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Why I can not find my clear text login credentials in Wireshark traffic

asked 2019-07-06 11:01:06 +0000

anon gravatar image

I am examining network traffic to demonstrate how a password sent in clear HTTP (not HTTPS) can be retrieved from traffic.

However, I encountered a case for a website that I could not understand. The website does not use HTTPS. The login page appears as a pop-up window. There is no certificate and the browser shows the insecure sign in the URL bar and when I click on the user name and password fields. But when I login while running the Wireshark, I can not see the password or the username in clear. I tried to search for them in Wireshark using: Edit -> Find Packet. Then in the menu options I select Packet Bytes, Narrow and Wide, String. If I search for my user name, or my password, I do not find them. I used the same method in other weak websites and I could identify the credentials in cleartext.

There might be something I am missing. If anyone can explain to me why this is happening (I can not find the password in the traffic but the website is not using HTTPS), please help me understand the reason. I am sorry that I can not post the website name. But I described the issue clearly, I think.

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answered 2019-07-07 11:25:40 +0000

grahamb gravatar image

As you won't disclose the website, or provide a capture, then we can only speculate, but my guess is that the website is authenticating via an obfuscated or encrypted channel, hence the lack of plain text data.

You'll need to try to capture the traffic created by the pop-up window and investigate further. Isolating that traffic might be difficult, probably best to shutdown all other processes on the host that could generate traffic, hopefully the authentication will be using the same IP address as the website but that isn't guaranteed.

You could also try opening the browser dev tools in the pop-up window to see if there is any Javascript managing the authentication.

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Asked: 2019-07-06 11:01:06 +0000

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Last updated: Jul 07 '19