Supporting POP and IMAP in PickPacket

V V N Sudheer, Roll Number: Y3111051, June 2005

Supervisors: Dr. Dheeraj Sanghi and Dr. Deepak Gupta

Internet is a public medium for communication which can also be used for illegal activities. 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 comnponents - {\em Configuration File Generator} helps the users in configuring the filtering parameters, {\em Filter} captures the packets from networks, {\em Post-Processor} analyzes the captured data and {\em Data Viewer} for interactive rendering of the captured sessions.

PickPacket has support for HTTP, FTP, SMTP, Telnet, IRC and Yahoo Messenger protocols. It can filter traffic belonging to these protocols, reconstruct the sessions and display it to the user. POP and IMAP protocols are used to access the mails on a server. There is a need to monitor traffic of these mail access protocols. This thesis discusses an extension of PickPacket to IMAP and POP. The work involved in changing all components of the tool for the support of new protocols. Various tests were conducted to verify the correctness of the tool and to measure its performance.

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