I’m going to walk you through the process of decoding SSL/TLS traffic from a pcap file with the server’s private key using tshark (command-line version of Wireshark). You can, of course, always use ssldump for the same purpose.
I assume you know how SSL/TLS works, and basic understanding of how Wireshark works, and why we use it.
I will start with getting a sample encrypted traffic that includes the handshake part (important for decryption later). For that purpose, we are going to use openssl command to generate a pair of server certificate and key. And then run the HTTPS server with openssl’s s_server command on port 4443 (or any other port you may like) using the generated certificate and key. Then we will issue a GET request to HTTPS server via curl. In the mean time, we will collect the traffic with tshark and will save the data into ssltest.pcap file.
#  create RSA cert and key pair openssl req -new -x509 -out server.crt -nodes -keyout server.pem -subj /CN=localhost #  run the server using the above openssl s_server -www -cipher AES256-SHA -key server.pem -cert server.crt -accept 4443 #  from another console session, start capturing the traffic, on loopback interface # (you will need to change lo0 to the relevant interface on your system. tshark -s0 -w ssltest.pcap -i lo0 #  generate traffic from another console curl -vk https://localhost:4443 #  Ctrl+C on the tshark command at , and stop the openssl server at 
At this point, we should have the file called ssltest.pcap from tshark, and server.crt/server.pem from openssl commands.
Next, we are going to read the pcap file and decode the traffic.
#  it shows the encrypted traffic tshark -r ssltest.pcap #  for details of the packets tshark -r ssltest.pcap -V #  for decrypted data; ssl.keys_list points to the RSA key # added -x for hex dump # At the output you should see the message in packet detail: # >>> Decrypted SSL record (16 bytes): # And the decrypted data: # >>> Hypertext Transfer Protocol # >>> GET / HTTP/1.1\r\n tshark -r ssltest.pcap -V -x -o "ssl.debug_file:ssldebug.log" -o "ssl.desegment_ssl_records: TRUE" -o "ssl.desegment_ssl_application_data: TRUE" -o "ssl.keys_list:127.0.0.1,4443,http,server.pem" #  inspecting ssldebug.log output from  # You should see the following messeage near the top of the file: # >>> ssl_init private key file server.pem successfully loaded. cat ssldebug.log
In Wireshark GUI, we can follow “SSL stream” that will dump the ASCII output from the stream. How are we going to do it with tshark?
# We add -z to show the statistics with option 'follow,ssl,ascii,1' # to follow ssl stream number 1 # -q to suppress packet dumps tshark -r sslsample.pcap -q -o "ssl.keys_list:127.0.0.1,4443,http,server.pem" -z "follow,ssl,ascii,1"
You will see the output similar to below:
=================================================================== Follow: ssl,ascii Filter: tcp.stream eq 1 Node 0: 127.0.0.1:55041 Node 1: 127.0.0.1:4443 78 GET / HTTP/1.1 Host: localhost:4443 User-Agent: curl/7.43.0 Accept: */* 1802 HTTP/1.0 200 ok Content-type: text/html <_pre> s_server -www -cipher AES256-SHA -key server.pem -cert server.crt -accept 4443 Ciphers supported in s_server binary TLSv1/SSLv3:AES256-SHA --- Ciphers common between both SSL end points: ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-SHA ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA ECDHE-ECDSA-DES-CBC3-SHA ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA ECDHE-RSA-DES-CBC3-SHA ECDH-ECDSA-AES256-SHA ECDH-ECDSA-AES128-SHA ECDH-ECDSA-DES-CBC3-SHA ECDH-RSA-AES256-SHA ECDH-RSA-AES128-SHA ECDH-RSA-DES-CBC3-SHA DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA DHE-RSA-AES128-SHA EDH-RSA-DES-CBC3-SHA AES256-SHA AES128-SHA DES-CBC3-SHA ECDHE-ECDSA-RC4-SHA ECDHE-RSA-RC4-SHA ECDH-ECDSA-RC4-SHA ECDH-RSA-RC4-SHA RC4-SHA RC4-MD5 --- New, TLSv1/SSLv3, Cipher is AES256-SHA SSL-Session: Protocol : TLSv1 Cipher : AES256-SHA Session-ID: B9AE3B24559606A2723F987F21E9C202EDB19366098286083F3BDCDABE45B300 Session-ID-ctx: 01000000 Master-Key: 98DC04D8CD7AE943A08BE013CD4C7D0608950BC201B953BC12755EC9B4804D453148173B00043EF6A01CAC43F7B0005C Key-Arg : None Start Time: 1453795701 Timeout : 300 (sec) Verify return code: 0 (ok) --- 2 items in the session cache 0 client connects (SSL_connect()) 0 client renegotiates (SSL_connect()) 0 client connects that finished 2 server accepts (SSL_accept()) 0 server renegotiates (SSL_accept()) 2 server accepts that finished 0 session cache hits 0 session cache misses 0 session cache timeouts 0 callback cache hits 0 cache full overflows (128 allowed) --- no client certificate available ===================================================================