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 [Tutorial] Packets - Sniffing & Analysis

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PostSubject: [Tutorial] Packets - Sniffing & Analysis   Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:02 am

Packets - Sniffing & Analysis

The tutorial was written by me (al_j alias Cholik alias Walter Sobchak) for the elitepvpers-board. Copy it to other boards if you want but
please give credits to me and the elitepvpers board.

[UPDATE] - 082408 - Added another Chapter to the Packet Analysis named "Extended Structure Analysis"

:: Content ::

1. What do I need ?
^---> Download links

2. First arrangements
^---> Setting up WPE
^---> Setting up Windows Calculator

3. Sniffing Packets

4. Analyzing Packets
^---> The Structure
^---> Extended Structure Analysis
^---> The Encryption

1. What do you need ?

Well at first you need the following things :
Windows Calculator - well I guess you're using Windows
A Hex-Editor, or notepad (I'll use HexWorkshop)

2. First arrangements

Start WPE and go to View -> Options
and change the settings for "Winsock 2.0" like this :

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Why ? Because if the app you will sniff packets on is using Winsock 2.0
WPE will capture them. Since as for default the winsock 2.0 settings are
disabled in WPE.

Ok now you start the Windows Calculator. Either using [WINDOWS-KEY]+[R]
and entering "calc" or starting it from your Startmenu and your Programs
folder. Now when the calculator is open go to View and change to "Scientific"
so you'll be able do deal with hexadecimal stuff.

3. Sniffing Packets

Lets sniff some Packets.
Start any app, I am using the Internet Explorer in my example.
Now start WPE and select the Internet Explorer Process.

Click on the "Target program" button.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

And select the Internet Explorer or iexplore.exe

Now we can start the sniffing clicking this button :
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Now lets navigate the Internet Explorer to "[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Ok now check the Gauge-Window to see if WPE really captured some packets.
So after the page fully loaded my Gauge looked like this :

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

This doesn't have to be the same for all of you, it can vary.

Now we can stop the sniffing using the red Stop-Button we all know from our
VRC-times ;D

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Your WPE should now look like this :
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Of course it doesn't have to look exactly like this.
So this is where you can view the captured packets.

I guess this is enough with sniffing, I guess you could sniff all apps,
games or whatever you want now.


4. Analyzing Packets
The Structure

Well as for my examples I will use a fictive game. Since this should be an
universal tutorial and not only for one game. Please consider that I can't
write this tutorial for all games/apps and for all packet structures there
are on earth, just try to do it yourself.

Well lets say we have a game called "JungleBob Online" (although the name is
irrelevant, i just wanted to use the name ;D).

We start the game and wait for the login screen to appear. Now we start our
WPE application and select the JungleBob.exe and start sniffing packets.

Lets try to log in with "myusername" as username and "mypassword" as password.
Ok this username does not exist in our game and is not ours but we will use it
to test the packets.

Now stop the sniffing process and look at the first packet which was sent from
the client to the server.

Our packet should look like this :
(in WPE you will see the packet in HEX-Mode on the left, and the same packet
in ASCII-Mode on the right side)

22 00 11 00 6D 79 75 73 65 72 6E 61 6D 65 00 00 00 00 00 00 6D 79 70 61 73 73 77 6F 72 64 00 00 00 00 00 00

(i write it with spaces between every hex value so its easier to read)

So what do we know ? We used the username "myusername" and the password
"mypassword" and WPE tells us our packets size is 36.
Now lets check the bytes. When working with bytes you have to know that
theres a reversed byte order for values... means...
(I hope you know what hexadecimal is)
PS: For all the experts who want to flame me after i post this ... i
know its called Little Endian and Big Endian and has something to do with
the bit-order, but i don't want to explain it here... since this tutorial
is for "beginners".

If you have a decimal value 1 the normal hex value will be 01.
If we have a 2 byte delimiter (called WORD or 16bit integer) the value will
look like 00 01, if we have a 4 byte delimiter (called DWORD or 32bit integer)
it will look like 00 00 00 01.

So thats the normal byte order, if we have the reversed byte order everything
is ... yeah ... reversed.... so our value will look like this :

(as 2 bytes)
original : 00 01 reversed : 01 00

(as 4 bytes)
original : 00 00 00 01 reversed : 01 00 00 00

So now lets check our login-packet again.

22 00 11 00 6D 79 75 73 65 72 6E 61 6D 65 00 00 00 00 00 00 6D 79 70 61 73 73 77 6F 72 64 00 00 00 00 00 00

As we know most values are either displayed as 2 or 4 bytes we can
start checking our login-packet.

The first 2 bytes look like a value.

22 00

reversed : 00 22

Start your calculator and change the view from Dec(standard) to Hex.
Now enter your hex value 0022 (of course without the spaces).
Now change the view to Dec again and you see our value is 34.
Lets check the packet-size again ... WPE is saying our packet is 36
bytes long. Do you see the parallels ? Our packet-size minus our 2
bytes at the beginning = 34.
So the first 2 bytes are indicating the packet length that will follow.
(It has not to be this way ... the length can be on the 4. position
or somewhere else...)
In my example the 2 bytes which are indicating the length aren't
included in the length, that's because some games which use encrypted
packets are doing it also this way, cause they do encrypt all the bytes
excepting the packet length (in most cases the first 1, 2 or 4 bytes).
But you shouldn't care about encryption now, since our packet seems to be
sent in plain text. You know that cause when you look at the ASCII-Mode
you see our username and password we used before.

Ok What we know is the first 2 bytes indicate the packet length. But
what about the rest ? Well since I'm doing this for a long time know in
most cases the next few bytes are a command or the "packet-header" (its
not a real "header" but i just call it this way). How to test this ?
Just sniff another login-packet in our game and change the username and
password you enter to something else (no matter what). The value should
not change.

Ok now we know 11 00 is our command (or "header"). You don't have to
deal with this 2 bytes in dec, its just a hexadecimal header used for
the packet protocol the developers created for the game. Like 11 00 is
the login 12 00 is the getserverlist-packet and so on, you got what I mean ?

Wow we already discovered so much now lets continue. We look at the
ASCII-Mode and it seems to be that the next value is our username
"myusername" but whats that ? There are so many 00s following our
username in the HEX-Mode.
Why's that ? Well most games have a limit for the username and password
the user can enter. In most cases its either 12, 16, 24, 28 or 32
characters of length.
So for an easier packet protocol they set the length of the buffers or
variables for the username and password static ....
Like if our buffer has a length of 5 and we write "lol" into it the buffer will look like this :

6C 6F 6C 00 00

So now we know how the login-packets structure looks like :

2B = 2 Bytes
4B = 4 Bytes
XB = X Bytes

22 00 11 00 6D 79 75 73 65 72 6E 61 6D 65 00 00 00 00 00 00 6D 79 70 61 73 73 77 6F 72 64 00 00 00 00 00 00


So thats the basic guide to analyze a packet. Well the thing is you
will have to deal with a lot of values...
Like you login and the server responds with some 4 byte values... just
write them onto a piece of paper and check the next packets which are sent.
So you can discover their function. Like the server responds with a 4
byte sessionID which the client next sends to the character server to
authenticate himself, and so on.

4. Analyzing Packets
Extended Structure Analysis

Ok since some people told me such a login-procedure is kinda easy I'd
like to add an extended structure analysis chapter here. In the following
example I will show (or simulate) a login-procedure with serverresponses
and finally the "worldlist selection". Well since most mmorpgs use
more than one servers or "worlds" I will try to show you here, how
most of the stuff is done basically.

Well we start right under the login-procedur we analyzed in the
chapter above. Now lets assume we sent our login packet.
So now we're waiting for the server to respond. What do we know ?
If our login is false, the server has to tell that the client
so that the client can give us an error message, else it will
give us an ok and let us through.

Now lets again assume we sent our login packet and received a
packet from the server. Wow whats with the client ?
It says wrong password, did we type something wrong?
Lets check the packet (which could look like this) :

04 00 12 00 02 00


So thats the packet the server sends us, telling the client
the password is wrong. I already colored the stuff we learned
in the above tutorials.
But whats the last 2 bytes for ? Well thats probably a flag, telling the
client whether the login was successful or not. Just do some checks and log
in with some fictive username which does not exist in the game and the
packet could look like this :

04 00 12 00 01 00

Now the client tells you "This Accountname is not available, please register first."

So now we surely know, the last 2 bytes is the login-flag.
You can again reverse it and transform it from hex to dec using your
calculator. Basically you don't have to do it since you already see
what values it'll be, but if you're still not that good in hexadecimal use
the calculator.

So thats the flags we know for now :

original : 01 00 reversed : 00 01 dec : 1
original : 02 00 reversed : 00 02 dec : 2

So thats basically a server variable transformed into a WORD ( 2 bytes ).
So when we have a successful login the flag maybe 00 00 and would tell
the client "hey the login was successful, go on". But since we still don't
know what the flag would look like when we had a successful login,
we go on and test it.

Log in with your username and password and the server
responds something like that :

08 00 12 00 00 00 C6 6F 5D A1


So what do we know ? The first two bytes indicate the length.
Next is the header, then the flag (which seems to be 0 in dec)
and some DWORD (4 bytes) value. I already colored the stuff we know once again.

Ok what could this new value be ? We still don't know...
Lets reverse it and transform it into dec using our calc.

original : C6 6F 5D A1 reversed : A1 5D 6F C6 dec : 2707255238

Wow whats with this value ? Well we don't know it yet ... lets go
on with our packet analysis... Just write down the original 4 bytes
and look for it in the next packets. So we could be able to
analyze the function of this 4 bytes.

Get ingame and redo, or continue the sniffing.
Ok now we have the worldserver-selection screen in our game.
Lets check the new packets we captured.
Mh the client seems to send something to the server after our
above packet (12 00). Well that could be a request
to get the worldserverlist.

The packet looks like this :

02 00 13 00

Seems to be nothing great in here, just the length and
the flag. Thats the way the serverlist is requested by the client.
Next we see a packet we received from the server. As you probably can see
in the ASCII-View in WPE there are some strings in plain text,
prolly the servernames. Let's see what we got :

39 00 14 00 03 54 68 65 20 4A 75 6E 67 6C 65 00 00 D9 D0 2C 12 D0 07 54 68 65 20 42 65 61 63 68 00 00 00 D9 D0 2C 13 D0 07 54 68 65 20 4C 61 6E 64 00 00 00 00 D9 D0 2C 14 D0 07

Wow thats our first long packet. WPE shows our total size 59.
And the first two bytes tell us 57.
So you remember the total size - 2 (the first two bytes) = the length of our data.

Well lets see, what do we know ?
We see the length, and the header, but what is next ?
Check the ASCII-View in WPE again. There are three names in plaintext...
The Jungle, The Beach and The Land. Thats our servernames.
So we have 3 servers. Now it seems that the 5. byte of the packet ( 03 )
tells us how many servers we got in the list.
We have 3 here so the hex for 3 is 03. So after this servercount we already
have our servername "The Jungle", but whats that ? There are those
00s again. Well that means the same we had before with our username
and password, you remember ? It seems that the maximum length of a
servername is 12 (use the ASCII-View and the HEX-View parallel in WPE to count it)
thats why the unused place is filled with 00. So what do we know, what
information does such a server list has to store ?
Well it has to tell the client the name of the server, the ip and
the port where the client should next connect right ?

Well most IPs are sent as 4 single bytes, some servers also send
them as plain text. Lets assume our server sends it using a DWORD.
What would this look like... well let's do an example.
We have the IP address
Now you split it into 4 independent values :
212 178 67 42 (so just "remove" the dots).
Now every single value will be converted into hex using our calculator.

212 = D4
178 = B2
67 = 43
42 = 2A

So our DWORD (4 bytes) is D4 B2 43 2A.
(do not reverse this!, since its 4 single values and not ONE big value)

So basically what did we do ?
|-Remove the dots
212 178 67 42
|-Convert every single value to hex
D4 B2 43 2A

Now lets check our packet again... whats after the servername.
Well in such cases you just have to play around with the values.
Pick every byte and convert it ... either byte for byte
(to see if its an ip address) or 2 bytes at once (reversed!) or 4 bytes
at once (reversed!). So after we played around a bit we found out
that the next 4 bytes after the servername indicate the ip address.
Lets check it.

D9 D0 2C 12
|-Convert it to dec
217 208 44 18
|-Add the dots

Well that seems to be an IP-address, if you're not sure, just ping
it or something else. Well... we already got the servername,
the ip... but whats with the port ?
Check the next bytes of our packet, there are still 2 bytes
left until the next servername begins.
Well the maximum value a port can have is 65535, thats basically
the maximum value a 16bit-integer (also called short or word) can be.
Type 65535 (dec) into your calculator and convert it to hex.
What do we have here ? FF FF - Two bytes, huh ?
Well it seems we found our port value.
The 2 bytes after the ip-address seems to be our port.
Lets convert it (remember : thats a normal value again, so we have to reverse it)

original : D0 07 reversed : 07 D0 dec : 2000

The port of the first worldserver seems to be 2000.
So I guess you could do the rest of the packet on your own...
Now let's collect all data we found and build a structure
(I'll basically do it with collors in here)

39 00 14 00 03 54 68 65 20 4A 75 6E 67 6C 65 00 00 D9 D0 2C 12 D0 07 54 68 65 20 42 65 61 63 68 00 00 00 D9 D0 2C 13 D0 07 54 68 65 20 4C 61 6E 64 00 00 00 00 D9 D0 2C 14 D0 07

{ //for every servercount :

So the serverinformation we can gather from this packet is :
(I'll use "--" as delimiter, no real function for that, if you wonder)

Servername -- IP -- Port

The Jungle -- -- 2000
The Beach -- -- 2000
The Land -- -- 2000

Ok now lets get back to the game, choose a server and sniff the packets.
(Thats the last packet I'll discuss here lol)

Now after you've chosen the server, the client connects to this
(see ip and ports we found out above) and we get the character list.
But lets see what really happens after the client successfully
connected to the worldserver.

The client seems to send a packet to the worldserver.

06 00 15 00 C6 6F 5D A1

Oh whats this ? This is our value from above that we got from the server
after we successfully logged in, remember ?
And now the server sends it again to the worldserver ???
Well yeah, thats kinda an authentication-method most mmorpgs use.
Look... you log in using "John" as username and "12345"
(irrelevant in my example) as password. Now the server checks whether this
information is right or not. In our example ... if the information IS correct,
the server generates a DWORD ( 4 bytes ) or 32bit Integer value stores
it and sends it back to the client. Thats called sessionid
(most websites which have a login-interface also use this kind of
authentication, but of course if can vary).
Now after the client has chosen a worldserver he would like he connects
to it and sends his sessionid.
Well since the login server and the worldserver are "seperated from each other"
(or basically two different applications) the world server does need
this value to check whether someone really logged in before and got
this sessionid. Since the loginserver stored our sessionid
(in a database or whereever) the worldserver just checks whether
the sessionid is available.
Normally the sessionid is deleted when the client disconnects
from the game, the server or whatever.

Well ... now thats the part where I stop. I won't update the encryption chapter
since its basically the same for everything. If you know how to decrypt one
packet, you basically know how to decrypt every packet of one game.

4. Analyzing Packets
The Encryption

Well I won't be writing to much in here, since you can't tell just
from looking at the packets what kind of encryption it is. Well of
course you can, but not in all cases.
I will just write some hints down.

Like lets assume we capture a login-packet of a mmorpg.
(remember our login packet from above ?)

You shouldn't be able to read your username or password in
ASCII-Mode now anymore.

At first do some checks, like the one with the first 2 bytes beeing
the length and so on. Well next you can redo the sniff at the login
process and see if the bytes do change ( of course use the same
username and password as before ). Using that method you can say
whether the encryption is static or not. Next do the checks like
the one sniffing more login packets where you use fictive
usernames and password which vary in length and see if some
values change.

Well now you could do some basic analysis. Like lets assume we
have a login packet which looks like this
( we used the username and password as before "myusername" and "mypassword") :

22 00 66 77 1A 0E 02 04 12 05 19 16 1A 12 77 77 77 77 77 77 1A 0E 07 16 04 04 00 18 05 13 77 77 77 77 77 77

Now we see the first two bytes and do the length check.
Ok its works, it seems to be the packet length.
Now do the check with the other username and passwords...
You will notice that the first four bytes do not change.
That means starting from the 5. byte there is our
username and password data.

I hope you know how to use a HexEditor for the next steps
(well thats what I do, you can also use notepad).

Lets write down the packet beginning at the 5. byte
It looks like that to me, using HexWorkshop :

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

So we see there are some bytes beeing 77 ...
Seems to be strange huh ?

Lets write down our username and password under the exact
positions of both values
(the 77 does seem to be placeholders, since their the same everywhere right?)
My Hex-Editor looks like this :

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Wow whats that ? Our username and password does exactly fit
into the encrypted packet data.

Well that could be a XOR-Encryption Exclusive or - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia How to test it ?

Start your calculator (the windows one ;D) and be sure "Hex" is checked.
Now type in the first byte of the value which could be your username.
In our case its 1A. So we type 1A into the calculator. Now we
look at the line under the encrypted data, and see that 6D in
hex stands for a "m" in ASCII.
Now when you already typed 1A into your calculator hit the XOR-Button...

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

then type in our hex value for "m" (6D) and hit enter.

Our result is 77. Strange isn't it ?
Now lets do the check.
Take the next byte of our encrypted data. In our case its 0E.
Type 0E into the calculator, press the XOR-Button, type 77 and hit enter.
You should get 79 now which is the hex value for "y".
Well it seems we have a static XOR-Encryption using the key 77 here.
So you'll be able to decrypt all the packet data of our game using
the XOR method and the key 77.

An implementation into a programming language could look like this

// we are starting from byte 2 since the first 2 bytes are our
// packet length which is not encrypted,
for(int i = 2; i < packetLength; i++)
packet[i] = packet[i] ^ 0x77;

Well thats the end of my tutorial. I hope it's not to complicated and I
didn't mix up to much things. I hope you enjoyed it.

PS: Please don't ask me to help you on cracking the
encryption of the game XY, just try it yourself.

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PostSubject: Re: [Tutorial] Packets - Sniffing & Analysis   Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:06 pm

Nice! Keep it up! + given!

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[Tutorial] Packets - Sniffing & Analysis

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