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Wireshark-users: Re: [Wireshark-users] Wireshark in Network - Windows/Linux

From: Guy Harris <guy@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 10:33:40 -0800
On Mar 9, 2010, at 8:35 AM, Karthik Balaguru wrote:

> How to determine the presence of wireshark in a network ? Are there
> any specific packet types exchanged while it is present in the network
> so that it can be used to determine its presence in the network ? Any
> specific tool to identify its presence in either Windows or Linux ?

There is no Wireshark-specific network protocol that it and only it uses.

If you do a Web search for

	detecting sniffers

you can find some techniques that, although not *guaranteed* to find programs that capture network packets, such as Wireshark (and tcpdump and snoop and Microsoft Network Monitor and NetScout Sniffer and WildPackets {Ether,Token,Airo,Omni}Peek and...), can sometimes detect those programs on a network.  For example:

	http://www.securiteam.com/unixfocus/2EUQ8QAQME.html

says

	How to detect other sniffers on the network

	Detecting other sniffers on other machines is very difficult (and sometimes impossible). But detecting whether one of the Linux machines is doing the sniffing is possible.
	This can be done by exploiting a weakness in the TCP/IP stack implementation of Linux. 
	When Linux is in promiscuous mode, it will answer to TCP/IP packets sent to its IP address even if the MAC address on that packet is wrong (the standard behavior is that packets containing wrong MAC address will not be answered because the network interface will drop them).
	Therefore, sending TCP/IP packets to all the IP addresses on the subnet, where the MAC address contains wrong information, will tell you which machines are Linux machines in promiscuous mode (the answer from those machines will be a RST packet)
While this is far from being a perfect method, it can help discover suspicious activity on a network.