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How to use Wireshark to find where an application queries for updates?

asked 2024-05-09 14:28:59 +0000


I am trying to learn how to use Wireshark with what I believe should be a quite simple task. As most modern software has a 'check for updates' feature built in, I'd like to understand how to capture the address (URL) the application is querying for newer software versions.

For example Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio, appears to make a call to the domain during it's check for updates, but I have been unable to capture the full URL - I believe this might be because the connection is excrypted using TLS v1.2 I would like to use WireShark to present me with the full URL that the software is checking for updates against, so I can build some automation to grab new versions when they are released.

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answered 2024-05-09 14:33:39 +0000

grahamb gravatar image

Because of the use of TLS, that might be difficult.

I think you're attacking the problem the wrong way, you could look into system management solutions that will identify applications and report if updates are available. A poor mans solution would be to build some scripting around the use of winget. Why oh why did the MS PM allow that out the door without a PowerShell interface I'll never know. Apparently that will be coming soon.

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Thanks Graham, I thought that might be the case, From what I've found out it looks like the SSMS checks the content of an SMSS_PRODUCTRELEASES.XML file to obtain the latest version number and download URL, however, the URL to the XML file changes with each release <facepalm> e.g. v20.0 was served from</facepalm>

I'm actually using the Evergreen PowerShell Module to aid our automation, but everytime Microsoft release a new version of SSMS, Evergreen is behind the curve - all because Microsoft don't have a static file location for their product versions.

AScott_WWF gravatar imageAScott_WWF ( 2024-05-09 14:54:55 +0000 )edit

SSMS is available via winget, e.g.

> winget show --id Microsoft.SQLServerManagementStudio
Found Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio [Microsoft.SQLServerManagementStudio]
Version: 20.1
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
Publisher Url:
Publisher Support Url:
Author: Microsoft
Moniker: ssms
Description: SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is an integrated environment for managing any SQL infrastructure, from SQL Server to Azure SQL Database. SSMS provides tools to configure, monitor, and administer instances of SQL Server and databases. Use SSMS to deploy, monitor, and upgrade the data-tier components used by your applications, and build queries and scripts.
License: Proprietary
License Url:
Privacy Url:
Copyright: Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation
Release Notes Url:
Installer ...
grahamb gravatar imagegrahamb ( 2024-05-10 08:16:27 +0000 )edit

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Asked: 2024-05-09 14:28:59 +0000

Seen: 128 times

Last updated: May 09