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README for driftnet
$Id: README,v 1.9 2003/08/12 14:03:24 chris Exp $
Driftnet watches network traffic, and picks out and displays JPEG and GIF
images for display. It is an horrific invasion of privacy and shouldn't be used
by anyone anywhere. It can also extract MPEG audio data from the network and
play it. If you live in a house with thick walls, this may be a useful way to
find out about your neighbours' musical taste.
To compile, read the Makefile and make any changes required, then type `make'
and fix the errors which get displayed. Driftnet is at a very early stage of
development and probably won't work for you at all.
You will need libpcap, libjpeg and libungif. On most Linux distributions these
are available as packages. If you don't want a version of driftnet which will
display images itself, but just want to use it to gather images for some other
application, you only need libpcap -- see comments in the Makefile for more
information. To play MPEG audio, you need an MPEG player-- by default,
driftnet will use mpg123.
Driftnet needs to run with sufficient privilege to obtain raw packets from the
network. On most systems, this means running it as root.
You can use Driftnet to sniff images passing over a wireless network. However,
Driftnet does not understand the optional WEP encryption used with wireless
ethernet. Instead, you can use Kismet, from
to decrypt packets and pass them into a named pipe; the -f option can then be
used to have Driftnet read the packets from the pipe. Thanks to Rob Timko and
Joshua Wright for pointing this out; Rob's page,
describes the process in greater detail.
If you find this program entertaining, you might want to help me develop it.
The TODO file contains a list of yet-to-be-done ideas.
Driftnet is licensed under the GNU GPL. See the file COPYING in the