Time for a pop quiz. Was “The Sniffer”:
A. The title of a 1959 B-movie
B. A piece of barware
C. A revolutionary diagnostic tool for Local Area Networks
If you guessed C, then you are either a network administrator or you remembered that you’re reading a technology blog. The Sniffer was the 1986 creation of founded by Len Shustek and Harry Saal in Silicon Valley on May 13, 1986.
Shustek and Saal’s that allowed network administrators to see a centralized global view of all network activity. Using the Sniffer, an administrator could see information from the data packet message headers, accessing information such as senders and receivers, file sizes, etc. The Sniffer provided graphs and text descriptions to help administrators detect and resolve network problems.
#DidYouKnow The Sniffer, created in 1988, was one of the first tools that allowed network admins to see a centralized view of all network activity? @SmarterMSP
Following in the Sniffer’s footsteps
Today’s network or packet sniffers provide far higher levels of data than the 1980s Sniffer and can even trigger alarms based on administrator-defined parameters. Some sniffers are standalone and used by consultants to run diagnostics at worksites. Others are bundles that allow network admins to monitor LANs, WANs, and web activity. (That’s why you want to use the Internet at work judiciously.) Of course, sniffers are also to gain access to any data transmitted over a network by plain text.
Photo: Pap Kutasi Szilvia/Shutterstock.com