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Managing Security with Snort & IDS Tools by Christopher Gerg, Kerry J. Cox

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ethereal

As I mentioned early in this chapter, there are alternatives to tcpdump that provide GUI interfaces. However, it is important that you familiarize yourself first with the structure of packets as they are captured and then with command-line interface tools before making the leap to a GUI application that may overwhelm you with too much information. Starting off with something such as ethereal before learning the basics is like purchasing a top-end calculator with all the whistles and bells without knowing how to do simple addition, subtraction, and multiplication commands. You can still perform basic calculations, but you'll end up using only a small fraction of the calculator's total power or resources.

Installing from Source

The ethereal network analyzer is a standard feature of most Linux distributions, including Red Hat Linux. Just like tcpdump, ethereal captures its data in libpcap format. It can also read captured data from a variety of other network sniffing appliances that may use different logging formats. Check the ethereal manpage for a complete listing of the applications with which it is compatible. Chances are if your application of tool is not listed, the ethereal developers can easily create a port of it or you may just find ethereal to be all that you need.

For those who prefer compiling the latest ethereal from source rather than simply installing the RPMs, the main ethereal page provides links and ports to nearly every available operating system and flavor ...

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