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AfterGlow 1.5.9 Released

AfterGlow 1.5.9 is out. It's not a huge release, but it allows for some new things that, for example, Tenshi needed to make it more useful. The feature that helps there is that you can now dynamically change node labels.
Another new feature is the addition of URLs to nodes. This is needed to support image maps. If you generate an image map through GraphViz (-Tcmapx), you can provide URLs that go along with the nodes. If you then use that image map in an HTML file along with the graph, you have an interactive graph. If you are interested in how this looks, I blogged about a Splunk - AfterGlow integration on my Splunk blog. The new search command I built, is using image maps to build an HTML file, which is then linked back to Splunk. Check it out.

Graphing Tenshi reports

Graphing Tenshi reports

Hi folks,

I wanted to see if I could hook up Tenshi, a log monitoring application, with some pretty graph, for a long time. The current tree supports a csv output feature that allows pipeing to something like AfterGlow.

In order to get this you can use something like this in your tenshi configuration (if you use the latest version from the tree):

set csv [0 * * * *] /usr/local/bin/

Where could be

/usr/local/bin/ -c /etc/afterglow.conf -t | neato -v -Tpng -o /var/lib/tenshi/tenshi_graph.png

and afterglow.conf configuration could be something like

color.source="green";"red" if ($fields[2] > 1000);"orange" if ($fields[2] > 500);"blue" if ($fields[2] > 100);"lightblue" if ($fields[2] > 50);"yellow" if ($fields[2] == 1);"white";

This allows having target node colours depending on the number of hits of the affected log, but of course it might be whatever conditions you want. You can see how it's possible to quickly evaluate logs that are common to different servers and their frequency.

Keep in mind that in order to have useful and readable graphs your tenshi configuration must be accordingly tuned. Arbitrary logs in the csv queue would quickly generate huge and unreadable node maps.

This is just an example, more advanced processing can be done. If you have new ideas please share them on mailing list and/or the SecViz portal :).


Andrea Barisani

IRC Channe visualisation

IRC Channe visualisation

I’ve wanted to post this graph for a while but only just got round to anonymising the data.

Looking at piles of IRC logs can be very unilluminating, but it’s not obvious what to do with all the data. One nice way of getting a handle on links between channels is to plot channels with links between them weighted by the number of users in common.

The example above is from a honeynet we ran in 2004/5. The graph shows up a couple of things nicely:

1) There are two distinct groups of channels, and a look at the data shows that there two groups correspond to channels in different languages and,
2) The strong links between a couple of channels in the main group show up that these channels are related and looking at the data shows them to be used for discussing hacking, while the other channels are innocuous.

The original channel names have been replaced by ‘cN’ to protect the guilty.

For a full size copy of the image, see UK Honeynet blog where this was first posted.


VizSEC 2007 Workshop on Visualization for Computer Security

VizSEC 2007 Workshop on Visualization for Computer Security
To be held between October 28 and November 1, 2007 in Sacramento, CA

The VizSEC 2007 Workshop on Visualization for Computer Security will provide a forum for new research in visualization for computer security. Building on the success of the previous three VizSEC workshops, we will again be meeting in conjunction with the IEEE Vis and InfoVis Conferences. The workshop will be held in Sacramento, CA USA between October 28 and November 1, 2007. The exact date of the workshop is still to be determined by the Conference committee; please check the web site for further details.

Reasearchers and practitioners from academia and industry are encouraged to submit papers and attend the event. We are looking for diversity and are particularly hoping that practitioners who have experience designing and using visualization in the field will consider joining us. Please see the web site for further details:

Open ports for a bunch of servers

Open ports for a bunch of servers

This is a first attempt at visualizating open ports detected by nmap in around 60 servers.
I've used Freshcookies-Treemap and custom scripts.
Ports are all TCP.

SSH as seen by Argus

SSH as seen by Argus

A directed graph of intranet SSH sessions as recorded by Argus, graphed using the "two node mode" of afterglow. Data collected with Argus V3.0 from multiple Cisco Netflow sources, graph generated using AfterGlow v1.5.7 and Neato v1.16, all running on OpenBSD.

The latest version of Argus can directly output CSV, so argus2csv is no longer needed. This particular graph was generated by the following:
racluster -r argus.cap -m saddr daddr dport -c, -s saddr daddr - 'tcp and dst port 22' | | -t -e 2 -c | neato -Tgif -o tcp22argus.gif

This directed graph reminds me of the social network you might see in a suburban high school, and revealed to us some interesting things, including the existence of a new network monitoring tool quietly installed by a rogue internal unix admin team... us and them, we're having a "come to Jesus" meeting tomorrow ;)

Cyber Security Research Soliciation for Visualization

The DHS just released a solicitation for various security-related research projects among them TTA 4 - Network Data Visualization for Information Assurance. I am very pleased that the DHS puts visualization as one of their nine main concerns.
I am somewhat concerned with the solicitation however. They mention SiLK as one of the tool sets which the US-CERT uses a lot. And they would like to see visualization tools enhacing that suite. I am not sure that's the right thing to do. I think we need tools which do not just look at traffic flow information, but at all kinds of different data sources!
I am very curious what type of tools and solutions will be submitted for this and would love to see some advances and new approaches. Anyone going to submit?

Benefits of Visualization

So what are the benefits of visualization over other techniques? My favorite answer is this:

  • "Visualization not only helps you answer questions that you have, but it elicits questions that you did not even think of before. So for some things you can come up with algorithms to solve your problems, but for others, you don't even know your problem upfront!"

There are many more benefits to visualization. Here are just a few:

  • The bandwidth of data you can transfer in a picture is much bigger than having a human look at log files or textual data.

  • Relationships become very apparent. Sometimes they are completely hidden without visualization.

  • Interactive visualizations benefit from dynamic queries which are an incredible tool to explore data.

  • Visualization inspires. You look at a picture or a graph and suddenly you realize what is really going on.

  • It's a great tool to communicate information in a very compact and often easy to understand way.

  • It definitely reduces analysis and response times. Sifting through thousands of line of logs is definitely slower than looking at a few graphs of the same data.

I am curious what other's think. Let's add to the list!

NSF - Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has a challenge for science and engineering visualizations published. I am not sure if I have some visualizations that would qualify for the challenge. But maybe some of you have security data that could make the bar. I think it would be great to draw attention to visualization in the security space. So if you have something. Submit it!

Iptables config

Iptables config

This graph shows the IPTables output graphically.
Blue is for UDP and Yellow for TCP.

Generated by Ruined (