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HTTP POST packets in broadcast

Posted on 2016-11-01
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Last Modified: 2016-11-02
Experts,

Do HTTP POST packets appear in a broadcast?

Suppose client-1 10.10.10.50/24 tries to authenticate to server 10.10.20.50/24 via HTTP.  
client-2 on 10.10.20.51/24 is sniffing the wire. Will the hTTP POST be broadcasted to client-2?
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Question by:trojan81
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by:James Bilous
James Bilous earned 250 total points
ID: 41868585
Yes, someone sniffing the wire could see the post packets being sent, which is why encryption is always recommended for authentication.
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Dr. Klahn earned 250 total points
ID: 41868593
HTTP packets are unicast to a specific address, not broadcast.

The interface on client 2 that is (presumably) in promiscuous mode sniffing the network will see the packet because it is in promiscuous mode.
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by:trojan81
ID: 41868608
DR Khan, since the http packet is unicast to the server and not broadcast, explain how client-2 will always see the packet even in promiscuous mode
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Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 41868617
A network interface that is in promiscuous mode sees all traffic on its network.  This is how traffic sniffers work -- promiscuous mode works on any interface on any system.  There is no special hardware involved.
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Expert Comment

by:James Bilous
ID: 41868624
I believe that this is more true for wireless than it is for ethernet. With the right MAC Address tables set up on intermediary routers between the source and destination machines, a node with a NIC in promiscuous mode does not necessarily see the traffic passed between the two. On wireless, all unicast packets can be seen by the NICS in transmission range.
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