This section is about a number of tools for use in data analysis. The primary focus of this section is on two particular tools: SiLK and R. The System for Internet-Level Knowledge (SiLK) is a NetFlow analysis toolkit developed by the CERT Division at Carnegie Mellon University that enables analysts to develop sophisticated flow analysis systems quickly and efficiently. R, a statistical analysis package developed at the University of Auckland, enables exploratory data analysis and visualization.
At this time, there is no killer app for network analysis. Analysis requires using many tools, often in ways they weren’t really designed for. The tools covered in this section form what I believe to be a basic functional toolkit for an analyst. Combining them with a light scripting language such as Python empowers analysts to explore data and develop operationally useful products.
The remainder of this section is divided into three chapters. Chapter 8 discusses tools and techniques for analyzing the data. Chapter 9 describes the SiLK suite. Chapter 10 discusses tools to identify the ways in which hosts are connected to the internet, including reverse DNS lookups and looking glasses you collect.