Monday, August 16, 2010

Do You Use Visualization in Production?

I'm speaking at VizSec 2010 next month. My topic is Is Security Visualization Useful in Production? I'd like to know if YOU are using visualization in production. What works? What doesn't? What do you need but don't have?

I'll select the most interesting responses and integrate them into my presentation. Feel free to comment here or email richard at taosecurity dot com. Please be sure to include an IMAGE so we can see the visualization you are describing! Respond no later than Monday 30 August. Thank you.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know that a lot of visualization work is being done by the Dept of Energy for their Cyber Security division, especially at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i70E0hb4U3M

http://dicomputing.pnl.gov/projects/2008analysis.asp

As a fellow member of FIRST, you can probably contact their incident response team and they may be able to help out with some non-classified uses of visualization techniques.

http://www.doecirc.energy.gov/

As a former enterprise network security analyst using Arcsight, one of my favorite investigative techniques was generating link analysis graphs in near real-time with a given set of events generated by firewall logs, IDS alerts, etc. It made it very easy to quickly establish relevant relationships between data points. For example, it made it very easy to see worm propagation or host/port scanners in use. Each dot represented an IP node and the size of the dot indicated the volume of traffic generated by the IP node.

One day I quickly used it to identify a subnet of Windows 2003 servers that had been infected. There was an IDS alert and FW logs. Turns out about 20 servers had just been stood up in a lab but hadn't been patched at all (the IT staff were waiting until the next day). A box got popped and then scanned the rest of the subnet and infected what it found.

There are some great examples on Secviz.org using a tool called Afterglow. The graphs looked almost exactly the same in Arcsight.

http://secviz.org/content/sshd-brute-force-attempts-userids-and-ips

http://secviz.org/content/zombie-network-activity-representation-dorothy/

http://secviz.org/content/firewall-passed-inbound-traffic?size=_original

Oh and of course EtherApe is an old favorite, but generally harder to use in an enterprise given the number of nodes in a network. Very nice for dynamic situational awareness in a smaller network.

http://etherape.sourceforge.net/images/

Anonymous said...

^^That should read "...there are some great examples of link analysis graphing on Secviz...". Since I couldn't find pictures from Arcsight, I used the example output given by Afterglow to demonstrate a very similar visualization experience.

Anonymous said...

Visualisation is essential in the right use cases. We used netmap (not nmap!) for link analysis of phone calls but the same principles were applied to IP traffic. It really is amazing what the brain can spot quickly in a very complex diagram. Likewise a picture is a great way to explain complex things and "I2" was great for showing links in complex frauds and timelines.

Richard Bejtlich said...

Thanks everyone.

Last anonymous mentioning netmap -- can you link to any diagrams?