Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ten Reasons Make Packet Sniffers an Essential Network Tool

colasoft packet snifferNo matter whether you are network administrators or IT managers, you should not be unfamiliar to the network analysis tool - packet sniffer, also known as a network analyzer, protocol analyzer or sniffer) which has been widely used by kinds of organizations, schools, enterprises, government institutions etc.

Maybe you are yet supirsed at why more and more enterprises, like IBM, Intel, Epson, Airbus, Ericsson etc, love to deploy packet sniffer to their company's network? OK, take a fresh coffee now, then look at the following problems, and ask yourself, as a network administrator or IT manager, if these issues are just what you have met?

Rushing from one network problem to another every day?
Have no way to judge if your network has been intruded?
Helpless collecting convincing information to submit your boss even if you have realized that your network system has been intruded.
No idea if current network usage is equal to actual need?
Know nothing of how many staffs are not killing their time by chatting with friends, browsing irrelevant webpage etc, but focusing on their job?

Yes, every question listed above has puzzled many network administrators, but no worry, packet sniffer can easily help you out with its strong functions, here are ten reasons make packet sniffers an essential network tools.

* Analyze network problems
* Detect network intrusion attempts
* Gain information for effecting a network intrusion
* Monitor network usage
* Gather and report network statistics
* Filter suspect content from network traffic
* Spy on other network users and collect sensitive information such as passwords (depending on any content encryption methods which may be in use)
* Reverse engineer proprietary protocols used over the network
* Debug client/server communications
* Debug network protocol implementations

Currently, there are dozens of packet sniffers in the market, some are very complex to use like wireshark, you must be versed in networking,; some are designed for common network administrators, such as Colasoft Network Analyzer, all-in-one & easy-to-use, which are more and more accepted and welcome.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Top 5 Most Welcomed Packet Sniffers

Colasoft Network AnalyzerAccording to the latest statistic from famous download sites regarding to downloads of packet sniffer softwares, the following products are very honored to be listed as top 5 most welcome packet sniffers by network engineers, IT managers, and network administrators etc.

#1 Wireshark - A Free Open Source Network Sniffer for Top Network Engineers

Wireshark (known as Ethereal until a trademark dispute in Summer 2006) is a fantastic open source network protocol analyzer for Unix and Windows. It allows you to examine data from a live network or from a capture file on disk. You can interactively browse the capture data, delving down into just the level of packet detail you need. Wireshark has several powerful features, including a rich display filter language and the ability to view the reconstructed stream of a TCP session. It also supports hundreds of protocols and media types. A tcpdump-like console version named tethereal is included. One word of caution is that Ethereal has suffered from dozens of remotely exploitable security holes, so stay up-to-date and be wary of running it on untrusted or hostile networks (such as security conferences).

#2 Colasoft Packet Sniffer - All-In-One & Easy-To-Use Network Analyzer and Packet Sniffers Available For Most Network Administrators.

Colasoft Packet Sniffer - Capsa performs real-time packet capturing, 24/7 network monitoring, advanced protocol analyzing, in-depth packet decoding, and automatic expert diagnosing. It allows you to get a clear view of the complex network, conduct packet level analysis, and troubleshoot network problems.

Whether you're a network administrator who needs to identify, diagnose, and solve network problems, a company manager who wants to monitor user activities on the network and ensure that the corporation's communications assets are safe, or a consultant who has to quickly solve network problems for clients, Capsa is the tool you need.

#3 Tcpdump: The Classic Sniffer For Network Monitoring And Data Acquisition

Tcpdump is the IP sniffer we all used before Ethereal (Wireshark) came on the scene, and many of us continue to use it frequently. It may not have the bells and whistles (such as a pretty GUI or parsing logic for hundreds of application protocols) that Wireshark has, but it does the job well and with fewer security holes. It also requires fewer system resources. While it doesn't receive new features often, it is actively maintained to fix bugs and portability problems. It is great for tracking down network problems or monitoring activity. There is a separate Windows port named WinDump. TCPDump is the source of the Libpcap/WinPcap packet capture library, which is used by Nmap among many other tools.

#4 Etherdetect : Connection-Oriented Packet Sniffer And Protocol Analyzer

EtherDetect Packet Sniffer is an easy for use and award-winning packet sniffer and network protocol analyzer, which provides a connection-oriented view for analyzing packets more effectively. With the handy tool, all you need to do is to set up the filter, start capturing, and view connections, packets as well as data on the fly.

#5 Ettercap : In Case You Still Thought Switched Lans Provide Much Extra Security

Ettercap is a terminal-based network sniffer/interceptor/logger for ethernet LANs. It supports active and passive dissection of many protocols (even ciphered ones, like ssh and https). Data injection in an established connection and filtering on the fly is also possible, keeping the connection synchronized. Many sniffing modes were implemented to give you a powerful and complete sniffing suite. Plugins are supported. It has the ability to check whether you are in a switched LAN or not, and to use OS fingerprints (active or passive) to let you know the geometry of the LAN.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How to Find MAC Address with Colasoft MAC Scanner and More

Colasoft MAC Scanner ScreenshotIn computer networking, a Media Access Control address (MAC address) is a unique identifier assigned to most network adapters or network interface cards (NICs) by the manufacturer for identification, and used in the Media Access Control protocol sublayer. If assigned by the manufacturer, a MAC address usually encodes the manufacturer's registered identification number. It may also be known as an Ethernet Hardware Address (EHA), hardware address, adapter address, or physical address.

Since a MAC Address is unique for most network adapters or network interface cards (NICs), it is important for IT administrators to know all the MAC addresses in LAN so as to quickly locate a network device when a network issue arises. Luckily we have tools to help us out. Let’s see how we can easily find MAC address in LAN with Colasoft MAC Scanner.

Colasoft MAC Scanner is a Free software to find MAC address and IP address. It can automatically detect all subnets according to the IP addresses configured on multiple NICs of a machine and find MAC addresses and IP addresses of defined subnets as your need. Users can custom own scan process by specifying the subsequent threads.

Step 1. Download Colasoft MAC Scanner

Step2. Install Colasoft MAC Scanner

The installation of Colasoft MAC Scanner is quick and easy, it is suggested to install Colasoft MAC Scanner on a laptop as it only scans and finds MAC addresses and IP addresses in the subnet to which the laptop is connected.

Step3. Start a Scan

It’s easy and quick, just press the start button, the Colasoft MAC Scanner will scan and find MAC addresses and IP addresses in the subnet and list them out. The results can be “copy and paste” or exported for future reference.

Now the problem is: if a LAN is divided into several subnets, we’ll have to move the laptop around and scan each subnet in order to find all MAC addresses and IP addresses. Then what’s the solution?

Find MAC Address and IP Address with Colasoft Packet Sniffer

Colasoft Packet Sniffer allows us to find MAC addresses and IP addresses both local and remote in the network as long as there is network communication initiated.

Find MAC Address in Colasoft Packet Sniffer

>>>>Download Colasoft Packet Sniffer Now

Find Out the Top Network Administrator Tools

Packet Sniffers/Network Protocol Analyzer

With packet sniffers and network protocol analyzers, you can monitor network activity, analyze network performance, enhance network security, and troubleshoot network issues.

1, Colasoft Packet Sniffer - Colasoft Capsa performs real-time packet capturing, 24/7 network monitoring, advanced protocol analyzing, in-depth packet decoding, and automatic expert diagnosing. It allows you to get a clear view of the complex network, conduct packet level analysis, and troubleshoot network problems.
2, Ethereal –
3, EtterCap –
4, Snort –
5, WinDump / TCPDump -
6, DSniff –

Scanning Tools
1, Nmap –
Nmap is a port scanner. A port scanner scans for open ports, such as 80 (http) or 25 (SMTP)

2, Sam Spade –
Sam Spade is a multi network query tool with many extra built in utilities, even a tool for spam. It includes utilities such as ping, whois, traceroute, and finger

3, NetScanTools Pro ($199) –
NetScanTools Pro Edition is an integrated collection of internet information gathering utilities for Windows Vista/2008/2003/XP/2000. Use it to research IP addresses, hostnames, domain names, email addresses, URLs automatically** or with manual tools.

4, SuperScan –
SuperScan has the primary purpose of scanning an IP range. It supports extremely fast Host Discovery lookups as well as TCP and UDP port scans thanks to its multi-threaded and asynchronous techniques.

UserManagement -
Complete user account management featuring advanced user creation, modification, removal, mass creation/removal and delegation of administrative tasks. The UserManagemeNT Suite consists of three modules, Professional, Import and Delegation. These modules can operate independently or seamlessly integrated with each other.

AdminMagic -
Full control: Using AdminMagic, you can take over and control users' desktops from your own workstation. Featuring complete mouse and keyboard emulation, you can execute programs, login/logoff, modify device drivers and reboot all from a central location. You can also take screenshots of remote desktops and store/print them for later use. Remote users will not be interrupted and can continue working as they always do.

Advanced System Optimizer -
Advanced System Optimizer is a system tweaking suite that includes around 30 tools to improve and tweak your PC's performance. It offers an attractive and easy to use interface that organizes all tasks into categories and provides graphical statistics whenever possible. The tools include junk file cleaner, memory optimizer, system information, system files backup, file encryption, safe uninstaller, duplicate file finder, taskbar manager and much more. Advanced System Optimizer also includes an Internet tracks eraser with cookie manager and secure deletion, and even a desktop sticky notes application. Overall, a great bundle that offers a wide range of system tools with extra benefits that are hardly ever found.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How Public Key Encryption Can Make Email More Private

colasoft packet snifferWhen you are entering your credit card number, talking with your lover, chatting with your business partners, can you imagine what will happen if everything you are doing is exposing to everybody?

Yes, it is unbelievable but it is quite true, hackers can easily obtain your private information like crecit card number, email logs, chat logs etc. by using some network analytic tools, such as Colasoft Packet Sniffer.

Protect Your Email Secure And Safe

So if we are helpless with our private information from being monitored or stolen? Of course not, to keep data sent via email private, you just need to encrypt it, as only unencrypted content can be monitored by network analytic tools like Network Analyzer. Only the targeted recipient will be able to decipher the message.

How to Encrypt Your Message?

Public key encryption is a special case of encryption, it operates using a combination of two keys: one is a private key, the other is a public key which together form a pair of keys. The private key is kept secret on your computer since it is used for decryption, the public key, which is used for encryption, is given to anybody who wants to send encrypted mail to you.

How Public Key works?

When you send public-key encrypted mail, the sender's encryption program uses your public key in combination with the sender's private key to encipher the message. When you receive public-key encrypted mail, you need to decipher it.colasoft packet sniffer
Decryption of a message enciphered with a public key can only be done with the matching private key. This is why the two keys form a pair, and it is also why it is so important to keep the private key safe and to make sure it never gets into the wrong hands (or in any hands other than yours).

Why the Integrity of the Public Key is Essential

Another crucial point with public key encryption is the distribution of the public key.
Public key encryption is only safe and secure if the sender of an enciphered message can be sure that the public key used for encryption belongs to the recipient.
A third party can produce a public key with the recipient's name and give it to the sender, who uses the key to send important information in encrypted form. The enciphered message is intercepted by the third party, and since it was produced using their public key they have no problem deciphering it with their private key.
This is why it is mandatory that a public key is either given to you personally or authorized by a certificate authority.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Monitor Your Network Traffic with Colasoft Packet Sniffer

Importance of Network Monitoring

Reading network traffic is essential for system administrators, network engineers, and security analysts. At some point there will be a need to read the network traffic directly instead of monitoring application level details. Examples of situations that might require monitoring network traffic are, auditing network security, debugging network configurations, and analyzing usage patterns. For this task we use network monitoring software, or packet sniffers, that sniff the traffic your computer is able to see on the network. What exactly your computer can see really depends on how the network is laid out, but the easiest way to figure out what it can see is just start sniffing.

The most common tool to do the job is readily available. One of the most popular and easy – to - use tool for monitoring network traffic is Colasoft Packet Sniffer.

How to Monitor Network Traffic

As a packet sniffer, Capsa make it easy for us to monitor and analyze network traffic in its intuitive and information-rich tab views. With Capsa's network traffic monitor feature, we can quickly identify network bottleneck and detect network abnormities. This article is to discuss how we can Monitor Network Traffic with Capsa's network traffic monitor feature.

1, Monitor Network Traffic in "Summary"

"Summary" is a view that provides general information of the entire network or the selected node in the "Explorer". In "Summary" we can get a quick view of the total traffic, real-time traffic, broadcast traffic, multicast traffic and so on. When we switch among the node from the explorer, corresponding traffic information will be provided.

Monitor Network Traffic in Summary

(pic 1. monitor-network-traffic-in-summary)

2, Monitor Network Traffic in "Endpoints" tab

In "Endpoints" view, we can Monitor Network Traffic information of each node, both local and remote. With its easy sorting feature we can easily find out which host is generating or has generated the largest traffic.

Monitor Network Traffic in Endpoints

(pic 2. monitor-network-traffic-in-endpoints)

3, Monitor Network Traffic in "Protocols" tab

"Protocols" view will list all protocols applied in network transmission. In "Protocols" view we can Monitor Network Traffic by each protocol. By analyzing network traffic by protocol, we can understand what applications are using the network bandwidth, for example "http" protocol stands for website browsing, "pop3" stands for email, etc.

Monitor Network Traffic by Protocol

(pic 3. monitor-network-traffic-by-protocol)

4, Monitor Network Traffic in "Conversations" tab

In "Conversations" tab we can Monitor Network Traffic by each conversation and the figure out which conversation has generated the largest network traffic.

Monitor Network Traffic by Conversation

(pic 4. monitor-network-traffic-by-conversation)

5, Monitor Network Traffic in "Matrix" tab

"Matrix" is a view that visualizes all network connections and traffic details in one single graph. The weight of the lines between the nodes indicates the traffic volume and the color indicates the status. As we move the cursor on a specific node, network traffic details of the node will be provided.

Monitor Network Traffic In Matrix

(pic 5. monitor-network-traffic-in-Matrix)

6,Monitor Network Traffic in "Graphs" tab

If we want to get a trend chart of the network traffic, then we need to use the "Graphs" tab. "Graphs" view allows us view network statistics dynamically in different chart types, such as ling chart, bar chart, and pie chart. By selecting "Utilization" we get a real-time traffic trend chart.

Monitor Network Traffic in Graphs

(pic 6. monitor-network-traffic-in-graphs)

As we can see, with Capsa we can not only Monitor Network Traffic in convenience, but also analyze network traffic in deferent levels, thus enables us quickly and efficiently detect network abnormities and troubleshoot network problems.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Kismet, an 802.11 Layer2 Wireless Network Detector and Packet Sniffer

Kismet ScreeshotWhat is Kismet

Kismet is an 802.11 layer2 wireless network detector, packet sniffer, and intrusion detection system. Kismet will work with any wireless card which supports raw monitoring (rfmon) mode, and can sniff 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11n, and 802.11g traffic (devices and drivers permitting). Kismet identifies networks by passively collecting packets and detecting standard named networks, detecting (and given time, decloaking) hidden networks, and inferring the presence of non-beaconing networks via data traffic.

Feature Overview

Kismet has many features useful in different situations for monitoring wireless networks:

- Ethereal/Tcpdump compatible data logging
- Airsnort compatible weak-iv packet logging
- Network IP range detection
- Built-in channel hopping and multicard split channel hopping
- Hidden network SSID decloaking
- Graphical mapping of networks
- Client/Server architecture allows multiple clients to view a single Kismet server simultaneously
- Manufacturer and model identification of access points and clients
- Detection of known default access point configurations
- Runtime decoding of WEP packets for known networks
- Named pipe output for integration with other tools, such as a layer3 IDS like Snort
- Multiplexing of multiple simultaneous capture sources on a single Kismet instance
- Distributed remote drone sniffing
- XML output

Typical Uses

Common applications Kismet is useful for:

- Wardriving: Mobile detection of wireless networks, logging and mapping of network location, WEP, etc.
- Site survey: Monitoring and graphing signal strength and location.
- Distributed IDS: Multiple Remote Drone sniffers distributed throughout an installation monitored by a single server, possibly combined with a layer3 IDS like Snort.
- Rogue AP Detection: Stationary or mobile sniffers to enforce site policy against rogue access points.


Kismet can be downloaded here

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