Man in the Middle Attack and Using Wireshark

  • Man in the Middle Attack and Using Wireshark

    Hello friends,

    Today, I want to talk to you about a common and dangerous type of cyber attack called a Man in the Middle (MITM) attack. I will also discuss a popular tool for detecting such attacks, Wireshark.

    What is a Man in the Middle (MITM) Attack?

    A Man in the Middle attack is a type of cyber attack where the attacker secretly intercepts and manipulates the communication between two parties. Both parties believe they are communicating securely, but the entire data flow is controlled by the attacker. These attacks typically proceed through the following steps:

    1. Eavesdropping: The attacker listens to network traffic to collect information about the victims.
    2. Manipulation: The attacker modifies this traffic or injects false information.
    3. Phishing: The attacker directs users to fake websites to capture their sensitive information.

    Types of MITM Attacks

    There are different types of Man in the Middle attacks. The most common ones include:

    • ARP Spoofing: In a local network, the attacker manipulates the ARP tables of victims, making them think the attacker is a legitimate device on the network.
    • DNS Spoofing: The attacker manipulates DNS responses, directing users to fake websites.
    • HTTPS Spoofing: The attacker targets secure HTTPS connections, using fake SSL certificates to steal user information.

    Detecting MITM Attacks with Wireshark

    Wireshark is a powerful tool for analyzing network traffic. You can use Wireshark to detect MITM attacks. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

    1. Download and Install Wireshark: You can download Wireshark from its official website. Installation is straightforward and it supports most platforms.
    2. Select the Network Interface: Once Wireshark is open, select the network interface you want to monitor. This is usually your Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.
    3. Monitor Live Traffic: Click the "Start" button to begin monitoring live network traffic. You will see all the data packets on the network.
    4. Apply Filters: Use filters in Wireshark to make it easier to analyze the network traffic. For example, to see ARP traffic, use the arp filter.
    5. Analyze Suspicious Traffic: Focus on traffic flows that look unusual or suspicious. For example, multiple MAC addresses for the same IP address might indicate ARP spoofing.
    6. Reporting: Report any suspicious activities you detect to your network security team. This helps prevent future attacks.

    An Example Wireshark Analysis

    Let’s say you suspect an ARP spoofing attack on your network. You can use Wireshark to detect this attack.

    • Filtering: Use the arp filter in Wireshark to view ARP traffic.
    • Suspicious Packets: Look for ARP requests with different MAC addresses for the same IP address. This could be a sign of ARP spoofing.
    • Detailed Analysis: Right-click on suspicious packets and select "Follow" to see all related traffic and perform a detailed analysis.


    Man in the Middle attacks pose serious threats in the cybersecurity world. Using tools like Wireshark to detect and prevent these attacks is crucial. By analyzing network traffic with Wireshark, you can identify suspicious activities and take preventative measures. Remember, network security requires constant vigilance and updates.

    I hope this article has been helpful in understanding MITM attacks and using Wireshark. Feel free to share your questions and comments.

    Stay safe!

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