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In @jayjacobs’ latest post on SSH honeypot passsword analysis he shows some spiffy visualizations from crunching the data with Tableau. While I’ve joked with him and called them “robocharts”, the reality is that Tableau does let you work on visualizing the answers to questions quickly without having to go into “code mode” (and that doesn’t make it wrong).

I’ve been using Jay’s honeypot data for both attack analysis as well as an excuse to compare data crunching and visualization tools (so far I’ve poked at it with R and python) in an effort to see what tools are good for exploring various types of questions.

A question that came to mind recently was “Hmmm…I wonder if there is a patten to the timings of probes/attacks?” and I posited that a time-series view across the days would help illustrate that. To that end, I came up with the idea of breaking the attacks into one hour chuncks and build a day-stacked heatmap which could be filtered by country. Something like this:

I’ve been wanting to play with D3 and exploring this concept with it seemed to be a good fit.

Given that working with the real data would entail loading a ~4MB file every time someone viewed this blog post, I put the working example in a separate page where you can do a “view source” to see the code. Without the added complexity of a popup selector and loading spinner, the core code is about 50 lines, much of which could be condensed even further since it’s just chaining calls in javascript. I cheated a bit and used jQuery, too, plus made some of it dependent on WebKit (the legend may look weird in Firefox) due to time constraints.

The library is wicked simple to grok and makes it easy to come up with new ways to look at data (as you can see from the examples gallery on the D3 site).

Unfortunately, no real patterns emerged, but I’m going to take a stab at taking the timestamps (which is the timestamp at the destination of the attack) and align it to the origin to see if that makes a difference in the view. If that turns up anything interesting, I’ll make another quick post on it.

Given that much of data (“big” or otherwise) analysis is domain knowledgable folk asking interesting questions, are there any folks out there who have questions that they’d like to see explored with this data set?

One Comment

  1. You sunk my battleship!

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