telecom • networking • design

an EventHelix.com blog


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Visualize and Diagnose Wireshark PCAP Files with Sequence Diagrams

Introducing VisualEther Protocol Analyzer 6.1. Diagnose and debug Wireshark logs with sequence diagrams. Convert PCAP files into sequence diagrams and call flow diagrams by just defining the message fields that should be included in the diagrams. VisualEther takes of the rest, generating a well formatted sequence diagram. You can click on individual messages in the sequence diagram to see field level details.

VisualEther 6.1 adds the following features:

  • Full IPv6 Support
  • Convert any custom protocol to sequence diagrams. Fully customize the diagram generation.
  • Display message details as an expandable list.
  • Added support for Wifi and Ethernet frames

Wireshark to sequence diagrams

Visually debug protocol interactions

sequence-diagram-wireshark

Generate sequence diagrams and call flow diagrams from Wireshark output. The sequence diagrams provide a visual trace of the packet flow between different nodes.

Use regular expressions to identify and flag error scenarios. Messages reporting session failure can be bookmarked in a PDF file, thus giving you quick access to the cause of failure. Protocol experts can identify the error scenarios upfront to speed up protocol debugging.

Summarize Wireshark output…

Wireshark Extraction Template

Define templates to select messages and the fields to be included in the generated diagrams. VisualEther analyzes the Wireshark output to generate documents that match the defined template. The template is defined as a simple XML file.

Support for IPv4, IPv6, Ethernet and Wifi is built in. TCP, UDP and SCTP transport layer support is also available out of the box.

You can customize the templates for any protocol that has an Wireshark dissector. Any custom source and destination addresses can be used to define the sequence diagram instance axes.

…while maintaining full message detail

Wireshark message shown in full detail.

Click on any message in PDF sequence diagrams. VisualEther shows you complete field level details of that message in a browser window.

The message nodes can be expanded and collapsed. This way you can focus on the part of the message that interests you.

Reverse engineer system design

Reverse engineer design from Wireshark

Reverse engineering system design by analyzing the message flow in an operational system. Design documents are generated from the Wireshark traces. The generated documents can be edited and reformatted using EventStudio System Designer.

Automate diagram generation from Wireshark PCAP Files

Wireshark to sequence diagram generation script

Automate capture of Wireshark logs with tshark and then use the VisualEther command-line mode to generate sequence diagrams and context diagrams.

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IKE v2 Based VPN Establishment

Learn how IKEv2 signaling is used to establish an IPSec VPN tunnel.

IKE performs mutual authentication between two parties and establishes an IKE security association (SA) that includes shared secret information that can be used to efficiently establish SAs for Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) or Authentication Header (AH) and a set of cryptographic algorithms to be used by the SAs to protect the traffic that they carry.

An example of IKEv2 handshake and an IPSec tunnel transport is illustrated with the sequence diagram. You can click on IKE messages in the sequence diagram to see field level details.

The following sequence of Virtual Private Network (VPN) setup are covered:

  1. A ping triggers establishment of the IKEv2 security association.
  2. An IPSec tunnel is setup with a Child Security Association setup handshake.
  3. The ping data gets transported over the IPSec tunnel.

IKEv2 Based IPSec VPN Establishment


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Kerberos Sequence Diagram

Buying food via tickets and tokens

Kerberos allows the users to login once and then automatically get logged into all the services they may need. The mechanism used here is similar to the steps you have to take to purchase food at a stall at a fair:

  1. You pay cash and get a ticket specifying the amount you paid.
  2. You then take your ticket to another stall where you present the ticket and get tokens for individual items that you ordered.
  3. Now you visit individual stalls, present the token and collect the food item.

Three step ticket based authentication in Kerberos

Authentication is Kerberos is very similar:

  1. Authenticate yourself with the Authentication Server and get a “Ticket Granting Ticket”.
  2. Present the “Ticket Granting Ticket” to the “Ticket Granting Server” and get a Service Ticket.
  3. Present the Service Ticket and get the requested service.

Kerberos Sequence Diagram

The following Kerberos Sequence Diagram explains the feature in great detail:

Kerberos Sequence Diagram; Ticket Granting Ticket creation


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Sequence diagrams from Wireshark PCAP files

Announcing the release of VisualEther Protocol Analyzer 6.0.015 release.

VisualEther - Wireshark to Sequence Diagram Generation

  • Automate sequence diagram generation from the PCAP files with the built in command-line support. VisualEther can now be invoked from a script.
  • Built in support for Wi-Fi and Ethernet messages
  • Simplified message field analysis with collapsible message definition
  • Improved filtering to weed out repeated packets like RTP packets and broadcast messages.
  • Full support for .cap, .pcap, .pcapng and their .gz counterparts
  • Improved bookmarking for important messages. Bookmarked messages are appear in the bookmark pane of your PDF reader.
  • Improved processing for large PCAP files. VisualEther now automatically splits large files.
  • Reduced memory footprint in sequence diagram generation


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LDAP sequence diagram with Kerberos authentication

The LDAP sequence diagram describes authenticated LDAP directory lookup. The steps covered are:

  1. TCP connection establishment with the LDAP server
  2. Initial interaction to list the available services.
  3. Authenticate with the Kerberos server and obtain a ticket to proceed with the authentication with the LDAP server.
  4. Armed with the Kerberos ticket, the LDAP client uses bind to authenticate and initiate a secure connection.
  5. Encrypted LDAP communication follows.

The LDAP message flow is presented as a context diagram as well.


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Map C switch and if statements to assembly code

This article covers the code generation for if-else and switch statements.

Switch jump table

The code generated for a switch statement varies a lot from one compiler to another. In fact, a given compiler might generate different code in different scenarios. The choice of the code to be generated depends upon the number and range spread of individual case statements.

Different cases of generation of a switch statement are:

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