mardi 27 mai 2014

Playing with SPDY Wireshark and Nginx


Currently I am playing and developing around SPDY: a protocol developed by Google with the aim of reducing web page load time.  And for this task I need tools to help me understanding how the procotol works.
I will show you how I set up a SPDY web server, and how I use Wireshark to analyze the exchanges between my browser and the server.

I had to install my own web server because, for decoding TLS traffic, Wireshark needs the private key of the server. And of course this private key is always kept secret, so none of the web server on the internet provide it, they only provide there public key. (See PKI for more details)

I have chosen Nginx which seems to be perfect for this job, but we have to tweak the spdy support.


Download compile and install nginx:

$ wget
$ tar xvf wireshark-1.7.0.tar.gz
$ ./configure --with-http_ssl_module --with-http_spdy_module --prefix=~/local/nginx-1.7.0
$ make && make install 

From here, we edit the conf/nginx.conf file to tell nginx to start the web server with https and spdy support on port 443. We also force the SSL cipher to AES128-SHA, because Wireshark can only decrypt TLS traffic that only use a subset of the ciphers suite. It does not support DHE and Ephemeral RSA (see here).

$ cat conf/nginx.conf
server {
  listen      443 ssl spdy;
  server_name localhost;

  ssl_certificate     cert.pem;
  ssl_certificate_key server.key;

  ssl_ciphers               AES128-SHA;
  ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

  location /home/jpichon/www {
    index index.html index.htm;

Generate a self signed certificate and a private key in one command:

$ openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout ~/local/nginx-1.7.0/conf/server.key -out ~/local/nginx-1.7.0/conf/cert.pem -days 365 

Convert the private key in a format that Wireshark understand:

$ openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -in ~/local/nginx-1.7.0/conf/server.key -out temp.pem$ openssl rsa -in temp.pem -out ~/local/nginx-1.7.0/conf/rsa.pem 

Start the server:
$ cd ~/local/nginx-1.7.0
$ ./sbin/nginx 

 Wireshark and spdyshark plugin

Download and extract wireshark sources:
$ wget
$ tar jxvf wireshark-1.7.1.tar.bz2

Download spdyshark, the spdy dissector:
$ git clone
$ cp -r spdyshark/spdyshark wireshark-1.7.1/plugins/

Patch wireshark
$ cd wireshark-1.7.1
$ patch -p1 < ../spdyshark/spdyshark_build.patch
$ ./

Configure and build it:

$ ./configure --with-ssl && make

SPDY traffic Analysis

Start a capture of the traffic:
$ sudo tcpdump -i any -s 0 -w ~/spdy.pcap

Open the following url in a browser that support SPDY protocol: Close the page and go back to your terminal to stop the tcpdump capture.

Then you can use wireshark to analyze the spdy traffic between your browser and your SPDY server. To do so, start your freshly compiled wireshark:

$ cd wireshark-1.7.1
$ ./wireshark ~/spdy.pcap

Head to Edit > Preferences > Protocols > SSL. Click on the Edit button of the RSA keys list field, and add two entries in the array:
* ip: port: 443 protocol: http key file: ~/local/nginx-1.7.0/conf/rsa.pem
* ip: port: 443 protocol: spdy key file: ~/local/nginx-1.7.0/conf/rsa.pem

Like this:

Finally you should see the result: the TLS application data decrypted, and the SPDY (which is the decrypted application data) decoded:

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