Network Sniffers

Network Sniffers



Network Sniffers

A network sniffer comprises a program that can be used to seize and register data traffic that may be passing over a specific network or part of it. Based on their capabilities, network sniffers can be used offensively and defensively for a variety of motives. Offensively, network sniffers are significantly popular among internet hackers. As such, hackers can use the respective program mainly for eavesdropping (Whitman & Mattord, 2014). In this respect, the network sniffer can be used to intercept data addressed to different machines and save it for further evaluation. This is based on its ability to capture packets of data that may be moving from one networking destination to another. For instance, if person A on computer A launches an e-mail towards person B on computer B, the hacker, via a network sniffer on computer H, can passively seize the respective communication packets without knowledge of the sender and the recipient. Such communication packets may comprise privileged information such as a password or private transactional information such as credit/debit ID, username, or account number.

Defensively, the network sniffer can be used for troubleshooting purposes, especially for a given network. Simply, the program can be assistive in locating problems within the network by enabling the person to intercept and view the level of packet data within the respective network (Whitman & Mattord, 2014). In addition, a network sniffer can be used to assess a network, detect intrusion, control the network traffic, and oversee network activity (Whitman & Mattord, 2014). Typically, network sniffers allow the user to find out information within data packets. As established, such programs capture data moving between computers in the form of packets. Hence, the network sniffer generically views, highlights and registers traffic transitioning within computer networks. With such capabilities, a general user may be able to receive basic information passing from one computer to another such as emails.


Whitman, M. E., & Mattord, H. J. (2014). Management of information security. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

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