Apr 7 2009

Google Earth Forensics

[ Update 04/16/2009: The code for the tool is now available for download. Look at the end of this post … ]
A lot of log files on my system contain ip-addresses: sshd logs attack attempts (and successful logins), snort logs common intrusion tactics, apache logs errors and accesses, etc.

Using my new found love for Google Earth and some perl hacking, I created a little tool that allows me to monitor the log information above and put threats, errors and accesses on the map (literally!).

Here’s how it works: a perl script runs on a regular basis and scans a number of log files on my system for new information. If new information is found, it generates a KML file with placemarks that point to the location that is responsible for the log information. Say snort complains about a potential SQL injection attempt from address a.b.c.d, then the script will look up the location of a.b.c.d (again using Marc’s free ip2location database), add a placemark for it (with some details from the log files) and repeats the same sequence for other new log information. Everything is bundled up in a KML file, a tour is added and the stuff is shipped to Google Earth.

Inside Google Earth, I see the following under “Places”:


There are 6 entries that sshd generated, one from snort and one from fail2ban. Here’s one example:


And here’s another one from the US:


For each entry one can also get a traceroute, whois and black-list information. And to top it all off, there’s an animated tour feature that visits all the threats automatically (wish that KML would support auto-play and auto-repeat features).

The script can run from the command line and it’s output can be piped into a new kml-file like this:

$ perl geforensics.pl > foo.kml

Then take foo.kml and place it somewhere on a server or load it up directly in Google Earth.

The script also detects if it is running as a CGI. In that case it will use KML’s NetworkLink feature with refreshMode set to “onInterval” to refresh the placemarks automatically after a given period (I use 5 mins here). Pretty cool to see GE refresh the map automatically 😉

And here’s a screencast that puts it all together (watch it in full-screen): I start the tour of incidents, then select a specific host in China, initiate a traceroute and while the traceroute is running I check if the guy is listed in some black-lists (he is), once the traceroute comes back I go to the first hop (my ISP), then over to the destination and check the WHOIS information for the ip-address.

And here’s a sample KML file if you want to see it for yourself (in Google Earth):

The perl code for the little tool is now available at: 2009-04-16-gforensics.pl.gz (gzip compressed perl file – 4KB).

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