This is where you can start discussions around security visualization topics.

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Discussion Entries

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Applied Security Visualization - Book

Title: Applied Security Visualization
Author: Raffael Marty
Source: Addison Wesley Professional
Publication Date: July 2008 (estimated)


'....As networks become ever more complex, securing them becomes more and more difficult. The solution is visualization. Using today's state-of-the-art data visualization techniques, you can gain a far deeper understanding of what's happening on your network right now. You can uncover hidden patterns of data, identify emerging vulnerabilities and attacks, and respond decisively with countermeasures that are far more likely to succeed.

In Applied Security Visualization, leading network security visualization expert Raffael Marty introduces all the concepts, techniques, and tools you need to use visualization on your network. You'll learn how to identify and utilize the right data sources, then transform your data into visuals that reveal what you really need to know. Next, Marty shows how to use visualization to perform broad network security analyses, assess specific threats, and even improve business compliance. He concludes with a thorough introduction to DAVIX, today's leading toolset for security visualization.

  • Intimately understand the data sources that are essential for effective visualization
  • Choose the most appropriate visualization graphs and techniques for your network data
  • Walk step-by-step through transforming complex data into crystal-clear visual representations
  • Iterate your graphs to deliver even better insight for action
  • Assess threats to your network perimeter, as well as threats generated by insiders
  • Use visualization to manage risks more successfully
  • Visually audit both the technical and organizational aspects of network security
  • Compare and master today's most useful tools for network security visualization

Contains the powerful Data Analysis and Visualization UNIX (DAVIX) toolset for visualizing networks and assessing their security. DAVIX runs directly from the CD-ROM, without installation......'

Read the complete article.

VizSec 2008 update

The full and short paper deadline for VizSec has been extended. The new deadlines are:
April 21, 2008 : Deadline for full paper submission
May 19, 2008 : Deadline for short paper submissions
July 18, 2008 : Deadline for poster and demo abstracts

The Keynote speaker at VizSec will be Ben Shneiderman, speaking on the topic Information Forensics: Harnessing visualization to support discovery. Ben Shneiderman is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, and Member of the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park. He was made a Fellow of the ACM in 1997, elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001, and received the ACM CHI (Computer Human Interaction) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

Full and short papers will be published by Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) in the VizSec 2008 Proceedings.
Formatting and submission instructions are on the web site: http://vizsec.org/workshop2008

Google Visualization API - A new Approach to Visualization?

Google has been working heavily on the visualization front. After acquiring GapMinder, they released various visualization related tools, such as Google Charts. The latest release has been the Google Visualization API (another announcement of the Google Visualization API).

The amount of charts available is fairly impressive. What I really like is the gapminder-like chart. It supports full interaction and is an amazing tool to see how data evolved over time. To see some more of the chart types, have a look at the visualization gallery.

Why is it important to Security Visualization?
I think what is going to happen is that more and more people will get exposed to the capabilities of interactive visualization. This will definitely drive a demand and hopefully trickle down into the world of security visualization. I am definitely looking forward to some interactive tools that assist me in analyzing my log files. Interaction won't be the be all end all solution. I still think security visualization is missing a significant piece. It's the piece where knowledge is translated. People need help visualizing their data. They need help in choosing the right charts, the right colors, etc. It's not easy, but hopefully my upcoming book on "Applied Security Visualization" is going to somewhat help. What is missing is just a translation of the book into a visualization application!

The announcement of the new Google visualization API went out earlier this week and has generated quite a bit of interested in the general community:

Google is also updating Google Docs to support the new visualization API. Along with the introduction of pivot tables, is this the end of Excel charting? For a walk-through of Google docs and the visualization feature, have a look at Juan Pablo's blog.


RELEASED October 2014!

DAVIX, a live CD for data analysis and visualization, brings the most important free tools for data processing and visualization to your desk. Avoid the hassle of installing an operating system or struggling to build and compile the necessary tools to get started with visualization. You can completely dedicate your time to data analysis.

DAVIX 2014 is based on an Ubuntu Server Version 14.04 base image. It is currently only distributed as a VMWare Image. You will therefore need a player to run a Version 9 Virtual Image (either VMPlayer newer than version 5.0 or VMWare Workstation newer than 9.0).

You can also find all the installation scripts on github. These scripts allow you to install DAVIX on a fresh Ubuntu 14.04 Server machine. Or if you wish, you can run the scripts on your existing Ubuntu installation. Be careful though, script number four will harden your machine and remove certain packages, etc. Don't run that on your Desktop.

Documentation and Wiki

The documentation is part of our Wiki.

Reporting Bugs

Please use the github issue tracker to report bugs. This is also where you can see what is still being worked on.

Tools on DAVIX 2014

New Tools in DAVIX 2014

  • flowtag
  • Gephi
  • Google Earth
  • ELK Stack
  • PicViz
  • Update to AfterGlow (1.6.5)

  • dns-browse
  • iPython
  • netsed
  • nsm-console
  • R Studio
  • rsyslog
  • tcpstat
  • TeleTrafficTapper

Old Tools from original DAVIX

  • AfterGlow
  • TreeMap
  • Mondrian
  • Parvis
  • LGL
  • R Project
  • InteVis
  • EtherApe
  • GGobi
  • Tulip
  • Cytoscape
  • RT3DG
  • Walrus
  • Dottty and lneato
  • GraphViz
  • glTail
  • Shoki
  • TimeSearcher
  • TNV
  • NVisionIP
  • Rumint
  • GnuPlot
  • Ploticus

Visualizations of malware code

An article that passed by me recently that I haven't seen any posts about:

Brian Krebs wrote it about an artist named Alex Dragulescu, who's doing really interesting visualizations of malware:

VizSEC 2008 Call For Participation

VizSEC 2008 Workshop on Visualization for Cyber Security
September 15, 2008 / Cambridge, MA USA
In conjunction with RAID 2008

The 5th International Workshop on Visualization for Cyber Security will provide a forum for new research in visualization for computer security. We are pleased to be holding this year's meeting in conjunction with the 11th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection. The VizSEC Workshop will be held at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts USA on Monday, September 15, 2008.

As a result of previous VizSEC workshops, we have seen both the application of existing visualization techniques to security problems and the development of novel security visualization approaches. However, VizSEC research has focused on helping human analysts to detect anomalies and patterns, particularly in computer network defense. Other communities, led by researchers from the RAID Symposia, have researched automated methods for detecting anomalies and malicious activity.

The theme for this year's workshop, which will be held in conjunction with RAID 2008, will be on bridging the gap between visualization and automation, such as leveraging the power of visualization to create rules for intrusion detection and defense systems. We hope that VizSEC participants will stay for the RAID Symposium and RAID participants will consider coming a day early to participate in VizSEC.

We also solicit papers that report results on visualization techniques and systems in solving all aspects of cyber security problems, including:

* Visualization of Internet routing
* Visualization of packet traces and network flows
* Visualization of intrusion detection alerts
* Visualization of attack tracks
* Visualization of security vulnerabilities
* Visualization of attack paths
* Visualization of application processes
* Visualization for forensic analysis
* Visualization for correlating events
* Visualization for computer network defense training
* Visualization for offensive information operations
* Visualization for building rules
* Visualization for feature selection
* Visualization for cryptology
* Visualization for detecting anomalous activity
* Deployment and field testing of VizSEC systems
* Evaluation and user testing of VizSEC systems
* User and design requirements for VizSEC systems
* Lessons learned from development and deployment of VizSEC systems

All submitted papers will be peer-reviewed. Full and short papers from the workshop will be published in an edited book (details to follow).

Full Papers
Full papers should present mature research results. (We will release page count and formatting instructions when we confirm the details of publishing the proceedings.)

Short Papers
Short papers can be used to present less mature research results than full papers, or late-breaking results. (We will release page count and formatting instructions when we confirm the details of publishing the proceedings.)

Demonstrations can be used to show new or updated development efforts. Demo submissions should consist of a 2 page abstract.

Posters can be used to describe work in progress or updates to previously published VizSEC research or R&D. Poster submissions should consist of a 2 page abstract.

April 11, 2008 : Deadline for full paper submission
May 9, 2008 : Deadline for short paper submissions
July 11, 2008 : Deadline for poster and demo abstracts


Very Complex firewall rules?

Hi there,

currently I am searching for a nice tool (OSS/commercial) to do some jobs on my checkpoint firewall rules (cpdb2html generated a 348 page file):

1. Aggregation of rules - Let's say every server in a subnet has ssh enabled then I would like to create ONE rule for the whole environment and remove the dupes.
2. Visualization - I'd like to have a nice graph of my subnets where I can see the hosts and the ports which are openend.

I am no firewall administrator and I only saw the checkpoint GUI once - so maybe I am missing something obvious here.


Thanks and Kind Regards,
Ruediger G. Biernat

Interesting Visualization Research

I came across this presentation from Tamara Munzner. A great read about some of her latest research in visualization. Here are the tools the presentation references. They are really interesting and if you look around on Tamara's Web page, you will find some videos and the tools themselves.

  • Accordion Drawing: Tree Juxtaposer and Sequence Juxtaposer (olduvai.sourceforge.net)

  • LiveRAC to monitor time-series data (alarms and metrics)

  • SessionViewer for log analysis (well, really Web session analysis)

  • Glimer, something about multidimensional reductions. Don't ask me how this exactly works

  • Grouse, interactive hierarchy exploration

  • TopoLayout, Multi-Level Graph Layout by Topological Features

  • and some more specialized tools

glTail for realtime logfile visualization

Recently I've stumbled upon this interesting little app called glTail , it's pretty bare at the moment but there's potential.


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.