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As a junior security professional, I spend a lot of time goggling for things such as 'wpa dictionaries', 'vulnerabilities...' , 'how to crack ...','and so on.

I sometimes feel like I am calling for wrong attention (from ISP, google and/or agencies), regardless of my intention to increase my knowledge of what I am defending against and having fun on cracking my own home network.

Will googling draw too much draw the wrong attention? Wouldn't using proxies be too suspicious?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Google search data has been used to convict a murder. But this is an extreme case. I honestly don't think you have anything to worry about. If you are looking for a job in the US intelligence community then they might look at your email and search history before they higher you. But in general there are bigger problems on the internet.

* Massive picture of Pedobear *(edit: too large, it was removed.)

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@Hendrik Brummermann♦ You lack all sense of fun and good reasoning. –  Rook Dec 11 '11 at 19:33
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+1, original image version –  Jeff Burdges Dec 11 '11 at 22:00
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tinfoil hat mode :-)

If I feel my (legitimate) research might draw a raised eyebrow, I generally do it from behind my corporate VPN with all of their legal might defending it.

Remember that use of a proxy is not evidence of wrong-doing.

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Is your research part of your job? If not, your company will probably throw you to the wolves if you get arrested or sued. If it is part of your job, that's a good idea. –  Jonathan Dec 9 '11 at 18:11
    
Absolutely part of my job. :-) –  logicalscope Dec 9 '11 at 18:23
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It depends on:

  • your job profile
  • the legal framework of the country you live in

If you fear of the Big Mighty Supervisors of the Internet, worry no more. They are interested in other things.

If you fear for your job then your manager did not do a good job describing what you are supposed to do. If you work in network security and need to ensure the 100 Mbps link is not used to do massive bittorrent then searches like "how to bittorrent anonymously" or "bittorrent client authenticated proxy" do make sense and are expected.

I added the legalese part as in some countries it is perfectly normal to check the web activity of employees. In some others it is strictly forbidden. There are also some where nobody really knows :)

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