TCP Dump commands and basic tutorial

After installing, check if tcpdump is installed successfully executing the below command

#>which tcpdump

Should return the binary location of the package installed


After confirming you can run tcpdump with various options passing to the command to check for the options

[root@ashwin ~]# tcpdump –help

tcpdump version 3.9.8

libpcap version 0.9.8

Usage: tcpdump [-aAdDeflLnNOpqRStuUvxX] [-c count] [ -C file_size ]

[ -E algo:secret ] [ -F file ] [ -i interface ] [ -M secret ]

[ -r file ] [ -s snaplen ] [ -T type ] [ -w file ]

[ -W filecount ] [ -y datalinktype ] [ -Z user ]

[ expression ]

We will be capturing packets for 2 minutes and analyze for any issues with hosts connecting to and from.

Running the below command will capture all the packets transferring between the hosts through the Network Interface Cards and will be redirected to a file

tcpdump -n -i bond0 -e -vvv > output.log


Tcpdump commands
So back to tcpdump, to look at for example web traffic
Always remember that if you want to see the traffic as ASCII, just apply the argument ‘-A’ to tcpdump

I am assuming you are using eth0, -n turns off DNS.

tcpdump -i eth0 -n port 80

Now a little more fancy, using egrep – this will show all your web requests in real time!

tcpdump -i eth0 -A -n port 80 | egrep -i \(GET.\/\|POST.\/\|Host:\)

Did you know you can tcpdump for a subnet by just excluding the last octet?

tcpdump -i eth0 -n port 80 and host 10.0.5

You can see I used ‘and’ here to specify more filter, you can also use or
For example port 80 or port 81

If you forgot your pop3 password, but have it stored in the client

tcpdump -i eth0 -n port 110 -A | egrep -i \(user\|pass\)

This also applies to passwords for the web, I have used this a lot instead of the ‘forgot password’ mechanism.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s