Introduction to Network Sniffer
Network Sniffer is the tool used for monitoring the flow of data packets over the 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 as packet sniffer because every packet of data is sniffed over the network to avoid any network related issues. The packet sniffer tool used for examines the cybercrime, hackers and stealing the 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 for creating the fake session as well.
- ARP sniffers: In this sniffing, the packets sent to the ARP cache of both network hosts rather than sending to host only and that is forwarded to the administrator of the network. This sniffer works when the data is in 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 the 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 that can be easily attacked or can be 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
The use of network sniffer is mainly done by hackers for collecting the information on password and other data. The sniff is being used to decrypt the data in packets that are traveling from source to destination or between the two entities that are client and server or the communication between the two organizations. They act as a middleman and used to capture the data with packet injection attack.
Working of Network Sniffing
The Network sniffing tool intercept and log the network traffic with the help of the software 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 integrity of the data. 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 reached to 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 data that is sensitive like passwords, personal information and other card details.
Network Sniffer Tools
There are many network sniffer tools that are widely used. These are the tools that are being used for a different purpose and for a 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 the 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 being widely used and it helps to analyze the issues and to 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. It is necessary for the organization to prevent network congestion before its happening. The 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 the 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 –