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Topic: Can Arduino be viewed by the network administrator? (Read 746 times) previous topic - next topic

brianeo

I began playing with Arduino at my job when I didn't have enough work to occupy my mind during downtime. I don't have permission to run an exe on my work station, so the IDE software I used was the "portable" version -everything on a thumb drive. The computer I used when I got started with Arduino was an old Pentium 4 with Windows 7. The network administrator likes using computers until they die. Well, mine died recently. No problem, because all my Arduino stuff is on a thumb drive. My new work station is an Apple with Windows 7. It was previously used by a high-level exec where I work. It's loaded with software. Only problem is I can't find a port for the Arduino board. The "ports" menu line on the IDE is grayed-out. There are several ports on the Apple. I tried them all. The IDE software was downloaded this year. It's good. Let me just say at this point I got so interested in Arduino that it's too good for work. I don't intend to work with it at my job anymore. I will find time at home. There's enough to mess with in my downtime at work on the new Apple. I was just curious about one thing. The IT manager at my job is generally a cool guy. His main problem is he works too hard. All work and no fun. My question is, can a network administrator detect Arduino operation by the usual USB cable connection? What I want to determine is if he is trying to tell me something, like, I should browse the Internet in my spare time, but don't build anything on his network. You understand I can't ask him directly?

Qdeathstar

i think he might be able to see what apps you have runnning....

brianeo


Robin2

My new work station is an Apple with Windows 7.
Sacrilege

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when I didn't have enough work to occupy my mind during downtime
The correct response to that is to tell your supervisor so that other work can be assigned to you. Playing with an Arduino should take place after work.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

brianeo

I was wondering about Windows on a Mac. My understanding had been it was an emulation, but I take it from your comment it really is a Windows operating system running on the Apple hardware. I ask because the point of my question was if I was failing to connect the Arduino. My experience with Apples computers is limited. I was also wondering how many IT professionals read the Forum. Maybe they are being watched by higher-level admins. I work for a mid-size enterprise. Some of these companies with big networks have layers upon layers of network administration. My determination is the network admin overseeing my work station blocked Arduino. I know he has the skills to do it.

Robin2

but I take it from your comment it really is a Windows operating system running on the Apple hardware. I ask because
Don't read anything into my comment - I have no idea what your employer's PC is doing.

I just don't think it is appropriate for this Forum to assist people to trick their employers.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

brianeo

I've worked here over 10 years. It's not like a job. It's too much fun. As far as operating the Arduino IDE on a network workstation, I could probably come up with a better way. I found a small notebook computer with Windows 10, 32GB embedded multimedia card, 4GB of memory for applications. On sale for $199. It will be my dedicated Arduino computer. I think I will pick one up today during lunch break. Looking forward, I can work on it in the lunch room while the other employees play games and watch videos. The important thing is keeping up with the Forum. If I post a question I don't want to wait until I get home to change a character of code. The whole kit will fit in my bag.

TKall

If it's not like a job, why are you worried about getting caught? 

Qdeathstar

It sort of sounds more like high school to me...

westfw

In my experience, if someone "above" you is mad at you for doing something, you will hear about it, rather than have them sneakily prevent you from doing things.  In fact, having a whole paper trail of "they were warned" is pretty important if you want to actually fire someone (at least in the US.)

Arduino requires that drivers be installed, in addition to the IDE.   It doesn't seem unlikely that a new windows7 install might not include those drivers (it's a more interesting question, why the old install DID have them.)

Have you considered ASKING whether they could install Arduino?  Also IME, jobs where there is significant "downtime" don't necessarily care that much about what you do during that downtime.  (Hmm.  I used to fold origami while waiting for compiles to finish.  Got the whole office interested!)  But they'd rather have control over the apps than have people coming in with an insecure flash drive...

brianeo

All interesting comments. Yes, it reminds me of "getting caught" at something as a child. I have not had the feeling in a long time. I wanted to post about it because I seriously doubt I am the only one hacking Arduino boards at work. I just wanted to make it known that even with the IDE on a thumb drive it can be seen by a network manager doing his job. Incidentally, username westfw, the computer I had been using with Arduino did not permit any installation except regular updates, including software. I tried many times. I don't believe the portable version requires drivers, but, I don't know. That was another question. Here is the portable version page: arduino.cc/en/Guide/PortableIDE. Can anybody verify if drivers are required?
Anyway, this is a good thing for me. I have wanted to start using the Arduino web editor. I even bought an inexpensive Windows notebook for Arduino. I believe web editing involves a download which requires a driver. I just signed-in the editor, and guess what? It will become available as a Chrome app! I already have a Chromebook, but, it's almost 10 years old, and there are other Arduino apps I want to try that definitely require drivers. Any advice on which forum is best for Arduino web editor users? Perhaps the networking forum?
 

westfw

AFAIK, the portable versions still require drivers to actually upload code; I don't see how they could not.

I don't think that the web editor (http://create.arduino.cc, right?) has or needs a separate forum any more than the Mac or linux version needs one.  If your problem is with understand C, post to the "software" topic; if it's  question about how to implement a particular sort of functionality, post to the "project guidance" topic.   The "networking" topics are for actually using the arduino on a network (via ethernet or wireless shields or modules, or other hardware "loosely defined" as networking; not for network-based tools for producing Arduino sketches.


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I just wanted to make it known that even with the IDE on a thumb drive it can be seen by a network manager doing his job.
Well, of course!  They can see the connection that the IDE tries to make to arduino.cc, they can set up remote access to your workstation and see every process/app that's running, they can even do keylogging.  At some point that crosses the line from "threat monitoring" into "privacy violations and abuse", but at some point your use of work computers for Arduino playing crosses a line from "creative/educational use of downtime" into "theft of services, and unacceptable security risk."   YMMV, depending on your company's policies.

Heh.  Reminds me of the time in college, back in the mainframe days, when I abused the privileges of my position ("Jr Systems Programmer") to read by boss's eMail.   Surprisingly, it only contain a single message.   Which read:
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By the way Bill; why are you reading my mail?
:-)


Henry_Best

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By the way Bill; why are you reading my mail?
Because I can!  :)

brianeo

I now have the Arduino web editor working. I opened the example "analog read serial," connected an Uno to a Windows 10 notebook by USB-2 port, and can read serial monitor input. This is the way to go! If you work on more than one computer, you have to transfer your sketches from one computer to the next with the desktop version to continue working. I left my thumb drive at the office more than once and was dead in the water later. I never thought of backing up sketch files on a cloud folder. Web editor does that. I can even open a sketch in web editor on my Chromebook. It can't upload or verify, of course. I am still into tutorials. Web editor shows schematics for Examples. I also found the appropriate forum to discuss specifics: Arduino Forum >  Products >  Create >  Editor. I will take that part of the discussion there.
I don't mind saying I couldn't have figured this much out without replies. It gets the mind working better than sitting in the dark all alone. Good forum this one, recommended, without hesitation.
I was also reminded of my first job working on an office LAN, and by snooping around I could leave txt messages on the receptionist's desktop. She didn't understand how I did it, of course, but she was amazed. That confirmed it worked, anyway, that I was actually looking at another work station desktop from mine. At the same company, a shady character worked there who got himself fired for insubordination. A week later the whole network shut down. He had planted a dead man switch. We fixed it, but it was instructive what trouble can be caused by leaving a network wide open like that. I did not understand in a practical way the potential problem caused by ports until now. I don't intend to plug anything but a thumb drive and peripherals into my work station from now on. I can see fingers pointing at me if a black hat gets in and pins responsibility on me. Not sure I trust everybody inside, for that matter.

msssltd

#14
May 15, 2017, 03:40 pm Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 03:42 pm by msssltd
In my experience, if someone "above" you is mad at you for doing something, you will hear about it, rather than have them sneakily prevent you from doing things.
My role as an "IT Professional" is sometimes described as "Last Line" and there is no one, technically speaking, above me.  I usually have to report to some management bod with a loose grip of what I actually do for my living.  I don't really get mad at people for making my working life difficult, people come with the territory; but they do disappoint or frustrate me at times. 

Unless it's downright illegal or opposite my employer's interest, I prefer to view internal exploits the same as external exploits, shutting them down quietly.  I prefer to keep one hand on my toolkit, as it were, than waste hours on wrist slapping disciplinary paperwork.  Most people are aware when they are doing something wrong.  The day after I cut 1500 people off from Facebook and Twitter, 1st line got only 4 related calls, and 2nd line 3 related enquiries. Nobody went beyond the prepared response, "If you need access to a site we have restricted, for the purpose of your job, please have your manager authorise by filling in the appropriate form."

The aim of every systems administrator is a peaceful life; everything working as it should, procedures being followed, without managers running around like headless chickens constantly repeating, "How long?"  Or my favourite, "So what was wrong with it?" [If you had a hope of understanding that, you wouldn't need me to fix it.]  Such tranquillity does not come easy.  There is enough of what everyone else believes the Internet Pixies do, without looking for human issues. 

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In fact, having a whole paper trail of "they were warned" is pretty important if you want to actually fire someone (at least in the US.)
There is always the odd one with a superiority complex, who claims entitlement and is determined to take it further.  So yes, I keep records  to cover my own behind, maintaining an adequate audit trail and justifying my actions in accordance with whatever policy was violated.  Whenever possible actions are summary; like finding the night shift have installed a bunch of games on a PC, removing it for re-image and swapping in the oldest, slowest, dog of a PC, festering in the stock cupboard.

When firing is the likely outcome, the first the culprit hears of it is the call into Human Resources.  Evidence of illegal activity or gross misconduct is gathered quietly.  I haven't done my job properly unless it is overwhelming. 

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Arduino requires that drivers be installed, in addition to the IDE.   It doesn't seem unlikely that a new windows7 install might not include those drivers (it's a more interesting question, why the old install DID have them.)
Windows 7 supports many USB to Serial bridge chips natively, out of the box or through Windows update.  Apple distribute their Windows drivers through Boot Camp.

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Have you considered ASKING whether they could install Arduino?
Good sysadmins are repressed individuals, with a deep hatred for anyone with down time, who is having fun using "our" computers ;)

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