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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Practical Packet Analysis: Using Wireshark to Solve Real-World Network Problems » User review

The "Wax on, wax off" for Packet Analysis...

  • Aug 22, 2011
  • by

I was always intrigued by the thought of actually being able to read packets (raw data) on the wire (network). I guess it was kind of a Matrix-type fantasy... at any rate, I never pursued the learning. Upon seeing the title of this book "Practical Packet Analysis" a long buried curiosity of mine was revived. First of all, I found this book very easy to read and comprehend, which is surprising, given the topic. The author starts you off with a primer in networking and some basic wire tapping strategies. Next, he shows you how to install wireshark (the primary software) on either windows and linux. He does mention that it is available for the mac, but you are pretty much on your own. I primarily use a mac for all my work, but do use linux from time to time. So to simplify things the first time through, I used linux. I would say the initial wireshark installation and setup will take the longest, but the author does a great job of walking you through the installation steps. He also spends a couple of chapters giving you a tour of wireshark's basic and advanced features (which I breezed through impatiently wanting to get started). Once you are done with the formalities, its off to the fun stuff. The rest of the book is what I call the "fun stuff", the author rightly called it "the meat and bones"... this is where you learn the craft of packet analysis. He uses "real world" case scenarios to walk you through the thought process using a basic 4-step approach to packet analysis; 1) What you know (facts or details about the problem), 2) Capturing packets (using wireshark, with one of the three methods; hubbing out, port mirroring, or ARP cache poisoning <- from chapter 2), 3) Analyzing the raw data, and 4) Summarizing or reviewing (what you learned from studying the packets). I believe author does a fantastic job of setting the foundation for a skill set that any system administrator, network engineer, or developer, just to name a few, must have. I highly recommend this book.

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review by . June 11, 2007
As an application developer, I don't spend a lot of time wondering about what goes down the wire (but perhaps I should). But the little hacking geek in me does have more than a passing interest in being able to see things that aren't obvious. This is probably the first book that's explained packet analysis in words and terms I could understand... Practical Packet Analysis: Using Wireshark to Solve Real-World Network Problems by Chris Sanders. Not only is it a good intro to the Wireshark (formerly …
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Gregory Zentkovich ()
Ranked #413
I like to spend time with my family... I love my wife, and I love my kids (3). I love to travel, run, surf, play with computers, and write code.... oh, and review tech books =)      … more
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About this book


It's easy enough to install Wireshark and begin capturing packets off the wire--or from the air. But how do you interpret those packets once you've captured them? And how can those packets help you to better understand what's going on under the hood of your network? Practical Packet Analysis shows how to use Wireshark to capture and then analyze packets as you take an indepth look at real-world packet analysis and network troubleshooting. The way the pros do it.

Wireshark (derived from the Ethereal project), has become the world's most popular network sniffing application. But while Wireshark comes with documentation, there's not a whole lot of information to show you how to use it in real-world scenarios. Practical Packet Analysis shows you how to:

  • Use packet analysis to tackle common network problems, such as loss of connectivity, slow networks, malware infections, and more
  • Build customized capture and display filters
  • Tap into live network communication
  • Graph traffic patterns to visualize the data flowing across your network
  • Use advanced Wireshark features to understand confusing packets
  • Build statistics and reports to help you better explain technical network information to non-technical users

Because net-centric computing requires a deep understanding of network communication at the packet level, Practical Packet Analysis is a must have for any network technician, administrator, or engineer troubleshooting network problems of any kind.

Technical review by Gerald Combs, ...

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ISBN-10: 1593271492
ISBN-13: 978-1593271497
Author: Chris Sanders
Publisher: No Starch Press

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