PcapXray - A Network Forensics Tool To visualize a Packet Capture offline as a Network Diagram

PcapXray is a Network Forensics Tool  To visualize a Packet Capture offline as a Network Diagram including device identification, highlight important communication and file extraction.

PcapXray Design Specification

Given a Pcap File, plot a network diagram displaying hosts in the network, network traffic, highlight important traffic and Tor traffic as well as potential malicious traffic including data involved in the communication.


Solution: Speed up the investigation process
  • Make a network diagram with the following features from a Pcap file Tool Highlights:
  • Network Diagram – Summary Network Diagram of full network
  • Information:
  • Traffic with Server Details
  • Tor Traffic
  • Possible Malicious traffic
  • Data Obtained from Packet in Report – Device/Traffic/Payloads
  • Device Details

Tool Image:

  • Network Diagram
  • Device/Traffic Details and Analysis
  • Malicious Traffic Identification
  • Tor Traffic
  • GUI – a gui with options to upload pcap file and display the network diagram

Python Libraries Used: - All these libraries are required for functionality
  • Tkinter and TTK – Install from pip or apt-get – Ensure Tkinter and graphviz is installed (Most Linux contain by default)
    • apt install python-tk
    • apt install graphviz
  • All these are included in the requirements.txt file
    • Scapy – rdpcap to read the packets from the pcap file
    • Ipwhois – to obtain whois information from ip
    • Netaddr – to check ip information type
    • Pillow – image processing library
    • Stem – tor consensus data fetch library
    • pyGraphviz – plot graph
    • Networkx – plot graph
    • Matplotlib – plot graph

  • Unstability of the TK GUI:
    • Decision on the GUI between Django and TK, settled upon tk for a simple local interface, but the unstability of the tk gui caused a number of problems
  • Graph Plotting:
    • Plotting a proper network graph which is readable from the data obtained was quite an effort, used different libraries to arrive at one.
  • Performance and Timing:
    • The performance and timing of the total application was a big challenge with different data gathering and output generation

Known Bugs:
  • Memory Hogging
    • Sometimes memory hogging occurs when lower RAM is present in the system as the data stored in the memory from the pcap file is huge
    • Should be Fixed by moving data into a database than the memory itself
  • Race Condition
    • Due to mainloop of the TK gui, other threads could undergo a race condition
    • Should be fixed by moving to a better structured TK implementation or Web GUI
  • Tk GUI Unstability:
    • Same reason as above
  • Current Fix in rare occasions: If any of the above issue occurs the progress bar keeps running and no output is generated, a restart of the app would be required.

  • Change the database from JSON to sqlite or prominent database, due to memory hogging
  • Change fronend to web based such as Django
  • Make the application more stable

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