I highly suspect that one of my iPhone apps is scanning for open ports on the local network, but can't think of a way to detect such activity.

I know that I can monitor http(s) connections by using tools like Charles Proxy, but I don't think they can help in detecting port scanning.

I had the following ideas, but not sure how effective they are:

  1. Setup a local VPN and use it on the phone, so I can detect every connection attempt.
  2. Setup a local server (say FTP server) and monitor for any connection attempt from the phone.

Do you think of a better/easier way?


Based on suggestions from @AlexProbert and @Matthew, I was able to monitor all outgoing connections from my iPhone. Here is how I did that:

  1. Enable Internet Sharing from MacBook to the iPhone.

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  1. Open Wireshark. Select iPhone USB and press Start.

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  • 2
    You can use Wireshark to view this sort of activity. wireshark.org Mar 28, 2019 at 14:27
  • @AlexProbert Do you mean installing Wireshark on a laptop? Then how it'll detect all outgoing connections from the phone?
    – Hejazi
    Mar 28, 2019 at 14:34
  • 2
    @Hejazi If you make the laptop the access point which the phone is connecting through, it'll see all traffic the phone sends to the local network. Wouldn't see traffic sent via mobile data, but it wouldn't be on local network either, so probably doesn't matter in this case.
    – Matthew
    Mar 28, 2019 at 14:38
  • @Hejazi As Matthew stated, if you have them on the same network, you can use Wireshark to analyze packets sent to the laptop. Noting down the private IP of the phone on the network. Mar 28, 2019 at 14:50
  • 1
    @AlexProbert Yes, but practically that will only allow me to monitor those outgoing connections that are directed to the pc, but I wanted to monitor all the outgoing connections from my phone. I accepted your answer and mentioned this. Thanks for pointing me to the right direction.
    – Hejazi
    Mar 28, 2019 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


Wireshark is a great tool to analyze packets within the network.

As suggested, you can install Wireshark on a PC that is connected to the same network the iPhone is and see what packets are being sent to your PC.

Ensure you know the IP of the phone within the network, so you know where the packets are being sent from.


@matthew - To make the laptop the access point which the phone is connecting through, it'll see all traffic the phone sends to the local network.

  • 1
    Yes, Wireshark is the solution to monitor incoming connections to the PC. But what I wanted was monitoring all the outgoing connections from the phone, so I followed @Matthew's suggestion and shared the internet connection from my MacBook to the iPhone via USB and monitored the connection in Wireshark. It works flawlessly.
    – Hejazi
    Mar 28, 2019 at 16:23
  • 1
    Nice. apologise for being a tad slow, but I can see now totally where you and @matthew are coming from. Mar 28, 2019 at 16:26

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