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SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 WinPcap Dos and Donts Wednesday, June 17 th, 2009 Gianluca Varenni Senior Software Engineer | CACE.

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Presentation on theme: "SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 WinPcap Dos and Donts Wednesday, June 17 th, 2009 Gianluca Varenni Senior Software Engineer | CACE."— Presentation transcript:

1 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 WinPcap Dos and Donts Wednesday, June 17 th, 2009 Gianluca Varenni Senior Software Engineer | CACE Technologies, Inc. WinPcap Product Manager SHARKFEST '09 Stanford University June 15-18, 2009

2 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Agenda Dos and Donts Tips and tricks Open discussion/questions 2

3 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Dos and Donts

4 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Packet reception Do NOT keep the packet pointers received from – pcap_next_ex – pcap_loop – pcap_dispatch – pcap_next in your own data structures. They are valid only up to the next call to pcap_next_ex. Copy the packets if needed. 4

5 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Packet dissection Packets can be truncated. – Be savvy when dissecting packets, check boundaries. – If you receive a 30 bytes IP packet, the IP header is truncated! Do NOT assume that the headers have a fixed length! – The IP header is 20 bytes when there are no options – Compute the header length properly 5 IP header Ethernet header IP options 14 bytes20 bytes0 or more bytes L4 protocol

6 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Data link types Do NOT assume that the link type is Ethernet ( DLT_EN10MB ). Check the link type with pcap_datalink In case of wireless (AirPcap), three possible encapsulations – Bare (no meta-information) – Per-Packet Information (PPI) – Radiotap 6

7 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Packet API Do NOT use it. – No longer documented (it was a mistake) – It can change between releases Do NOT access the npf.sys driver directly – IOCTLs change over time Use the pcap API 7

8 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 WinPcap installation Do NOT create your custom WinPcap installer. – It works most of the times on Windows XP x86. What about Vista x64 or NT4? – It corrupts any existing installation. – Debugging installation issues is a major pain. Solutions – Official WinPcap installer. – WinPcap Professional. 8

9 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 WinPcap and services You can use WinPcap in a service. You MUST call any WinPcap function after you have notified the SCM that the service is started. Alternatively, put nm and npf as service dependencies using ChangeServiceConfig when installing the service 9 VOID ServiceStart (DWORD dwArgc, LPTSTR *lpszArgv) { // // perform any initialization here // DO NOT CALL WINPCAP HERE // SetServiceStatus(....SERVICE_RUNNING...); // // Service is now running, perform work until shutdown // Start using WinPcap here // } VOID ServiceStart (DWORD dwArgc, LPTSTR *lpszArgv) { // // perform any initialization here // DO NOT CALL WINPCAP HERE // SetServiceStatus(....SERVICE_RUNNING...); // // Service is now running, perform work until shutdown // Start using WinPcap here // }

10 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Kernel buffers Do NOT use large kernel buffers. – Its a cache for traffic spikes or app processing slowdowns. – Kernel memory is a precious resource. 4-8 MB is ok in most cases (even at 1Gbps). Optimize your processing code! 10

11 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Tips and tricks

12 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Multiple devices support You can open the same device multiple times – Within the same process. – From the same or different threads. – Each instance uses its own capture buffer and filter. – Packets are replicated among instances. Be careful with pcap_compile. Its not thread safe (as of WinPcap 4.1beta5). – Future versions will fix the issue. – Use a critical section to protect the calls to pcap_compile. 12

13 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Dumping to disk Disks are generally slow. Dumping all the packets to disk without losses is not trivial on high speed links. Solutions – Dump just the first n bytes of a packet (snaplen). – Filter packets. – Dedicated disks (not partitions!). – RAID 0 (striping). 13

14 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Use pcap_next_ex Why? Its much easier to use. Especially to stop capture. Do not use pcap_loop / pcap_dispatch / pcap_next – They are less immediate to use. pcap_next_ex is blocking – It respects the timeout set in pcap_open_live 14

15 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Timestamps They are generated in software after 1.The packet has been received by the NIC 2.The NIC has notified the OS about available packets (interrupt coalescing) 3.The NIC driver has processed the packet and notified NDIS about the packet The precision is in the order of tens of microseconds in the best case. Do not rely on timestamps for critical measurements. 15

16 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Responsiveness vs. performance Packets are received by the app when the timeout elapses or at least mintocopy bytes are in the kernel driver buffer (whatever comes first) Small read timeouts can affect performance Small mintocopy values can affect performance Do you really need to get the packets as soon as they arrive? 16

17 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Devpack samples Use them as a reference – Header files to include (or not) – LIB files – How to open/close an adapter or capture packets from it 17

18 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 GUI applications The UI needs to be responsive while capturing. Use a separate thread to capture (or inject) packets. Use messages for inter-thread communication. – SendMessage – PostMessage Do NOT touch the UI in the capture thread! 18

19 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Wireless capture Most adapters (excluding AirPcap) do not support promiscuous/monitor mode – Its a limit of the hardware/NIC driver – Its not a limit of WinPcap – Bug in WinPcap: it doesnt detect lack of promiscuous support. Fixed in 4.1 betas. Ethernet fake frames. No management/control frames, no headers. Vista native Wi-Fi drivers? Not really. 19

20 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Privileges to run WinPcap Pretty weak security model Admin privileges are needed to – Install WinPcap – Start the driver at each reboot Change the driver start type to SERVICE_AUTO_START to have the driver started at boot time Once the driver is running, a standard user can capture/inject packets 20

21 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 WinPcap and.NET You need to create your own wrapper, or use an existing one – No official wrappers – No support for 3 rd party ones Marshalling packet contents (without copies) is not trivial Some APIs (e.g. pcap_findalldevs ) are not.NET friendly Use managed C++ to create your wrapper 21

22 SHARKFEST '09 | Stanford University | June 15–18, 2009 Questions?


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