Mac os x socket filter

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However, you can also use the kernel event ID allocation mechanism to get a unique handle value for a socket filter. This callback may return a unique cookie through its first parameter that can be used for tracking storage specific to a given filter instance attached to a specific socket. The socket filter may, at some point, decide that it wishes to be unloaded. This will prevent the filter from being attached to new sockets in the future and will begin the process of detaching the filter from existing sockets.

A network protocol analyzer for Mac OS X

This structure contains a number of fields that hold various callbacks and flags related to your filter. Each socket filter contains a number of callbacks function pointers. These callbacks are called automatically when the corresponding socket functions are called.


The callbacks permit the filter to selectively intercept socket operations. Most of these callbacks can return an integer value with the exception of detach and notify , which are assumed to always succeed.

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  • A return value of zero is interpreted to mean that the caller should continue processing as usual. If you return this value, the calling function for example, sobind returns at that point with a value of zero no error.


    A filter may reinject the data or operation at a later time. For other non-zero return values, the calling function returns the non-zero error code. When any filter swallows and reinjects a packet or operation, it should expect the relevant filter function to be called again on the injected data or operation. This may occur multiple times—each time the packet is swallowed and reinjected.

    Many filters encapsulation, for example naturally lend themselves to detecting reinjected packets. In other situations, you can use the mbuf tag functionality to make it easy to spot reinjected traffic.

    Packet Peeper | A network protocol analyzer for Mac OS X

    If not, it should process the packet. Otherwise, your filter function should return 0 immediately. When the mbuf is later freed, any tag references will also be deallocated. The tcplognke sample provides an example of how to properly swallow and reinject packets. The tcplognke filter is a socket filter which is invoked for each TCP socket. It records detailed information about each connection, including the number of bytes sent to and from the system, the time the connection was up, and the remote IP address.

    When tcplognke is loaded and initialized, it installs itself as a global filter for the TCP protocol and registers a kernel control. The tcplognke filter then keeps a buffer of connection records.