Marx Video: TCP/UDP Ports

By Jay Jacobs (@jayjacobs)
Sun 15 June 2014 | tags: R, Video, Marx, -- (permalink)

Bob and I presented at Secure360 together back in May (the slides are available on our site). But during that presentation we played the last Marx video I built in the post titled, “Visualizing countries from the Marx data“. The reaction we got was completely unexpected and many people commented on how much they enjoyed that video afterwards. Combine that with the fact that I already enjoy making R-based videos, and the conditions were favorable for a follow up video.

Last time I just captured the source country and destination host. This time I wanted to capture the ports being scanned, but struggled to also include the host being scanned. I ended up shifting the source countries into the center and sent UDP traffic to the left and TCP traffic to the right. I also wanted to fit it a LOT of ports, so I had to reduce the font down to the point of being unreadable. I compensated for that by having the font increase in size when the port received packets. Take a look, but remember, this data is from nine separate hosts from the eight Amazon (AWS) data centers and this isn’t just one hosts worth of data.

Couple of things to note about the content of the video:

  • I slowed down the time it takes a bubble to travel so the times don’t line up with the previous video. In hindsight, I should have tried to keep these in sync.
  • Bursty port scans are fairly obvious they show up as a line of balls with different destintation ports. Those are interesting to try and pick out throughout the video, but probably what’s more interesting is that they are relatively rare. Meaning attackers aren’t exhaustively scanning hosts, they are simply looking for one port across all hosts.
  • The massive port scan from Vietnam (starting at 1:12) is really interesting, and since one frame is 5 minutes, this is a really slow port scan. Best guess is, they are scanning way more than just these 9 hosts.
  • The huge packet flood from Iran to Tokyo is also interesting in this one. Looking at 4:27, we see a huge ball from Iran to UDP port 2193. A liberal dose of searching turns up it is probably ”Dr.Web Enterprise Management”. But who really know what’s going on. Maybe just a configuration error.

And finally the code to create this is in this gist.

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