ngrep - network grep
ngrep <-hNXViwqpevxlDtTRM> <-IO pcap_dump > < -n num > < -d dev > < -A
num > < -s snaplen > < -S limitlen > < -W normal|byline|single|none > <
-c cols > < -P char > < -F file > < match expression > < bpf filter >
ngrep strives to provide most of GNU grep’s common features, applying
them to the network layer. ngrep is a pcap-aware tool that will allow
you to specify extended regular expressions to match against data
payloads of packets. It currently recognizes TCP, UDP and ICMP across
Ethernet, PPP, SLIP, FDDI and null interfaces, and understands bpf
filter logic in the same fashion as more common packet sniffing tools,
such as tcpdump(8) and snoop(1).
-h Display help/usage information.
-N Show sub-protocol number along with single-character identifier
(useful when observing raw or unknown protocols).
-X Treat the match expression as a hexadecimal string. See the
explanation of match expression below.
-V Display version information.
-i Ignore case for the regex expression.
-w Match the regex expression as a word.
-q Be quiet; don’t output any information other than packet headers
and their payloads (if relevant).
-p Don’t put the interface into promiscuous mode.
-e Show empty packets. Normally empty packets are discarded
because they have no payload to search. If specified, empty
packets will be shown, regardless of the specified regex
-v Invert the match; only display packets that don’t match.
-x Dump packet contents as hexadecimal as well as ASCII.
-l Make stdout line buffered.
-D When reading pcap_dump files, replay them at their recorded time
intervals (mimic realtime).
-t Print a timestamp in the form of YYYY/MM/DD HH:MM:SS.UUUUUU
everytime a packet is matched.
-T Print a timestamp in the form of +S.UUUUUU, indicating the delta
between packet matches.
-R Do not try to drop privileges to the DROPPRIVS_USER.
ngrep makes no effort to validate input from live or offline
sources as it is focused more on performance and handling large
amounts of data than protocol correctness, which is most often a
fair assumption to make. However, sometimes it matters and thus
as a rule ngrep will try to be defensive and drop any root
privileges it might have.
There exist scenarios where this behaviour can become an
obstacle, so this option is provided to end-users who want to
disable this feature, but must do so with an understanding of
the risks. Packets can be randomly malformed or even
specifically designed to overflow sniffers and take control of
them, and revoking root privileges is currently the only risk
mitigation ngrep employs against such an attack. Use this
option and turn it off at your own risk.
Explicitly set the console width to ‘‘cols’’. Note that this is
the console width, and not the full width of what ngrep prints
out as payloads; depending on the output mode ngrep may print
less than ‘‘cols’’ bytes per line (indentation).
Read in the bpf filter from the specified filename. This is a
compatibility option for users familiar with tcpdump. Please
note that specifying ‘‘-F’’ will override any bpf filter
specified on the command-line.
Specify an alternate character to signify non-printable
characters when displayed. The default is ‘‘.’’.
Specify an alternate manner for displaying packets, when not in
hexadecimal mode. The ‘‘byline’’ mode honors embedded
linefeeds, wrapping text only when a linefeed is encountered
(useful for observing HTTP transactions, for instance). The
‘‘none’’ mode doesn’t wrap under any circumstance (entire
payload is displayed on one line). The ‘‘single’’ mode is
conceptually the same as ‘‘none’’, except that everything
including IP and source/destination header information is all on
one line. ‘‘normal’’ is the default mode and is only included
for completeness. This option is incompatible with ‘‘-x’’.
Set the bpf caplen to snaplen (default 65536).
Set the upper limit on the size of packets that ngrep will look
at. Useful for looking at only the first N bytes of packets
without changing the BPF snaplen.
Input file pcap_dump into ngrep. Works with any pcap-compatible
dump file format. This option is useful for searching for a
wide range of different patterns over the same packet stream.
Output matched packets to a pcap-compatible dump file. This
feature does not interfere with normal output to stdout.
-n num Match only num packets total, then exit.
-d dev By default ngrep will select a default interface to listen on.
Use this option to force ngrep to listen on interface dev.
-A num Dump num packets of trailing context after matching a packet.
Ignore the detected terminal width and force the column width to
the specified size.
Change the non-printable character from the default ‘‘.’’ to the
-K num Kill matching TCP connections (like tcpkill). The numeric
argument controls how many RST segments are sent.
A match expression is either an extended regular expression, or
if the -X option is specified, a string signifying a hexadecimal
value. An extended regular expression follows the rules as
implemented by the GNU regex library. Hexadecimal expressions
can optionally be preceded by ‘0x’. E.g., ‘DEADBEEF’,
Selects a filter that specifies what packets will be dumped. If
no bpf filter is given, all IP packets seen on the selected
interface will be dumped. Otherwise, only packets for which bpf
filter is ‘true’ will be dumped.
The bpf filter consists of one or more primitives. Primitives usually
consist of an id (name or number) preceded by one or more qualifiers.
There are three different kinds of qualifier:
type qualifiers say what kind of thing the id name or number refers
to. Possible types are host, net and port. E.g., ‘host blort’,
‘net 1.2.3’, ‘port 80’. If there is no type qualifier, host is
dir qualifiers specify a particular transfer direction to and/or
from id. Possible directions are src, dst, src or dst and src
and dst. E.g., ‘src foo’, ‘dst net 1.2.3’, ‘src or dst port
ftp-data’. If there is no dir qualifier, src or dst is assumed.
For ‘null’ link layers (i.e. point to point protocols such as
slip) the inbound and outbound qualifiers can be used to specify
a desired direction.
proto qualifiers are restricted to ip-only protocols. Possible protos
are: tcp , udp and icmp. e.g., ‘udp src foo’ or ‘tcp port 21’.
If there is no proto qualifier, all protocols consistent with
the type are assumed. E.g., ‘src foo’ means ‘ip and ((tcp or
udp) src foo)’, ‘net bar’ means ‘ip and (net bar)’, and ‘port
53’ means ‘ip and ((tcp or udp) port 53)’.
In addition to the above, there are some special ‘primitive’ keywords
that don’t follow the pattern: gateway, broadcast, less, greater and
arithmetic expressions. All of these are described below.
More complex filter expressions are built up by using the words and, or
and not to combine primitives. E.g., ‘host blort and not port ftp and
not port ftp-data’. To save typing, identical qualifier lists can be
omitted. E.g., ‘tcp dst port ftp or ftp-data or domain’ is exactly the
same as ‘tcp dst port ftp or tcp dst port ftp-data or tcp dst port
Allowable primitives are:
dst host host
True if the IP destination field of the packet is host, which
may be either an address or a name.
src host host
True if the IP source field of the packet is host.
True if either the IP source or destination of the packet is
host. Any of the above host expressions can be prepended with
the keywords, ip, arp, or rarp as in:
ip host host
which is equivalent to:
ether dst ehost
True if the ethernet destination address is ehost. Ehost may be
either a name from /etc/ethers or a number (see ethers(3N) for
ether src ehost
True if the ethernet source address is ehost.
ether host ehost
True if either the ethernet source or destination address is
True if the packet used host as a gateway. I.e., the ethernet
source or destination address was host but neither the IP source
nor the IP destination was host. Host must be a name and must
be found in both /etc/hosts and /etc/ethers. (An equivalent
ether host ehost and not host host
which can be used with either names or numbers for host /
dst net net
True if the IP destination address of the packet has a network
number of net. Net may be either a name from /etc/networks or a
network number (see networks(4) for details).
src net net
True if the IP source address of the packet has a network number
True if either the IP source or destination address of the
packet has a network number of net.
net net mask mask
True if the IP address matches net with the specific netmask.
May be qualified with src or dst.
True if the IP address matches net a netmask len bits wide. May
be qualified with src or dst.
dst port port
True if the packet is ip/tcp or ip/udp and has a destination
port value of port. The port can be a number or a name used in
/etc/services (see tcp(4P) and udp(4P)). If a name is used,
both the port number and protocol are checked. If a number or
ambiguous name is used, only the port number is checked (e.g.,
dst port 513 will print both tcp/login traffic and udp/who
traffic, and port domain will print both tcp/domain and
src port port
True if the packet has a source port value of port.
True if either the source or destination port of the packet is
port. Any of the above port expressions can be prepended with
the keywords, tcp or udp, as in:
tcp src port port
which matches only tcp packets whose source port is port.
True if the packet has a length less than or equal to length.
This is equivalent to:
len <= length.
True if the packet has a length greater than or equal to length.
This is equivalent to:
len >= length.
ip proto protocol
True if the packet is an ip packet (see ip(4P)) of protocol type
protocol. Protocol can be a number or one of the names tcp, udp
or icmp. Note that the identifiers tcp and udp are also
keywords and must be escaped via backslash (\), which is \\ in
True if the packet is an IP broadcast packet. It checks for
both the all-zeroes and all-ones broadcast conventions, and
looks up the local subnet mask.
True if the packet is an IP multicast packet.
ip Abbreviation for:
ether proto ip
tcp, udp, icmp
ip proto p
where p is one of the above protocols.
expr relop expr
True if the relation holds, where relop is one of >, <, >=, <=,
=, !=, and expr is an arithmetic expression composed of integer
constants (expressed in standard C syntax), the normal binary
operators [+, -, *, /, &, |], a length operator, and special
packet data accessors. To access data inside the packet, use
the following syntax:
proto [ expr : size ]
Proto is one of ip, tcp, udp or icmp, and indicates the protocol
layer for the index operation. The byte offset, relative to the
indicated protocol layer, is given by expr. Size is optional
and indicates the number of bytes in the field of interest; it
can be either one, two, or four, and defaults to one. The
length operator, indicated by the keyword len, gives the length
of the packet.
For example, ‘ether & 1 != 0’ catches all multicast traffic.
The expression ‘ip & 0xf != 5’ catches all IP packets with
options. The expression ‘ip[6:2] & 0x1fff = 0’ catches only
unfragmented datagrams and frag zero of fragmented datagrams.
This check is implicitly applied to the tcp and udp index
operations. For instance, tcp always means the first byte of
the TCP header, and never means the first byte of an intervening
Primitives may be combined using:
A parenthesized group of primitives and operators (parentheses
are special to the Shell and must be escaped).
Negation (‘!’ or ‘not’).
Concatenation (‘&&’ or ‘and’).
Alternation (‘||’ or ‘or’).
Negation has highest precedence. Alternation and concatenation have
equal precedence and associate left to right. Note that explicit and
tokens, not juxtaposition, are now required for concatenation.
If an identifier is given without a keyword, the most recent keyword is
assumed. For example,
not host vs and ace
is short for
not host vs and host ace
which should not be confused with
not ( host vs or ace )
Expression arguments can be passed to ngrep as either a single argument
or as multiple arguments, whichever is more convenient. Generally, if
the expression contains Shell metacharacters, it is easier to pass it
as a single, quoted argument. Multiple arguments are concatenated with
spaces before being parsed.
Errors from ngrep, libpcap, and the GNU regex library are all output to
Written by Jordan Ritter <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Please report bugs to the ngrep’s Sourceforge Bug Tracker, located at
Non-bug, non-feature-request general feedback should be sent to the
author directly by email.
ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US.
*nux November 2006