Thursday, 11 March 2021

[off topic] Differences between running and cycling

 I'm a passionate runner, and always considered cycling as something fun, e.g. mountain-biking, but difficult to practice regularly. There's a lot of overhead in cycling, like the preparation, bike maintenance, dealing with city traffic, etc.

Anyway about eight months ago I bought a road bike and felt in love with it. Soon after that I discovered Zwift and that gave an additional dimension to the sport: practice whenever you want from home, with accurate power measurements and a way to socialise with distant people. That was a game changer.

In five months I cycled 1600 virtual Km and climbed almost 17 virtual Km. Meanwhile my running performance, instead of degrading, improved, and that surprised me.

Anyway what I wanted to write about is a great article I read, "Physiological Differences Between Cycling and Running". It's a review of articles published in that area. Some conclusions are very interesting.

In general it seems sports medicine is still inconclusive for many aspects, and coaches may still have an advantage by following empirical/heuristic approaches in comparison with research-driven indications.

But more specifically, some notes from the conclusions:

- For the same person, VO2max depends on the speciality (i.e. runners achieve higher values on treadmill than cycle ergometer)

- There seems to be more physiological transfer from running to cycling than the other way around

- Pedalling cadence impacts the metabolic response during cycling, but also during a following run (at least in the short term)

- The Lactate Threshold is lower for athletes when not practicing their speciality, i.e. the Lactate Threshold depends on the training method

- Both female and male are impacted in the same way when comparing VO2max for running and cycling

- Triathletes have similar max Heart Rate when running and cycling, again pointing to the importance of the actual speciality used in training

- The position when cycling makes it harder to breathe

and probably other important elements that I wasn't able to fully grasp.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Notes on STUN protocol

 Since I needed to see a few details in the handling of attributes in STUN responses, I thought of going through the whole STUN protocol RFC again and take notes on the most important parts.

I put my notes in some slides, and I'm sharing then in Slideshare in case somebody else may find them useful too:

Friday, 19 February 2021

Extracting RTP streams from network captures

I needed an efficient way to programmatically extract RTP streams from a network capture.

In addition I wanted to:

  • save each stream into a separate pcap file.
  • extract SRTP-negotiated keys if present and available in the trace, associating them to the related RTP (or SRTP if the negotiation succeeded) stream.

Some caveats:

  • In normal conditions the negotiation of SRTP sessions happens via a secure transport, typically SIP over TLS, so the exchanged crypto information may not be available from a simple network capture.
  • There are ways to extract RTP streams using Wireshark or tcpdump; it’s not necessary to do it programmatically.

All this said I wrote a small tool ( that parses a network capture and tries to interpret each packet as either RTP/SRTP or SIP, and does two main things:

  • save each detected RTP/SRTP stream into a dedicated pcap file, which name contains the related SSRC.
  • print a summary of the crypto information exchanged, if available.

With those two elements, it’s then possible to decrypt an SRTP stream, depending on the availability of the exchanged crypto information, and also decode it into audio, depending on the codec.

Decryption and decoding is not part of my tool, but can be achieved easily with other tools, like pjsip’s pcaputil.

I might integrate that part into pcap_tool in the future. Again not because it’s strictly necessary, but to start getting more control on the parsing and manipulation. This may reveal to be useful in the future.

pcap_tool is available here for anybody interested in using it and may perhaps wish to change or extend some parts.

You can just clone it and build it as described in the README.

An example output:

./pcap_tool -d ../../trace_20210218_1.pcap


Extracted 1092 RTP frames

Detected RTP Stream: 0x7a2179fa Source port:22248 - Destination port:4000 - Packets: 544 (./stream-0x7a2179fa.pcap)

Detected RTP Stream: 0x772dc5d7 Source port:4000 - Destination port:22248 - Packets: 548 (./stream-0x772dc5d7.pcap)

source port: 22248 - tag: 3 - suite: AES_CM_128_HMAC_SHA1_80 - key: /1TI6DJWHk7fBJY1yBp7L51uEz1JJ2n6CcQAAsJM


source port: 4000 - tag: 4 - suite: AES_CM_128_HMAC_SHA1_32 - key: mPytX24bRmyNgMaqQSxP8dMMqdkkmQeHgC2Ttb3v

source port: 4000 - tag: 3 - suite: AES_CM_128_HMAC_SHA1_80 - key: J1YS1owJDKAFdq5cRF+JtektYDf6IiowCAeijeal

source port: 4000 - tag: 2 - suite: AES_256_CM_HMAC_SHA1_32 - key: 5A9R8O8MCzbuGvJ08WWNJcNHsPaEcEp1ZDp5DunknZ+bZ2JQaVpZ2qmqraTmgQ==

source port: 4000 - tag: 1 - suite: AES_256_CM_HMAC_SHA1_80 - key: ZcZn1IY++2xsSIk/U1GsHSGp+OI/BYIocv/40ldJB28bcNeMmYzs4z4ozrNQ5Q==


That network capture contained 2 SRTP streams, which have been saved separately into stream-0x7a2179fa.pcap and stream-0x772dc5d7.pcap files respectively.

For the negotiation it’s visible what the sender from port 22248 (owner of the 0x7a2179fa stream) used as crypto information, and looking at the same tag (3 in this case) it’s possible to see what crypto information was used by the sender of 0x772dc5d7 stream from port 4000.

With this it’s possible to decrypt (and decode since G.711 was used) with pjsip’s pcaputil with something like:

pcaputil -c AES_CM_128_HMAC_SHA1_80 -k /1TI6DJWHk7fBJY1yBp7L51uEz1JJ2n6CcQAAsJM stream-0x7a2179fa.pcap stream-0x7a2179fa.wav

and have the audio from that stream into a WAV file.

How to build pcaputil (in fact all pjsip’s applications) is widely documented but I also described it in the appendix of 

The call in the example was generated in fact with pjsua.

[off topic] Differences between running and cycling

 I'm a passionate runner, and always considered cycling as something fun, e.g. mountain-biking, but difficult to practice regularly. The...