Archive for the ‘Network Trace Analysis’ Category

Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 181)

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Message Flow trace and log analysis pattern generalizes NetFlow to software narratives. We count messages based on the set of Adjoint Threads of Activity, for example PID.TID. This also subsumes network traces aggregated by Src.Dst. Individual single attributes can also be used, for example, aggregation by Thread of Activity, and also by Message Sets.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 75)

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

When analysing Inter-Correlation or Intra-Correlation and finding Discontinuities in one part or in a different trace (for example, in client-server environments) it is useful to see if there are corresponding Correlated Discontinuities in another part of the same trace (for example, a different Thread of Activity) or in a different trace. Such pattern may point to the underlying communication problem and may suggest to gather a different trace (for example, a network trace) for further analysis.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 73)

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Dialogue is an important pattern especially in network trace analysis. It usually involves a message source, a different message target (although both can be the same) and some alternation between them as shown on this abstract trace diagram:

Message and source are not only IP addresses or port numbers. They can be window handles, for example. Sometimes, the roles of source and target play different Process ID and Thread ID combinations (Client ID, CID). In such cases some parts of a message text may signify reply and response as shown graphically:

The similar illustration can be done for multi-computer trace, for example, when several traces from different servers are combined into one, where a combination of CID and a computer ID (Co) or just Co can play the roles of source and target.

Note that on all illustrations above the 3rd request doesn’t have a reply message: a possible Incomplete History pattern.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 68)

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

While preparing a presentation on malware narratives we found that one essential pattern is missing from the current log analysis pattern catalog. Most of the time we see some abnormal or unexpected value in a software trace or log such as a network address outside expected range and this triggers further investigation. The message structure may be the same having the same Message Invariant but variable part may contain such values as depicted graphically:

We call this pattern Abnormal Value and plan to add the similar one to memory dump analysis pattern catalog. Please not that we also have Significant Event pattern that is more general and also covers messages without variable part or just suspicious log entries.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -