Wireshark is the world’s foremost and widely-used network protocol analyzer. A network protocol is an established set of rules that determine how data is transmitted between different devices in the same network. Essentially, it allows connected devices to communicate with each other, regardless of any differences in their internal processes, structure or design. Network protocols are the reason you can easily communicate with people all over the world, and thus play a critical role in modern digital communications.
Similar to the way that speaking the same language simplifies communication between two people, network protocols make it possible for devices to interact with each other because of predetermined rules built into devices’ software and hardware. Neither local area networks (LAN) nor wide area networks (WAN) could function the way they do today without the use of network protocols.
What is wireshark?
Wireshark is a powerful tool that can analyze traffic between hosts on your network. But it can also be used to help you discover and monitor unknown hosts, pull their IP addresses, and even learn a little about the device itself.
Wireshark is a free and open-source packet analyzer. It is used for network troubleshooting, analysis, software and communications protocol development, and education. It lets you see what’s happening on your network at a microscopic level and is the de facto (and often de jure) standard across many commercial and non-profit enterprises, government agencies, and educational institution.
Wireshark is supported by an international team of network specialists and software developers. They continue to improve the software as new network technologies and encryption methods emerge. There is no risk associated with the use of Wireshark.
- Network administrators use it to troubleshoot network problems
- Network security engineers use it to examine security problems
- QA engineers use it to verify network applications
- Developers use it to debug protocol implementations
- People use it to learn network protocol internals
Hackers with wireshark
Many people gravitate towards Wireshark’s robust GUI, used for packet capturing and analysis. Packet Analyzers operate by allowing a user to put network interface controllers (NIC’s) in promiscuous mode in order to view and capture network traffic. For instance, packets that are captured through Wireshark are filtered into data streams, paths, protocols, and IP addresses to be analyzed and studied in greater detail.
There’s a reason Wireshark was the winner of our poll. It’s frequently used for troubleshooting network performance, identifying unusual traffic, firewall bleed, misconfigured software, and protocol issues.
Ethical hackers will use network protocol, and packet analyzers, such as Wireshark, to understand a target network on a granular level. Understanding how specific hosts and devices communicate on a target network is critical for proper vulnerability identification and penetration testing.