsniffing. Keep in mind im at a state school.
So Im thinking, oh that will be ok, I had to do something similiar for a network securities class. My boss overhears me and she tells me that in her computer forensics class her prof told her this was a big time no-no of things to do on campus. I told her that I had done something similiar in another class and had no problems. And, at the time of me telling her this I told her that computers in promiscuous mode couldnt be detected.
Immediately following this convo I come to find out via my very knowledgeable friend (Google!) that this is not true, and it can be done using crafted packets. Hell, they've even got it in an automated format to be run as a compliment to your usual IDS. Soooo.
My boss, my friend, and myself being quite curious we wanted to get some true info from the source. My boss let me go on a mini feild trip on campus to meet the wizard of oz, otherwise known as the director of networks here at school. And he said....
"Hhahaha, hell no."
I come to find out from him that only 2 people on campus can do any packetsniffing, its him and the provost. I kindly informed him that my teacher gave out this assignment to me, my friend, and about 150+ other students. He got the name of the professor and told me he'd handle it. I hope he gets reamed, I really dont like my network concepts professor. Its bad enough he has a super thick hispanic accent, but when you refuse to use the speaker/mic system built into the classes and then make daily corny jokes, you deserve to get canned.
I went ahead and corrected the know-it-alls (or know-it-not rather) on the class messageboard who basically said not to worry about it because our campus doesnt check for that sorta thing/doesnt care. Hopefully that take my post seriously.
What does make me somewhat angry is the fact that this teacher should have known better than to give out this kind of assignment. Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law, and had any student been caught doing this, to federal prison they go.
Case in Point:
Just because a teacher or professor tells you to do something doesnt mean its the right thing or the correct thing to do. This is especially true of college professors who dont really care either way since they still get paid, regardless of what they tell you. If something seems even the slightest bit questionable, then question it. Take it to a higher source other wise you might find yourself taking a fall for someone elses dumb suggestion.