Network sniffers are tools that allow hackers to monitor and intercept data packets sent over the network and remove the text passwords contained within.
Such an attack requires the use of malware or physical access to the network switch, but it can be very effective. It does not rely on exploiting a system vulnerability or network error, and as such is applicable to most internal networks.
It is also common to use network sniffers in the first phase of an attack, followed by brute force attacks.
Of course, enterprises can use these same tools to scan their own networks, which can be especially useful for diagnosing or troubleshooting problems.
Using a network analyzer, administrators can determine what information is sent in plain text and enforce policies to prevent this from happening.
The only way to prevent this attack is to protect traffic by routing it through a VPN or something similar.
Vector Network Analysers
A vector network analyzer (VNA) is an electronic test instrument used to measure the characteristics of high frequency devices such as filters, amplifiers, antennas, and cables. It works by applying a known signal to the device under test (DUT) and measuring the response at its output.
Vector network analyzers are capable of measuring both amplitude and phase of signals, allowing engineers to understand not only how much a signal is attenuated or boosted, but also how it shifts over time. This information is critical to the design and optimization of high frequency circuits and systems.
Modern vector network analyzers typically operate over a wide frequency range, from a few kilohertz up to 110 GHz and higher. They are widely used in industries such as wireless communications, aerospace and defense, and research and development laboratories.