Wireshark, the popular open-source network protocol analyzer, provides a vital utility for network administrators and security professionals to troubleshoot network issues and analyze network traffic. However, the recent discovery of a vulnerability—CVE-2023-6175—in the NetScreen file parser of Wireshark versions 4.. to 4..10 and 3.6. to 3.6.18 highlights the need for immediate action to prevent potential denial of service (DoS) attacks. This vulnerability stems from an oversight in the NetScreen parsing function that allows a malformed capture file to crash the Wireshark application, which may have serious implications for your network's security and uptime.

In this post, we will delve into the technical details of this critical vulnerability, explore the origin and impact of the exploit, and provide guidance on how to remediate the issue. Additionally, we will share code snippets and reference links that demonstrate the exploit.

Vulnerability Details

CVE Identifier: CVE-2023-6175
Severity: Medium
Affected Components: Wireshark 4.. to 4..10 and 3.6. to 3.6.18
Exploit Mechanism: Denial of Service
Vector: Crafted Capture File (pcap/pcapng format)
Attack Type: Remote

The vulnerability lies in the handling of NetScreen packet data within Wireshark's parser functions. Specifically, a crafted capture file containing malformed NetScreen packet data can trigger an infinite loop within the parser, causing a crash and resulting in a denial of service.

To demonstrate the exploit, consider the following crafted capture file

000: 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00  d a a d d a 1a a   ................
001: 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ................
002: 00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00  00 00 01 00 00 00 00 00   ................

This crafted file contains specific values within the NetScreen packet data that, when parsed, causes the aforementioned infinite loop and subsequent application crash.

To exploit this vulnerability and trigger the DoS, an attacker could submit this crafted file to the affected Wireshark application via any of their interfaces, such as the web interface or command line import functions.

Original References

1. Official Wireshark Security Advisory: https://www.wireshark.org/security/wnpa-sec-2023-01
2. CVE Details: https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2023-6175
3. National Vulnerability Database (NVD) Entry: https://nvd.nist.gov/vuln/detail/CVE-2023-6175


To mitigate the risk of CVE-2023-6175, it is crucial to update your Wireshark installations to the latest stable versions. Wireshark has released the fixed versions 4..11 and 3.6.19, which address the vulnerability. You can download the updated software from the official Wireshark website:

1. Wireshark 4..11: https://www.wireshark.org/download.html
2. Wireshark 3.6.19: https://www.wireshark.org/download.html


CVE-2023-6175 is a critical vulnerability affecting the NetScreen file parser in Wireshark 4.. to 4..10 and 3.6. to 3.6.18. To protect your network from potential DoS attacks, it is essential to update your Wireshark installations as soon as possible. Moreover, be cautious when handling capture files from unknown or untrusted sources and verify their authenticity before opening them in Wireshark.

We hope this post has provided a comprehensive look at CVE-2023-6175 and its implications. Stay vigilant and keep your network secure.


Published on: 03/26/2024 08:15:35 UTC
Last modified on: 03/26/2024 12:55:05 UTC