Wireshark Squashes Bugs With New Network Protocol Analyzer Update

Wireshark, a popular multiplatform network protocol analyzer, is widely used around the world for network analysis, troubleshooting and development.

For the past month, the Wireshark development team has been busy under the hood of the open-source software. On March 3, it released Wireshark 2.2.5 to address problems that were identified in the previous update, which was issued a mere 40 days prior.

Bugging Out

While the latest version didn’t introduce any new features, it did squash plenty of bugs. According to Wireshark’s release notes, the update patched vulnerabilities in the 64- and 32-bit Windows installers that could have led to a dynamic link libraries (DLL) hijacking.

Additionally, the development team repaired the LDSS dissector and NetScaler file parser, both of which crashed in the previous version. It also fixed the RTMTP, WSP and IAX2 dissectors, the STANAG 4607 and NetScaler file parsers, which were stuck in infinite loops and stomped a bug that caused the K12 file parser to crash. Softpedia also noted that this version of Wireshark features more robust support for a range network protocols.

The update addressed more than a dozen specific flaws, according to the release notes. For example, the developers repaired a display filter text box that had previously lost focus during live capturing, as well as a bug that caused the software to crash when saving or opening pcaps or exporting specified packets. They also fixed flaws that caused the program to display UTF-8 characters in the packet list column title and decode the EAP AKA improperly.

More Known Network Protocol Analyzer Problems

Additionally, the developers made improvements to the GPRS-NS message, which was previously written in octal instead of hexadecimal; the dumpcap, which crashed during rpcap setup; and the UMTS MAC dissector. Finally, Wireshark repaired several segmentation faults and fixed a bug that caused the program to crash upon closing an SNMP capture file if credentials were present.

While these fixes all represent good housekeeping, the Wireshark team admitted it had yet to patch some known problems. One of these flaws prevents the dumpcap from quitting in the event of a crash. Fortunately for users, however, there are no showstoppers on the list of outstanding issues.


Larry Loeb

Principal, PBC Enterprises

Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other...