Monthly Archives: October 2018

Splunk Discovery Day Moscow 2018

Today I attended the Splunk Discovery Day 2018 conference. It is something like a local equivalent of the famous Splunk .conf. More than 200 people have registered. The event was held in the luxury Baltschug Kempinski hotel in the very center of Moscow with a beautiful view of the Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Recently, I have been working more and more with Splunk: I develop connectors, write searches and dashboards, optimize them. Splunk has become the main data visualization tool for me.

Splunk Discovery Day Moscow 2018

Video from the event (27 minutes). This is NOT a complete recording of speeches, but rather some fragments and slides.

At the same time, I make most of data analysis with my own Python scripts. Currently this approach seems more effective. But as for providing final results in a beautiful way and making various notifications, in this sphere Splunk is really convenient and useful. Of course, I can make own a Web GUI application that will do something similar for my tasks, it doesn’t make sense if there is an Enterprise level tool that is very good for this.

My tasks are not quite typical for Splunk clients from Security Teams who look at it in the context of SIEM and SOC mainly. Asset Inventory is actually similar to Business Intelligence: almost all connectors are non-standard, and there are no strict requirements for real time (we operate with days and months, not seconds). We have same approach: “Bring some data to Splunk and get insights from it.” And in this sense, it is great that this event was NOT for the information security experts mainly.

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Deploying VirtualBox virtual machines with Vagrant

I often use virtual machines for various tasks: from building software packages to testing software products or PoCs for vulnerabilities. Creating a virtual machine in Oracle VirtualBox is a time-consuming and annoying process: set parameters of VM, attach iso, make dozens of clicks in OS installation GUI interface, wait until everything is installed, configure network and install guest additions.

Vagrant and Oracle VirtualBox

Of course you can create an image of the base machine once and clone it each time you need it. But from time to time you will still need to recreate this image, for example for a new Linux release. It would be much easier, if we could get a fresh and clean Virtual Machine that meets our requirements and with minimal effort. And this is what Vagrant by HashiCorp does.

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What’s new in Nessus 8

Today Tenable released a new version of their famous vulnerability scanner – Nessus 8. The existing scanner nodes don’t see the updates yet, but the installation binaries are already available. So you may try to install it.

What's new in Tenable Nessus 8

This major release will be way more positive than the previous one. Of course Tenable did NOT return the multi-user mode and API in Nessus Professional. But on the other hand, they did NOT cut the functionality even further. They even added new features in GUI. And, what is the most important, they did NOT switch to the assets-based licensing (at least yet). 🙂

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Accelerating Splunk Dashboards with Base Searches and Saved Searches

Let’s say we have a Splunk dashboard with multiple panels. Each panel has its own search request and all of these requests work independently and simultaneously. If they are complex enough, rendering the dashboard may take quite a long time and some panels may even fall by timeout.

Accelerating Splunk Dashboards

How to avoid this? The first step is to understand how the searches are related. May be it is possible to select some base searches, and reuse their results in other child-searches. It’s also possible to get cached results from the “Saved Searches” (another name of Reports in Splunk GUI).

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