[Bro] VNC payload

Charlie bucweat at rushpost.com
Thu Nov 15 07:30:07 PST 2018


I am new to bro so please forgive what I hope is a simple question with simple answer....

Running bro 2.5.5 on MacOS 10.12. I have a pcap file with traffic on port 5900. I'm trying to use contents.bro to write the payload of this conversation to a file so that I can process it later. I'm using something like 

 bro -r ../capture.pcap -f 'tcp port 5900' /usr/local/share/bro/base/protocols/conn/contents.bro

This results in the following connection log (sorry for the wrap) which tells me bro sees the traffic, but does not generate data files for port 5900:

#separator \x09
#set_separator	,
#empty_field	(empty)
#unset_field	-
#path	conn
#open	2018-11-14-17-19-18
#fields	ts	uid	id.orig_h	id.orig_p	id.resp_h	id.resp_p	proto	service	duration	orig_bytes	resp_bytes	conn_state	local_orig	local_resp	missed_bytes	history	orig_pkts	orig_ip_bytes	resp_pkts	resp_ip_bytes	tunnel_parents
#types	time	string	addr	port	addr	port	enum	string	interval	count	count	string	bool	bool	count	string	count	count	count	count	set[string]
1496000046.839399	C9iQbO1Y4veE4M2MDe	5900	50663	tcp	-	184.468970	9195324	68250	OTH	-	-	0	DadAT	12266	9838046	8647	518684	(empty)
#close	2018-11-14-17-19-18

If I run without the BPF filter:

bro -r ../capture.pcap /usr/local/share/bro/base/protocols/conn/contents.bro

I get data files for other conversations with filenames that look like


which contain content that I expect based on looking at pcap in wireshark, but nothing for the conversation on port 5900. 

I know the data is there (shows up in wireshark) and I can run tcpflow and get data files for port 5900. So yes I realize there are other ways to do this, however, I'm trying to learn how to bro and so want to understand in a more generic sense why bro would not produce files for a given conversation in general and hope to learn by figuring out why it specifically does not generate anything for port 5900. 

My actual use case has nothing to do with data on port 5900. I used this pcap file as an example to try out contents.bro, and was surprised/stumped as to why it would not generate a data file for port 5900 data. It might turn out that bro works just fine for my actual use case...but would still like to understand why it doesn't work in this case.

The .bro scripts in my installation have not been modified. I made a copy of local.bro (called it something else) and have been playing with changes there, but in the above example I'm not using that...just the bro default settings and contents.bro. 

Thanks in advance, Charlie

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