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Store 802.11 frames in Elasticsearch. Visualize with Kibana
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Parses 802.11 frames from multiple sources (live or PCAP files) and store them, parsed, into Elasticsearch.

Visualize them with Kibana.

Search using Wireshark display filters.

Get alerted using ElastAlert or Elastic Watcher.


Note: Installation has only been tested on Ubuntu 16.04 for now. Note: Most commands need to be run as root.

Install Elasticsearch and Kibana

Refer to Elasticsearch documentation on and to Kibana documentation on

Or follow the simplified installation steps below

apt-get install openjdk-8-jre
wget -qO - | apt-key add -
echo "deb stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elastic.list
apt-get update
apt-get install elasticsearch curl kibana

Note regarding Kibana and ElasticSearch: They are often listening on, so make sure to configure the firewall to prevent access to those ports (or edit their configs) from the outside

Install dependencies


tar -zxf v3.5.tar.gz
cd libtins-3.5
apt-get install libpcap-dev libssl-dev build-essential libboost-all-dev
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../ -DLIBTINS_ENABLE_CXX11=1
make install

Note: Radiotap parsing may fail on 3.5. Use their git repository instead.

Other dependencies

  • YAML-cpp
  • POCO (for elasticbeat-cpp)
  • RapidJSON (for elasticbeat-cpp)
  • Boost
  • libnl v3 (and libnl-genl)
  • libb64


  • tsan (Thread sanitizer, for debugging)
  • wireshark-data (manuf file): either generate it using make-manuf and put it in /usr/share/wireshark/manuf or use libwireshark-data package

Debian-based OS

Note: Make sure the system is up to date apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade then reboot before running the following command:

apt-get install libyaml-cpp-dev libpoco-dev rapidjson-dev libtsan0 libboost-all-dev libb64-dev libwireshark-data build-essential 

Load and compile

Install Codelite

apt-get install codelite codelite-plugins

Load projects into CodeLite

Load project

  1. Create workspace (File -> New -> New workspace) or use existing one. Take note of the directory.
  2. Clone repositories in that newly created directory
    git clone
    git clone
    git clone
  3. Add projects to workspace:
    1. Right click on the workspace in the Workspace View on the left
    2. Click 'Add an existing project'
    3. Browse for the wifibeat.project file and click Open
    4. Repeat steps II and III for elasticbeat-cpp.project
    5. Repeat steps II and III for simplejson-cpp.project


Select wifibeat project by double clicking on it. It should be bold now. Now, right click on project and click on Build. Alternatively, hit the Build menu on top then click Build Project.


Copy configuration file (wifibeat.yml) in /etc and update it. It is fairly well documented.


  • For now, a single wireless card (more than one untested).
  • For now, a single elasticsearch output (more than one untested).
  • Logstash output is not implemented yet.
  • Persistence is not implemented yet.


  1. Start Elasticsearch: service elasticsearch start
  2. Start Kibana: service kibana start
  3. Plug a wireless card, put it in monitor mode (manually or using airmon-ng).
  4. Update the configuration file with adapter name (/etc/wifibeat.yml)
  5. Run the tool with or without parameters. It is in Debug(default) or Release directory depending on how it was compiled.
  6. Open browser on http://localhost:5601/ then configure an index called wifibeat-* for time-based events with @timestamp. Also make sure 'Expand index pattern when searching' is checked. If no data is present, index cannot be created.
  7. Go to Management -> Saved Objects and import kibana visualizations, searches and dashboard (kibana.json).


WiFibeat v0.1

  -h [ --help ]                         Show this message
  -v [ --version ]                      Display version
  -c [ --config ] arg (=/etc/wifibeat.yml)
                                        Configuration file path
  -f [ --no-daemon ]                    Do not go in the background.
  -d [ --dump-config ]                  Display parsed configuration
  -p [ --pid ] arg (=/var/run/
                                        Where to write PID file. Ignored if 
                                        no-daemon is set
  -n [ --no-pid ]                       Do not write PID to file. Automatically
                                        set when no-daemon is set.
  -a [ --pcap-prefix ] arg              Per interface export PCAP file prefix.

Everything is logged in syslog, grep wifibeat /var/log/syslog or tail -f /var/log/syslog | grep wifibeat will show them. Note: If the no-daemon option is used, errors are displayed in the console too.



  • Payload parsing (if unencrypted/decrypted)
  • Different channel width (require support from wireless card)
    • 5/10MHz and other unusual ones
    • HT/VHT channel support
  • Frequency (instead of channels) support
  • Packet filtering at the source
  • Multiple cards support
  • PCAPng export/reading (including timestamp)
  • More link types (AVS, Prism2, PPI)
  • Automatically put cards in monitor mode
  • Global filters (for pcap and interfaces)
  • Support for Windows with Airpcap and NPCAP
  • MAC address and OUI manufacturer resolution
  • GPS


  • Templates/Mapping
  • More configuration options
  • SSL Support


  • Unit testing
  • More outputs (Logstash, Kafka, Redis, file, console)
  • Packages (Ubuntu and others)
  • Doxygen documentation
  • CLI interface
  • Use log4cplus for logging
  • ElastAlert alerts
  • Code cleanup
  • Performance improvements
  • Reduce dependencies
  • Makefile

Known bugs

  • Packet captures are not fully ingested in Elasticsearch (not all packets are in Elasticsearch).
  • Arrays are not supported in Elasticsearch. Reasons are explained in various bug reports: elastic/kibana#3333, elastic/kibana#998 and elastic/kibana#1587. If querying arrays is needed, you may look into (untested yet).
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