O'Reilly logo

Network Security Through Data Analysis, 2nd Edition by Michael Collins

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 9. The SiLK Suite

SiLK, the System for Internet-Level Knowledge, is a toolkit originally developed by Carnegie Mellon’s CERT to conduct large-scale NetFlow analysis. SiLK is now used extensively by the US Department of Defense, academic institutions, and technical companies as a basic analytical toolkit.

This chapter focuses primarily on using SiLK as an analytical tool. The CERT Network Situational Awareness (NetSA) Group has published extensive references on using SiLK, installing collectors, and setting up the suite.

What Is SiLK and How Does It Work?

SiLK is a suite of tools for querying and analyzing NetFlow data. The SiLK suite enables an analyst to rapidly and efficiently query very large volumes of network traffic in order to identify complex aggregate phenomena or extract individual events.

SiLK is effectively a database at the command line. Each tool performs a specific query, manipulation, or aggregation of data, and commands are chained together to produce results. By chaining together multiple records along pipes, SiLK enables the analyst to create complex commands that field data along multiple channels simultaneously. For example, the sequence of SiLK queries in Example 9-1 pulls HTTP (port 80) traffic from flow data, producing a time series and a list of activity by busiest address. This example illustrates the basics of SiLK operation: commands are passed through a series of pipes, which can be stdin, stdout, or FIFOs (named pipes).

Example 9-1. Some ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required