Browse Definitions:
Definition

Wireshark

Wireshark is an open source tool for profiling network traffic and analyzing packets. Such a tool is often referred to as a network analyzer, network protocol analyzer or sniffer.

Wireshark, formerly known as Ethereal, can be used to examine the details of traffic at a variety of levels ranging from connection-level information to the bits that make up a single packet. Packet capture can provide a network administrator with information about individual packets such as transmit time, source, destination, protocol type and header data. This information can be useful for evaluating security events and troubleshooting network security device issues.

Wireshark will typically display information in three panels. The top panel lists frames individually with key data on a single line. Any single frame selected in the top pane is further explained in the tool's middle panel. In this section of the display, Wireshark shows packet details, illustrating how various aspects of the frame can be understood as belonging to the data link layer, network layer, transport layer or application layer. Finally, Wireshark's bottom pane displays the raw frame, with a hexadecimal rendition on the left and the corresponding ASCII values on the right.

Because Wireshark can also be used for eavesdropping, an organization using the tool should make sure it has a clearly defined privacy policy that spells out the rights of individuals using its network, grants permission to sniff traffic for security and troubleshooting issues and states the organization's policies for obtaining, analyzing and retaining network traffic samples.

Wireshark is licensed under the GNU General Public License.

See also:  TCPdump, OSI (Open Systems Interconnection)

This was last updated in June 2011

Continue Reading About Wireshark

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchCloudProvider

  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.

SearchSecurity

  • cyberextortion

    Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money or some other response in ...

  • Cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

  • National Security Agency (NSA)

    The National Security Agency is the official U.S. cryptologic organization of the United States Intelligence Community under the ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that developed a free electronic health record (EHR) system available to ...

  • RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator)

    An RHIA, or registered health information administrator, is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of patient...

  • 21st Century Cures Act

    The 21st Century Cures Act is a wide-ranging healthcare bill that funds medical research and development, medical device ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • floating gate transistor (FGT)

    A floating gate transistor (FGT) is a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology capable of holding an electrical ...

  • bad block

    A bad block is an area of storage media that is no longer reliable for storing and retrieving data because it has been physically...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close