Re: Ethereal ideas - Slightly OT

From: Gandalf Parker (
Date: 01/16/05

Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 16:17:36 GMT

"Jeff Franks" <> wrote in

> I have been able to capture multiple "shutdowns" on my server with
> Ethereal. The problem is, I have no clue what I'm looking at. I can
> see some odd sized packets, but nothing jumps off the screen at me as
> the problem. How do I go about analyzing the data I captured? Any
> help on this will be greatly appreciated....heck I'll name a new
> server after you if you point me in the right direction :)

The most common ones are overflows or control characters. Overflows send
a packet which exceeds the buffer. In many cases a string over 255
characters long. In games this can also be achieved subtly by sending a
shorter string filled with things that the game tries to expand before
acting on it. Such as short codes for color which become long ansi
strings, or short commands which become long spoken text in the game.

Control characters are usually the lower 28 ascii-chart characters (am I
remembering that right?) which might be included in a game command such
as asking the game to "say" what the ascii charts show as a dark or light
smiley face.

Is your game built on top of a protocol? A MUD game running on telnet, or
a browser game running on java? Examining references to exploits for that
protocol might give you a lead.

There are also some which bypass in-game controls. Such as, the game
might not allow a player to tell his follower to try and train for levels
at the guildmaster, but manually sending such a "said" line to the server
might cause the crash as it tries to raise the level of an NPC.

Gandalf Parker

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