My wife plays Cafe World and other games on Facebook. She's noticed that her MacBook gets hot while she's playing. I suspect it's just because Flash is a hog, but it occurs to me that I really have no idea what it's doing. And although my home network is safely hidden behind a NAT router, that doesn't protect me if something which is running from inside Flash (which has security holes) or other "trusted" environments.
What I'd like to do is put a sniffer on a hub connected between my cable modem and the NAT router to watch the traffic coming out of my network. Eventually I could scale this up to a full IDS (Intrusion Detection System) which would do some analysis and flag any suspicious traffic for later investigation. But first I'd like to get a basic idea of what is going on, and thus what the IDS will need to deal with.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a plug&play LiveCD which does what I want. There's a few network tools LiveCDs out there, but they assume you a) want to do more than capture packets b) understand all of the tools they provide. So I think I'm going to go with plan B, which is to install Wireshark under Windows, capture a bunch of data, then analyze it myself.