June 13, 2019
This report describes the accelerated analytic solution provided by Reservoir Labs' ENSIGN software on HPE Superdome Flex. Specifically, it outlines the features and benefits of ENSIGN data analytic software package and HPE Superdome Flex server platform and how ENSIGN exploits the scaled-up low-latency in-memory computing offered by Supedome Flex to provide a scalable accelerated analytic solution for cybersecurity. Further, the report shows how a joint "ENSIGN-Superdome Flex" solution significantly reduces the turnaround time of advanced cyber analysis on large workloads, for example, bringing down analysis that was taking 5 hours to 5 minutes.
May 23, 2019
Positive linear programming (PLP), also known as packing and covering linear programs, is an important class of problems frequently found in fields such as network science, operations research, or economics. In this work we demonstrate that all PLP problems can be represented using a network structure, revealing new key insights that lead to new polynomial-time algorithms.
Google Scholar • Article
April 8, 2019
Full packet capture (FPC) consists in capturing all packets and storing them into permanent storage to enable offline forensic analysis. FPC however suffers from a scalability issue: at today's normal traffic speed rates of 10Gbps or above, it either becomes intractable or requires highly expensive hardware both in processing and storage, which rapidly decreases the economic viability of the technology.
The first good news is that for many practical cases, full packet capture is not necessary. This rationale stems from the well-known law of heavy tailed traffic: from an analysis standpoint, most of the interesting features found in network traffic—such as a network attack, although not limited to it—are found in a very small fraction of it. Further, in some cases full packet capture is not only unnecessary but could represent a liability as sensitive information is kept in non-ephemeral storage. The second good news is that all the heavy lifting done by Zeek in processing network traffic can be leveraged to overcome both the intractability and the liability problems. Indeed, Zeek can be brought into the loop to perform selective packet capture (SPC), a process by which the Zeek workers themselves decide which traffic must be stored into disk in a selective and fine granular manner.
In this talk Reservoir Labs will present a workflow to perform selective packet capture using the Zeek sensor at very high speed rates. The workflow allows Zeek scripts to directly trigger packet captures based on the real time analysis of the traffic itself. We will describe key data structures needed to efficiently perform this task and introduce several Zeek scripts and use cases illustrating how SPC can be used to capture just the necessary packets to enable meaningful forensic analysis while minimizing the exposure to the liability risk.
February 25, 2019
The increasing size, variety, rate of growth and change, and complexity of network data has warranted advanced network analysis and services. Tools that provide automated analysis through traditional or advanced signature-based systems or machine learning classifiers suffer from practical difficulties. These tools fail to provide comprehensive and contextual insights into the network when put to practical use in operational cyber security. In this paper, we present an effective tool for network security and traffic analysis that uses high-performance data analytics based on a class of unsupervised learning algorithms called tensor decompositions. The tool aims to provide a scalable analysis of the network traffic data and also reduce the cognitive load of network analysts and be network-expert-friendly by presenting clear and actionable insights into the network.
In this paper, we demonstrate the successful use of the tool in two completely diverse operational cyber security environments, namely, (1) security operations center (SOC) for the SCinet network at SC16 - The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis and (2) Reservoir Labs’ Local Area Network (LAN). In each of these environments, we produce actionable results for cyber security specialists including (but not limited to) (1) finding malicious network traffic involving internal and external attackers using port scans, SSH brute forcing, and NTP amplification attacks, (2) uncovering obfuscated network threats such as data exfiltration using DNS port and using ICMP traffic, and (3) finding network misconfiguration and performance degradation patterns.
Google Scholar • Article
Computationally Efficient CP Tensor Decomposition Update Framework for Emerging Component Discovery in Streaming Data
September 25, 2018
We present streaming CP update, an algorithmic framework for updating CP tensor decompositions that possesses the capability of identifying emerging components and can produce decompositions of large, sparse tensors streaming along multiple modes at a low computational cost. We discuss a large-scale implementation of the proposed scheme integrated within the ENSIGN tensor analysis package, and we evaluate and demonstrate the performance of the framework, in terms of computational efficiency and capability to discover emerging components, on a real cyber dataset.