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Hi everyone,

I'm trying to do something that appears simple enough for HTTP, but seems impossible for SSL/TLS. I would very much appreciate your take on this.

What am I trying to do?

  • I'm trying to read the ssl fields provided by the ssl dissector so I can add additional information based on cross-sslrecord content.
  • An example: showing on the frame containing a 'ClientHello' message, that renegotiation is not only supported but has also been requested by the server or client (i.e. like there is a HelloRequest message further down the line)
  • I need to post-parse the ssl. fields, but they do not fill by default upon pcap load. I need to click a frame containing an SSL record, then I get access, in code, to the ssl. fields of that frame.
  • I want the code to run on pcap load, but after the ssl dissector has been run completely. So I thought: post-dissector... but no; then I thought: replacing the ssl dissector with my own and my own dissector calls the original ssl dissector first. This is even a textbook example for 'chained dissector' from the wiki (

The problem?

  • Chaining does not seem to work with the SSL dissector.
  • my code works perfectly if I choose another port than 443.
  • 444 works (a port for which the TCP dissector table has no entry yet)
  • 80 works (a port for which the TCP dissector table has an existing entry, namely 'HTTP')
  • 443 does not work (the dissector table keeps showing me 'SSL' instead of my 'SSLTS'; on the other ports it does replace the original with mine)

Here's the code I use: (change 443 to 80 => it works, you get extra fields, etc, if you use 443, you need to select 'Decode As...' on a stream)

local sslts = Proto("sslts","SSL/TLS Troubleshooting Information");
local sslts_issue = ProtoField.string("sslts.issue")
sslts.fields = {sslts_issue}
local original_ssl_dissector

function sslts.dissector(tvb,pinfo,tree)
    local subtree = tree:add(sslts,tvb)

local tcp_dissector_table = DissectorTable.get("tcp.port")
original_ssl_dissector = tcp_dissector_table:get_dissector(443)
tcp_dissector_table:add(443, sslts)

local function heur_dissect_sslts(tvbuf,pktinfo,root)
    pktinfo.conversation = sslts
    return true



My questions?

  • Can it be done with the SSL dissector and LUA, or am I stuck doing it in C?
  • If it can be done and someone did it, can you show/explain me how?
  • Next to chained dissectors and post-dissectors, would there be any other way that I am missing at the moment?

Kind regards and many thanks in advance for when I get a response on this one :D

Thomas Schockaert

asked 01 Sep '15, 17:41

sstm's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

And lest I forget, my version is this: Version 1.12.7 (v1.12.7-0-g7fc8978 from master-1.12)

(01 Sep '15, 17:43) sstm

I haven't investigated your Lua code or original issue, but a quick answer that might or might not be sufficient...

Change this:

tcp_dissector_table:add(443, sslts)

To this:

tcp_dissector_table:set(443, sslts)

The add() call adds your dissector but also leaves existing ones in place, whereas the set() one replaces.

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answered 01 Sep '15, 19:34

Hadriel's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%

Hi Hadriel,

Thanks for your response! Unfortunately it doesn't help. The problem remains: I need to manually 'Decode As' to get my fields on a frame containing SSL/TLS, whereas if I use port 80 (with :set and :add) I don't need to do this.

Kind regards,


(01 Sep '15, 23:41) sstm

I tried your script and it works fine for me (I added a "ct_val" field to show the ssl.record.content_type field from the SSL layer, to show the Lua plugin got it):

alt text

Perhaps you have a preference setting wrong? Does your HTTP protocol preference setting for SSL not have 443 for the port?

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answered 03 Sep '15, 06:44

Hadriel's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%

edited 03 Sep '15, 06:44

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question asked: 01 Sep '15, 17:41

question was seen: 2,482 times

last updated: 03 Sep '15, 06:44

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