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PcapXray Build Status codecov defcon27

A Network Forensics Tool - To visualize a Packet Capture offline as a Network Diagram including device identification, highlight important communication and file extraction

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PcapXray Design Specification

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Given a Pcap File, plot a network diagram displaying hosts in the network, network traffic, highlight important traffic and Tor traffic as well as potential malicious traffic including data involved in the communication.


Solution: Speed up the investigation process

  • Make a network diagram with the following features from a Pcap file Tool Highlights:
  • Network Diagram Summary Network Diagram of full network
  • Information:
    • Web Traffic with Server Details
    • Tor Traffic
    • Possible Malicious traffic
    • Data Obtained from Packet in Report Device/Traffic/Payloads
    • Device Details

Tool Image:

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  • Network Diagram
  • Device/Traffic Details and Analysis
  • Malicious Traffic Identification
  • Tor Traffic
  • GUI a gui with options to upload pcap file and display the network diagram


  • Python 3
apt install python3-pip
apt install python3-tk
apt install graphviz
apt install python3-pil python3-pil.imagetk
pip3 install -r requirements.txt
python3 Source/

( Make sure to escalate privilege to allow file creations - Run with sudo )

For MAC:

brew install graphviz
  • Python 2
apt install python-tk
apt install graphviz
pip install -r requirements.txt
python Source/

( Make sure to escalate privilege to allow file creations - Run with sudo )

Python Libraries Used: - All these libraries are required for functionality

  • Tkinter and TTK Install from pip or apt-get Ensure Tkinter and graphviz is installed (Most Linux contain by default)
    • apt install python-tk
    • apt install graphviz
    • apt install python3-tk (for python3 support)
    • Sometimes ImageTk errors are thrown in python3 env --> use apt install python3-pil python3-pil.imagetk
  • All these are included in the requirements.txt file
    • Scapy rdpcap to read the packets from the pcap file
    • Ipwhois to obtain whois information from ip
    • Netaddr to check ip information type
    • Pillow image processing library
    • Stem tor consensus data fetch library
    • pyGraphviz plot graph
    • Networkx plot graph
    • Matplotlib plot graph (not used as of now)


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Getting started:

  • Clone the repository
  • pip install -r requirements.txt
  • python Source/

Additional Information:

  • Tested on Linux
  • Options for Traffic include - Web (HTTP and HTTPS), Tor, Malicious, ICMP, DNS


  • Unstability of the TK GUI:
    • Decision on the GUI between Django and TK, settled upon tk for a simple local interface, but the unstability of the tk gui caused a number of problems
  • Graph Plotting:
    • Plotting a proper network graph which is readable from the data obtained was quite an effort, used different libraries to arrive at one.
  • Performance and Timing:
    • The performance and timing of the total application was a big challenge with different data gathering and output generation

Known Bugs:

  • Memory Hogging

    • Sometimes memory hogging occurs when lower RAM is present in the system as the data stored in the memory from the pcap file is huge
    • Should be Fixed by moving data into a database than the memory itself
  • Race Condition

    • Due to mainloop of the TK gui, other threads could undergo a race condition
    • Should be fixed by moving to a better structured TK implementation or Web GUI
  • Tk GUI Unstability:

    • Same reason as above
  • Code:

    • clumsy and unstructured code flow
  • Current Fix in rare occasions: If any of the above issue occurs the progress bar keeps running and no output is generated, a restart of the app would be required.

Docker Containers of PcapXray

  • Dockerfile present in the root folder was used to build images
  • Already built docker images are found at dockerhub
    • srinivas11789/pcapxray-1.0
    • srinivas11789/pcapxray-2.2
  • Performing the steps in file manually would work to launch the tool via docker (I can help with errors)
  • Running scripts is an attempt to automate (would not work 100 percent)
    • tested on mac and linux - will be better soon!...

Immediate Future Tasks: (Target: 3.0)

  • Clean up code (beautify code base from being a prototype)
  • Report generation on unique folders for all assets of a packet capture
  • Suspicious activity detection
  • Support more pcap reader engine
  • Traffic support: ICMP, DNS
  • Known file type detection and Extract
  • Python2 and Python3
  • Interactive map


  • Structured and clean code flow
  • Change the database from JSON to sqlite or prominent database, due to memory hogging
  • Change fronend to web based such as Django
  • Make the application more stable
  • More protocol support
  • Clean up code


  • Thanks for making it better,
    • Professor Marc Budofsky
    • Kevin Gallagher
  • Thanks for all the dependent libraries used
  • Logo created with and


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Python (1,141,503
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Tor (779
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Packets (327
Traffic (316
Pcap (292
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