OpenDNS has released OpenGraphiti, an interactive open source data visualization engine that enables security analysts, researchers and data scientists to pair visualization and Big Data to create 3D representations of threats.
Much like virologists use known patterns of diseases to recognize a particular virus, OpenGraphiti can uncover sophisticated behaviors and relationships associated with cyber-attacks.
Research has proven that many people process information more efficiently when it is presented in visual rather than text form. According to one study, the human retina can transmit data at roughly the rate of an Ethernet connection.
The OpenGraphiti engine enables 2D and 3D visualization of data by harnessing the computational power of both CPUs and GPUs, a technique most commonly seen in the video game industry. The engine allows for the visualization of any data, however loosely related, in a medium that is easy to generate, navigate and articulate.
The OpenGraphiti engine and methodologies have been used by OpenDNS to analyze many threats including Cryptolocker and CryptoDefense ransomware, Red October malware, and the Kelihos botnet. It has even provided visualization to trace specific Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) campaigns.
Last year, OpenDNS used OpenGraphiti to detect the Cryptolocker ransomware and block it before it could affect customers. Cryptolocker casts a vast, yet predictable, DGA “net” of domains which, when visualized, show an immediately identifiable interconnected pattern. Despite the fact the Cryptolocker DGAs changed and evolved, the visualization engine was able to visually trace their underlying replication scheme, identify future outbreaks and block them.
“We are open sourcing OpenGraphiti to lower the barrier to entry for those looking to visualize complex related data sets,” said Dan Hubbard, CTO of OpenDNS. “Combining intelligent data mining techniques with smart data visualization is the key to detecting and blocking complex attacks before they can cause damage.”