1

I've just set up Arpwatch on my pfSense machine and started getting emails about flip flops in my network. As the network is quite big, I understand that the flip flops indicate that a certain IP-address has now been assigned to a new device, with its own MAC-address.

What I don't understand (and it doesn't seem to be included in arpwatch's man-pages) is what does the term Delta stand for? I would guess it's the time difference between the timestamps, but what do they stand for?

An example of an email from Arpwatch follows below.

            hostname: <unknown>
          ip address: 10.16.100.100
    ethernet address: xxxxxxx
     ethernet vendor:  xxxx
old ethernet address: xxxxxxx
 old ethernet vendor:  xxxx
           timestamp: Monday, September 24, 2018 18:39:16 +0200
  previous timestamp: Monday, September 24, 2018 18:37:33 +0200
               delta: 1 minute
2

"delta" is just a standard mathematical expression for the difference between two measurements.

  • Often a capital delta: Δt means difference in t, often time, which would be worked out as t1 - t0
  • As lowercase is usually a variable representing the difference, sometimes used like this: t1 = t0 + δ

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