I purchased a Dream Cheeky Thunder USB Missile Launcher and wanted to work out how the example software controlled the device so I could write my own software.

Dream Cheeky Thunder USB Toy
Dream Cheeky Thunder USB Launcher

In order to achieve the USB sniffing on Windows 8, I used a tool called USBPcap available here. Using the tool is fairly simple and involves the following steps:

  1. Open up the USBPcapCMD.exe tool (Opens a command line window).
  2. Enter the device number for the device you wish to sniff traffic for.
  3. Enter a name for the pcap output file.
USB Sniffing Windows 8
Setup for USBPcap

The pcap file should grow in size as the USB device is used. In order to use the USB device I opened up the provided software and started moving the turret and firing the missiles. I made a note of the order in which I used commands to make working out the protocol easier.

Once you have finished capturing USB traffic you can close USBPcap and open the traffic for analysis. Wireshark is one of the best tools for this and can be found here. Make sure you have a later version (>1.8.x) so that USB traffic is supported.

If you have done everything correctly, the result of your USB Sniffing on Windows 8 should look similar to the image below:

USB Sniffing on Windows 8
USB Sniffing on Windows 8

Using Wireshark you can now view the USB messages sent and received from the device.

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