Archive for November, 2012

Wireshark Capture Vs Display Filters

Posted on November 11, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized, wireshark | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Bit of background info:

Libpcap – API/C/C++ libarary used for packet capture at the link layer on *nix machines
Winpcap – Libpcap API ported to Windows machines for compatibility
Berkeley Packet Filter – format/syntax used for capture filtering withing TCPDump and Wireshark etc
TCP dump – network analyser created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Wireshark – network analyser created by Gerald Combs (now Riverbed)

Wireshark uses the Berkeley Packet Filter format for capture filtering, as this is the format used by Libpcap and Winpcap libraries for capturing of packets at the NIC.   It’s generally not possible to use BPF for display filters, however certain filters do overlap.

BPF filter ‘tcp port 25 and host’ is a valid capture filter, but will not function as a display filter.
Display filter ‘tcp.port==25 && ip.addr==’ is the equivalent display filter.

Capture filter examples:

not host
tcp port 80
ether host d4:87:d8:14:2f:18

Custom profile capture filters are stored in C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Wireshark\profiles\profilename\cfilters

Display filter examples

!ip.addr == – find all packets where ip.addr is not
http.request.uri contains – finds all packets where the URI (uniform resource identifier) contains
eth.src[4:2] == f8:ee  – find f8:ee in field eth.src, start looking from the 4th byte, for the next two bytes

It’s possible to capture packets using tshark (command line) by issuing tshark.exe -R “display filter here”.

Any field within the packet detail can be applied as a filter, for example you can right click on content type field within a HTTP packet and click copy > as filter, as you can apply or prepare as filter.  http.content_type == “image/jpeg”.

A quick way to filter on a specific TCP flow/conversation is to use the TCP stream number, a unique ID assigned by wireshark to each TCP conversation.  The stream ID can be found by examing the TCP header in packet details, field name “”.


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