A user is accessing adult websites using a PC hotspot connection. Can the signal be intercepted to identify website / content instead of installing monitoring software on the PC?
Most people use their personal hotspot because there is no way for their employer to see their traffic. I'm assuming that's the case here.
The hotspot becomes its own network, which means you have no legal or inexpensive way to break into it. "Stingray" is a device that is designed to do what you are looking for, but it is limited to law enforcement.
The only option here is to install something on the PC.
If you are the employer and not the employee (I assume it's actually the other way around) if you have endpoint protection software already installed, you might be able to prevent the use of hotspots, or simply pull the user's browsing history from the machine.
If the hotspot belongs to you, and it's your PC,then the answer is - yes. Very easily. Just get a packet sniffer/capture tool (a quick search will throw up a few suggestions) and pass all traffic through it.
However, ensure that the user is aware that their traffic will be monitored. A lot of this could be illegal and actually violate wiretap regulations, otherwise.
If the hotspot doesn't belong to you/not hosted by you, then there's not much you can do without breaking any laws. If the AP is a router, just set up access logs - that should give you a good idea of what sites the user is visiting.