Updated August 19, 2023
Introduction to Network Sniffer
Network Sniffer is the tool used for monitoring the flow of data packets over computer networks. It is also known as packet sniffing, network analyzer, packet analyzer, snoop, network probe. Network sniffing can be done on a hardware device or any other software program as well. It is mainly used to evaluate the network traffic and data packets as well.
A network sniffer is popularly known as a packet sniffer. It is called a packet sniffer because every packet of data is sniffed over the network to avoid network-related issues. The packet sniffer tool used for examines cybercrime, hackers and stealing data. It is used for both ethical as well as unethical purposes. These tools are used as hacking tools to steal private information like login credentials, card details, emails, instant messaging, etc.
Types of Network Sniffer
There are many types of network sniffers mentioned below:
- Mac sniffers: It is used to sniff the data that is relevant to the MAC address filter.
- IP sniffers: It sniffs all the data that is relevant to a specific IP filter. It captures the specific data packet for analysis and diagnosis. It is a method used for stealing the data or TCP session, and it is used to create a fake session.
- ARP sniffers: In this sniffing, the packets are sent to the ARP cache of both network hosts rather than sending to the host only and forwarded to the network administrator. This sniffer works when the data is in the ARP cache. It is very popular among hackers. It also allows the mapping of IP address to the MAC address and helps the attackers to conduct packet spoofing attacks and other vulnerabilities or poisoning attacks.
- Protocol sniffer: It is used to sniff the data for network protocols on the network.
- Password sniffer: Hackers used to attack the sessions to get the credentials and other details. The websites that are not using an SSL certificate to protect themselves can be easily attacked or exploited. Mainly the websites are protected with SSL authentication.
- LAN sniffer: It is mainly used in an internal system or internal networks, and they are capable of scanning the complete range of IP addresses.
Use of Network Sniffer
Hackers mainly do the use of network sniffer for collecting information on password and other data. The sniff is being used to decrypt the data in packets travelling from source to destination or between the two entities that are client and server or the communication between the two organizations. They acted as a middleman and used to capture the data with a packet injection attack.
Working of Network Sniffing
The Network sniffing tool intercept and log the network traffic with the software’s help for sniffing the data packets. This software helps in accessing the information of a complete network or a small part of the network. As we know, the networks used to send the packet for sending the data. The size of the data can be huge, and sending it in a single packet puts the load on the network that affects the data’s integrity. So whenever the data file has sent, it is mainly broken into small steps and then delivers to the destination. The data packet includes the destination of address, number of packets, reassembly order and source address. The data packet, once it reached the destination, then its footers and headers have been removed. The network has a filter that can discard the packet that is not addressed to the same network.
Once the network data has been received, the following action takes place:
- The data packets or content has been recorded.
- The software records the header section of the data packets to save space.
- The network data that has been captured is decoded and formatted so that the user can view the information.
- The packet sniffers analyze the error in network connection, communication, and other systems.
- The network sniffers sniff the sensitive data, like passwords, personal information and other card details.
Network Sniffer Tools
Many network sniffer tools are widely used. These are the tools that are being used for different purpose and different task. All of the tools having own features and advantages to use.
Some of the tools are mentioned below:
- PRTG network monitor
- Network Miner
- Packet Capture
- TCP Dump
- Steel central packet analyzer
Advantages of Using the Network sniffer Tool
The advantages are as below:
- It is fast. It is used to work on high transfer rates without affecting any performance of the system.
- It is flexible and supports data filtering and customization.
- The tools having good online support to get support from others and community forums.
- The tools allow analyzing the data without delays on a higher transfer rate.
- Most of the tools are open source and free of cost. Some are licensed and need to purchase.
The network sniffers are widely used, and it helps to analyze the issues and resolve those network issues in a shorter period of time. The application’s insights need to be monitored and analyzed in large and complex networks. The organization must prevent network congestion before its happening. Network traffic monitoring and analyzing is also an important part of an organization through network sniffers. So, download and install the trial version and free network sniffers to analyze the traffic and prevent later on problems or issues to the computer systems or the network.
This has been a guide to Network Sniffer. Here we discussed some basic concepts, tools, working, and types of Network Sniffer. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –