Looking at Packet Capture and Dissection

For the project that I am working on (not yet disclosed), I was thinking that it would be interesting to be able to integrate a view of what is happening on the network, much like Wireshark and other tools can provide. The view would be more targeted towards what the user was doing, but the overall idea would be the same: capture network traffic and perform some basic analysis on it to display it visually.

This led to some interesting research, which I've decided to discuss here! (For those who feel this is a long post, there's a summary of sorts at the end.)

Capturing Traffic


Given that I'm using Atom Shell to build this application and that uses Node.JS, one of my first thoughts was to take a look at node_pcap. After all, node_pcap was used successfully in tools like htracr, so perhaps it would work well here.

Unfortunately, I ran into a series of issues with node_pcap. For one thing, it wants to run the capture in the same process, and since performing a capture requires putting the network interface into promiscuous mode, it requires elevated privileges. I am not comfortable with the idea that my …

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