Decrypting TLS browser traffic with Wireshark

There is a combination of lesser known tools and techniques to capture and later decrypt SSL/TLS network traffic on Windows. This technique is neat because it does not require the installation of additional driver/software when capturing the traffic.

Technique, Tools and Steps

It is quite straight forward and consists of:

  1. Setting the SSLKEYLOGFILE environment variable to capture TLS session keys on target host
  2. Use netsh trace start to capture traffic (no need to install additional driver/software!)
  3. Convert the .etl file to a pcap using Microsoft’s etl2pcapng
  4. Start Wireshark, open the pcap and set the sslkeys under: Preferences->Protocols->TLS->Pre-Master secret. This does not have to be on the same host as steps 1-2.
  5. Enjoy the decrypted traffic!

If you can or want to capture traffic with Wireshark also, there is no need to use netsh of course.

Video Tutorial

Update: YouTube took the video down, because they say it violates some policy. I will work on creating a new video that is less spicy

Update 2: I recreated the video, removing the red team component

I put together a tutorial and you can watch it here.

Decrypt https traffic with Wireshark

If you enjoy the content and/or video, please like it and Subscribe to the YouTube channel. I might post videos more regularly if these are useful.

Cheers and Happy Hacking!


List of commands:

[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("SSLKEYLOGFILE", "c:\temp\sslkeys\keys", "MACHINE")

taskkill /im chrome.exe /f

netsh trace start capture=yes tracefile=c:\temp\sslkeys\trace.etl report=disabled
netsh trace stop

etl2pcapng trace.etl trace.pcap