Tag Archives: Wireshark

syslog-ng with TLS: Installation Guide

Some years ago I wrote a blog post called “Basic syslog-ng Installation“. While I used it myself quite often in my labs or at the customers’ sites, it shows only basic UDP transport which is both unreliable and insecure. So, let’s have a look at a fresh installation of syslog-ng with TLS support for security reasons. However, TCP and UDP as transport are covered as well for the support of legacy systems.

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Decrypting TLS Traffic with PolarProxy

This is a guest blog post by Erik Hjelmvik, an expert in network forensics and network security monitoring at NETRESEC.


PolarProxy is a transparent TLS proxy that outputs decrypted TLS traffic as PCAP files. PolarProxy doesn’t interfere with the tunnelled data in any way, it simply takes the incoming TLS stream, decrypts it, re-encrypts it and forwards it to the destination. Because of this PolarProxy can be used as a generic TLS decryption proxy for just about any protocol that uses TLS encryption, including HTTPS, HTTP/2, DoH, DoT, FTPS, SMTPS, IMAPS, POP3S and SIP-TLS.

PolarProxy is primarily designed for inspecting otherwise encrypted traffic from malware, such as botnets that use HTTPS for command-and-control of victim PCs. Other popular use cases for PolarProxy is to inspect encrypted traffic from IoT devices and other embedded products or to analyze otherwise encrypted traffic from mobile phones and tablets. The fact that PolarProxy exports the decrypted traffic in a decrypted format without any TLS headers also enables users to inspect the decrypted traffic with products that don’t support TLS decryption, such as intrusion detection and network forensics products like Suricata, Zeek and NetworkMiner.

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Nping aka Layer 4 Ping

I was missing a generic layer 4 ping in my toolbox. Initially searching for a mere TCP ping, I have found Nping which completely satisfies my needs and gives so much more. ;)

What’s a layer 4 ping, and why? –> A normal ping (= ICMP echo-request) reveals whether the destination IP address, that is: the mere server/VM, is up and running. That’s great for a layer 3 networker since routing to and from the destination is already working. However, it does NOT reveal whether or not a service at layer 4 (TCP or UDP) is up and running as well. That’s what a layer 4 ping is about: sending TCP SYNs to the port in question, waiting for a “SYN ACK” (port is listening) or “RST”/no reply (port is not available). Common use cases: Waiting for a service to start again after an upgrade, or waiting for new firewall policies (to allow or deny) a certain port.

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Capturing – because I can: IS-IS, GLBP, VRRP

I am constantly trying to add more protocols to the Ultimate PCAP. Hence I used some time in my (old) Cisco lab to configure and capture the following protocols: IS-IS, GLBP, and VRRP. And since Alexis La Goutte sent me some CAPWAP traffic, this protocol is also added. All packets are now found in another update of the Ultimate PCAP. Here are some details:

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Adding some packets: RARP, SNAP, MPLS & More

The other day I was searching for a trace file with a decent protocol mix that could be used to introduce a few colleagues to Wireshark. This brought me to Johannes Weber and his Ultimate PCAP.

To get a first impression of a trace file I used Wireshark’s protocol hierarchy – and boy, that’s a lot of protocols. This was not exactly what I was looking for: This single trace file holds snippets from 2014 to 2020 with a myriad of protocols and IP networks. Unfortunately, it’s nothing like the protocol mix found in a network analysis project.

Nevertheless, the trace file caught my interest as a long time Wireshark user. After nearly 20 years of network analysis, I had my own collection of traces with a few odd frames. To my big surprise, I had recorded a few protocols that are not yet part of the Ultimate PCAP.

So here is my small contribution to this collection:

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A Little Printing Please – Packet Capture

Uh, I wasn’t aware of so many different printing protocols. Do you? While I was trying to solve a little printing problem I took a packet capture of three different printing variants over TCP/IP: Raw via TCP port 9100, LPD/LPR via TCP port 515, and Apple’s AirPrint which uses the Internet Printing Protocol IPP. As always, you can download this pcap and have a look at it by yourself.

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SharkFest’19 EUROPE: IPv6 Crash Course

I gave a session about IPv6 at SharkFest’19 EUROPE, the annual Wireshark developer and user community conference, named “IPv6 Crash Course: Understanding IPv6 as seen on the wire“. The talk is about the IPv6 basics, which are: IPv6 addresses & address assignment, link-layer address resolution, and ICMPv6. Tips for using Wireshark coloring rules and display filters round things up.

As I have not yet published the slides, here they are. Unfortunately, we were not able to record the session due to technical problems. Neither the video nor the audio. ;( Hence, here are only mere slides.

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More Capture Details

In the previous post, I released my Ultimate PCAP which includes every single pcap I had so far on my blog. But that’s not all: I have some packets in there that were not yet published up to now. That is, here are some more details about those (probably well-known) protocols. These are:

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The Ultimate PCAP

For the last couple of years, I captured many different network and upper-layer protocols and published the pcaps along with some information and Wireshark screenshot on this blog. However, it sometimes takes me some time to find the correct pcap when I am searching for a concrete protocol example. There are way too many pcaps out there.

This is supposed to change now:

I’m publishing a single pcap meant to be a single point of source for Wireshark samples. It is summarizing *all* previous ones from my blog and even adding some more protocols and details. I will constantly add more packets to this pcap if I have some. Currently, it has > 60 different protocols and hundreds of variants, such as IPv6 and legacy IP traffic, different DNS query types, ICMP error codes, and so on.

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VoIP Captures

VoIP calls, using the network protocols SIP/SDP and RTP, are the de-facto standard when it comes to voice calls. Wireshark offers some special features to analyze those calls and RTP streams – even with a nice “Play Streams” option, which discretely decodes your calls. Ouch. Again and again, frightening which privacy-related protocols are completely unencrypted on the Internet!

Here are some hints for Wireshark as well as a downloadable pcap with three calls in there. ;) Have fun!

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DNS Capture – The Records Edition

Some time ago I published a post called DNS Test Names & Resource Records which lists many different FQDNs with lots of different RRs. You can use those public available DNS names to test your DNS servers or the like. However, I was missing a packet capture showing all these resource records as they appear on the wire. So now, here it is. If you are searching for some packets to test your tools for whatever reason, feel free to download this pcap.

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