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Is it possible to assemble packets into a file before reaching its destination?

Is it possible to assemble packets into a file before reaching its destination?
The answer is yes! You can certainly assemble packets – but you need to catch them all :) There are plenty of programs that have the ability to assemble the packets of a data stream and present them to you as files so you can then further examine them.

The problem here is that you must be somewhere along the path, sniffing these packets. I actually do this at my office as part of my normal routine, checking for specially crafted packets that might be unwanted in my network!

In my setup, I have placed a small hub between the firewall and router, so I am able to capture and trace all packets with ease. The nature of hubs, allow you to read all data without any special actions required, where as with switches, it's a different story.

In addition, most serious packet sniffers will allow you to save the data captured so you get the file transferred conveniently placed in your hard drive!

A quick search in Google will surely reveal many sites and programs that contain some good information on how to do this!

This was last published in April 2004

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