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My boss proposed me to code from home on the their machines via internet, in two possible ways:

  1. I would connect to their computer and work on their machine, as if I was in front of the computer(from what he said the method used in this case would not be a VNC but something different)
  2. Via SVN

My concern is all about the privacy for the first way. It is easier, I'm not a security expert and I would be not so happy if he could sniff network coming out of my router. In this case he could see the traffic of all my family, and this is very annoying.

Could someone give me some tips to understand if this way of working could be dangerous for my privacy or not? What should I pay attention to?

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Is there any form of VPN involved? And by "SVN" I assume you mean the version control system, which you'd just commit to and check out from directly over the web with no proxy or SSH tunnel involved? –  thexacre Jun 3 at 0:31
    
I don't know yet if he want to use a VPN, and yes the SVN is the version control system, so no privacy issues in that case, at least for what I know. –  webose Jun 3 at 0:41

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Fairly Safe for most purposes.

For a remote desktop tool like VNC, Citrix or Remote Desktop

These tools are more or less constrained to the graphical window on your box, they might be able to access your copy/paste buffer.

For a VPN Tool

These have the ability to, but probably wouldn't route your local PC traffic to the employers system before sending it to the internet. Their configuration may disable all other network routes. It would be a problem only while it was 'connected'. The tool wouldn't forward the rest of your family network unless you are using the PC as the network router.

BUT

This assumes that the company/boss doesn't ask you to download monitoring/spyware/software management programs onto your computer as part of the remote access deal.

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Use GoToMyPC or TeamViewer or something similar, and you'll have an encrypted link, with none of your home network traffic visible to anyone at your work network. These tools are designed to do exactly what you want.

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I think either way you're pretty safe, if you're using VNC then obviously they can observe any traffic you generate via the VNC controlled machine, but otherwise they shouldn't be able to access any part of your network.

SVN is also pretty safe, as really this shouldn't be that different from just browsing the company web page (ie. they can observe traffic involving their systems but not other ones).

If they want you to use a VPN and you choose to simply route all your traffic via the VPN then obviously they'll be able to access all your traffic. I have this same scenario though and I have my routing configured to only route traffic to company IPs through the VPN (although it's fairly easy in my case because I know there are only a few static IPs related to the company).

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Running programs on your home computer will rarely give someone outside your network access to all the traffic flowing out/into your router.

This can be achieved (using arpspoof and ip forwarding on a linux machine) if they created a special program disguised as a telecommuting application (or even a modified one) however it is a very unlikely that your employer would want to do that, unless you work for the mafia ;)

If you download an application directly from the Internet (such as TeamViewer) which does not require elevated (admin) privileges, is cryptographically signed (on Windows at least) and you make outbound connections (as in you controlling their computer, not the other way around) then you should be pretty safe.

In summary be careful of what software you install and what level of access (does it need admin privileges) you grant programs - this is a core tenet of computer security.

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If you are connecting to their computer, it would be likely that a VPN tunnel is used as well (otherwise they would be opening their PC to the outside world).

If you connect to their VPN from your own computer then only the traffic from your computer will be routed to their network.

Depending on VPN configuration, it may be possible to only route traffic bound for your workplace via the VPN, all other internet traffic would be sent via your usual internet connection. To do this turn off "Use default gateway on remote network".

Also make sure your computer's firewall settings are set appropriately if you do not want to unintentionally expose any services running on your PC to your workplace network when connected to VPN.

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