Password Sniffer Console is a command line tool which scans network traffic for email, web and FTP logins, displaying any user names and passwords it detects.

The program uses the packet capture library Winpcap to access your network traffic. This comes bundled with Password Sniffer Console, so you don't have to install it beforehand. (The developer says Windows 8 users should install Winpcap manually. This wasn't necessary for us, but if you have problems then they explain more here.)

The setup program will by default install adware on your system, but this is easily avoided. Either clear the "Install Downloader" checkbox on the "Choose Components" screen, or just click "Decline" as usual when the various "offers" are displayed.

Launch Password Sniffer Console and it displays your network adapters, asking you which one you'd like to monitor. This isn't always straightforward - would you know whether to choose "Microsoft :: \Device\NPF_{1489D877-353A-47EA-A24C-5CB99E668CD7}" or "Microsoft :: \Device\NPF_{EA3F10EE-12C5-4CA7-B7FA-2BB12A9B2EBA}"? - but it's the only step you have to take.

Once you've chosen a network device, Password Sniffer Console monitors its traffic, looking for email, web or FTP logins.

If something is spotted then any details are displayed. We ran Outlook, for example, and the program displayed a "Got Password" alert, with the password type (POP3), the IP address of the web server, the port, the user name and password.

What Password Sniffer Console won't do is capture or save passwords to a file, at least not in any straightforward way. That seems a shame, especially as it's so easy to do.

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If you've forgotten the password for a web/ email/ FTP account then Password Sniffer Console should be able to reveal it, but the awkward console-based interface means it's not as easy as it could be.