Supporting IPv6 in PickPacket

Devendar Bureddy, Roll Number: Y4111018, May 2006

Supervisor: Dr. Dheeraj Sanghi

Over the years, Internet has become a popular medium for communication. At the same time its use in illegal activities is also increasing. Therefore, there is a need to monitor network traffic. However, this monitoring should not compromise the privacy of individuals who are using the Internet for legal purposes. PickPacket - a network monitoring tool developed at IIT Kanpur, can handle the conflicting issues of network monitoring and privacy through its judicious use. It is a passive tool in the sense that it neither injects any packet into the network nor delays any packet. PickPacket comprises of four components - the Configuration File Generator helps the users in specifying the filtering parameters, Filter captures the packets from the network, Post-Processor analyzes the captured data and Data Viewer renders the captured sessions interactively. PickPacket has support for HTTP, FTP, SMTP, POP, IMAP, Telnet, IRC and Yahoo messenger protocols. It can filter traffic belonging to these protocols, reconstruct the sessions and display it to the user.

IPv6 is the next generation protocol designed by the IETF to replace the current version of Internet Protocol, IPv4. Most of today's Internet uses IPv4, which is now more than twenty years old. The amount of IPv6 traffic is going to increase day by day. This thesis discusses an extension to PickPacket to support monitoring of IPv6 traffic. The work involved changing all components of the tool to support the new protocol. Various tests were conducted to verify the correctness of the tool and to measure its performance.

We have extended PickPacket in another way. The amount of compressed HTTP traffic in Internet is also growing, since it saves the network bandwidth and speeds up the response time. This thesis also discusses on-the-fly decompression of compressed HTTP traffic and performing search of strings in compressed data. This has been implemented both for IPv4 and IPv6.

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Devendar Bureddy can be reached at devendar.bureddy[AT]