Investigate: Examine Events in the Event Analysis View

Document created by RSA Information Design and Development on Mar 27, 2018Last modified by RSA Information Design and Development on Apr 3, 2018
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When examining raw events and meta data in the Event Analysis view, you can make simple adjustments in the visibility and size of the panels. Within the Packet Analysis panel and the Text Analysis panel, you use additional features to adjust the way the reconstruction is displayed and bring interesting data into focus.

Select the Event Analysis Type

To select the event analysis type for an event, do one of the following:

  1. In the Event Analysis view toolbar, click the analysis type in the toolbar.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select the analysis type: File Analysis, Text Analysis, Packet Analysis, Email (Version 11.1 and later), or Web (Version 11.1 and later).
    If you chose File Analysis, Text Analysis, or Packet Analysis, the view is refreshed with the Packet Analysis panel, File Analysis panel, or Text Analysis panel open.
    If you chose Email or Web, the Events view email or web recontruction of the single event opens in a new tab. This is the same reconstruction of an email or web session used in the Events view. The Events view provides more functionality when viewing an email or web reconstruction, allowing you to page through events in that view instead of viewing only one event (see Reconstruct an Event).

Note: The Packet Analysis panel is only available for network events.

Open, Close, and Adjust the Size of the Panels in the Event Analysis View

The Event Analysis view opens with the Event list and no event selected or reconstructed. When you select an event, the Network Event Details, Log Event Details, or Endpoint Event Details panel opens on the right. Initially, the Network Event Details, Log Event Details, or Endpoint Event Details panel occupies 75% of the window width by default.

Initial view showing wide reconstruction panel

You can adjust the size ratio of the two panels to improve readability by expanding one of the panels, contracting one of the panels, and closing one of the panels. After closing either panel you can reopen it. The ratio you select persists until you change it or refresh the browser.

  • To reopen the Events panel, click the open events panel icon in the upper right corner.

To optimize your view:

  1. To adjust the size ratio of the two panels, do any of the following:
    1. Click expand panel icon in the tool bar of the panel that you want to expand.
    2. Click the reduce panel icon in the tool bar of the panel that you want to contract.
  2. To close either panel, restoring the open panel to its full width, click the close icon.
    This is an example of the reconstruction displayed using the full width of the browser window.
    Packet Analysis displayed in the full width of the browser window
  3. To reopen the Events panel after closing, click the open events panel icon in the top right corner of the Navigate view.
    The Events panel opens to the last state (25%:75% or 50%:50%).
  4. To reopen the Event Details panel, click an event in the Events panel.

 

Select a Column Group and Columns in Event Analysis

 

In Version 11.1 and later, you can use built-in or custom column groups in the Events panel. The column groups are created and managed in the Events view (see Manage Column Groups in the Events View); these groups are reflected in the Event Analysis view. When you change the column group, the changes you make to a column group are for the current view only. When you navigate away and come back to the Event Analysis view, the column changes do not persist in the Events panel.

These are the built-in column groups.

  • Email Analysis: Includes meta keys that are useful when investigating email-related metadata.
  • Endpoint Analysis: Includes meta keys that are useful when investigating endpoint-related metadata.
  • Malware Analysis: Includes meta keys that are useful when investigating malware-related metadata.
  • Outbound HTTP: Includes meta keys that are useful when investigating Outbound HTTP- related metadata.
  • Outbound SSL/TLS: Includes meta keys that are useful when investigating Outbound SSL/TTS analysis-related metadata.
  • Summary List: Includes meta keys that are useful in a general investigation. This is the default column group.
  • Threat Analysis: Includes meta keys that mark potential threats in the data set.
  • Web Analysis: Includes meta keys that mark anomalies in web traffic.

A column group may contain more columns than are visible without scrolling to the right. In Version 11.1, you can select the columns that appear in Event Analysis view. The order of the columns reflects the order in the Events view of the default column group. By default, the first 15 columns are displayed when you select a column group. For optimized viewing, it is advised to view only 15 columns at a time; however, you can select additional columns to display and remove columns displayed.

To select a column group:

  1. From the drop-down menu next to Events, select a column group (for example, Summary List). You can also start typing the name of the column group and select a group as the groups appear in the drop-down menu.
    Default Column Groups drop-down menu
    The Events panel displays data in the columns that belong to the selected column group.

To select columns to display:

  1. While working in the Event Analysis view, with a column group selected, click the settings icon to display the column selector.
    Column selector filtering list
  2. Select the meta keys or enter the name of a meta key that you want to display in additional columns. 
  3. If you do not want to see a meta key displayed in a column, de-select the meta key.
    The data is re-displayed using the selected columns.

Adjust the Display of Requests and Responses

For Event types that have requests and responses in them, you can make several adjustments.

Note: If the analysis type does not have requests and responses, the option is not selectable. The File Analysis panel is an example of a reconstruction type without requests and responses. A reconstructed log event in the Text View is another example.

To select which side of the conversation to show--Request, Response, or both--click one or both of the direction icons.Request and Response icons. The reconstruction is refreshed with the selected information.

Note: If you do not see any data, you may have deselected both Request and Response. You must select one of the two to see data displayed.

View Event Metadata for an Event

When examining events in the Text Analysis panel, Packet Analysis panel, or File Analysis panel, you can click the show Event Meta panel icon to show the associated metadata in an adjacent panel, the Event Meta panel.

When viewing Text Analysis and the Event Meta panel, hovering over the meta key/meta value pairs reveals a pair of binoculars if the meta value is searchable in the raw text. This is an example of the binoculars icon when hovering over the Directory and / meta key/meta value pair.

binoculars icon in the Event Meta panel

Clicking on the icon triggers a search for the meta key/meta value pair (case-insensitive) in the Text Analysis panel and each instance is highlighted. In the Event Meta panel, the highlighted row has a count of the results and a scroller that you can use to quickly find each result in the Text Analysis panel. You can view each highlighted location of the data that triggered generation of the meta key, going forward to view the next, and back to view the previous.

Only meta keys that have relevant values inside the RAW text are searchable. You can search only one meta key at a time. If the value is currently hidden due to truncation of a text entry with more than 3000 characters, the text entry is expanded to reveal the found meta value.

Clicking on the same meta key/meta value pair or a different meta key:value pair in the Event Meta panel removes the highlighting from the raw text. The highlighting is also removed if you close the Event Meta panel.

To search the raw text for meta values that triggered a meta key:

  1. Open a network event in the Text Analysis panel.
    a network event open in the Text Analysis panel
  2. In the toolbar, click the Open Meta Panel icon to open the Event Meta panel. As you hover over the meta key:value pairs in the list, a binoculars icon identifies values that are searchable in the Text Analysis panel.
  3. To search for the value in the raw text, click a row that has the binoculars icon, indicating it is searchable.
    If no relevant occurrence of the value is in the text, the value that you are searching for is highlighted in the Event Meta panel and nothing is highlighted in the Text Analysis panel.
    If one or more relevant instances of the value is found in the Text Analysis panel, each occurrence is highlighted. The value that you are searching for is highlighted in the Event Meta panel and the scroller is visible.

  4. To remove the highlighting, close the Event Meta panel, click the same meta key/meta value pair in the Event Meta panel, or click a different meta key/meta value pair in the Event Meta panel.
    The highlighting is removed from the raw text.

Show or Hide the Event Header

To hide the Event Header in the Packet Analysis panel, Text Analysis panel, or File Analysis panel, providing more vertical space for the data, click the Display Header icon.

Page Through Events in the Packet Analysis Panel

In Version 11.1 and later, packet pagination controls allow more flexibility in paging through a list of packets. You can select the number of packets to display per page, and your selection is saved across logins to the NetWitness application. When a control is unavailable, the control is dimmed; for example, when you are viewing page 1, the previous page icon and first page icon controls are dimmed.

To use pagination controls:

  1. With an event open in the Event Analysis view, click the current number of packets per page (100, 300, or 500), and select the new number of packets per page from the drop-down menu.
    packets per page selector
  2. To page forward or back, use the page control icons:
    Click go to the next page icon to go to the next page.
    Click last page icon to go to the last page.
    Click previous page icon to go the previous page.
    Click first page icon to go to the first page.
  3. To go to a specific page, type a page number in the page number field page number field.

Expand Truncated Text Entries in the Text Analysis Panel

A reconstruction of a network event in the Text Analysis panel may include requests and responses of many hundred thousands of characters and scrolling through a long entry of more than 6000 characters that is not of interest can waste time. To improve the experience for analysts, all text entries that have more than 6000 characters are truncated to show only the first 2000 characters. This example shows an entry that has more than 2000 characters and a message in the header indicates the percentage of total characters that is being displayed.

example of a packet with a percentage of the data displayed

You can see that 60% of the characters (the first 2000) are displayed, and click Show Remaining 40% to reveal the rest of the entry.

Text Analysis with truncate entries expanded

If you search for metadata seen in the Event Meta panel while text is truncated in the Text Analysis panel, the truncated text is searched. If the metadata exists inside hidden text, the text entry expands to reveal the text with the found metadata.

Perform URL and Base64 Encoding and Decoding in the Text Analysis Panel

If a network session being reconstructed in the Text Analysis panel contains Base64 or URL encoded strings, you can decode a string to better understand the session. If the session contains decoded strings for Base64 or URL, you can view a string in its encoded form in order to search for additional instances of the encoded text in other sessions.

When viewing any network session that contains encoded text in the Text Analysis panel, you can select a subset of the text within a single Request or Response to view in either encoded or decoded form. Depending on the content loaded on the Decoder, there may be additional metadata outlining that Base64 or URL encoded data is contained within the session.

Below are examples of a hover box that is displaying URL encoding and Base 64 encoded text.

Text Analysis displaying encoded text

Text Analysis displaying decoded text

To perform encoding and decoding in the Text Analysis panel:

  1. In the Event Analysis view, go to the Text Analysis panel of a session that contains encoded or decoded content.
  2. To view some decoded text in encoded form, drag to select the text within a single Request or Response.
    A menu offers options to encode and decode.
    the popup menu for decoding and encoding text
  3. Click Encode Selected Text.
    The encoded text is displayed in a hover box, which remains in place until you click the the close icon, select different text in the Text Analysis panel, close the Events panel, select another event for reconstruction, or switch to a different reconstruction view.
    an encoded URL
    When a longer text is selected, the hover box is scrollable and large enough to fit the entire selected text as well as the decoded text.
  4. If the session contains encoded text that you want to see in decoded form, drag to select the text within a single Request or Response.
    A menu offers options to encode and decode.
  5. Click Decode Selected Text.
    The decoded text is displayed in a hover box, which remains in place until you click the close icon, select different text in the Text Analysis panel, close the Events panel, select another event for reconstruction, or switch to a different reconstruction view.
  6. If you want to copy some text from the text reconstruction do one of the following:
    1. Drag to select some text, right-click, and select Copy Selected Text from the popup menu.
      selected data with the copy, decode, and encode menus
    2. Drag to select some text, then select either Decode Selected Text or Encode Selected Text. Within the popup, select the desired text and type Control-C.
      The selected text is copied to the clipboard and available to paste in a query.
  7. When finished, click the Close icon to close the hover box.

View Decompressed Text in an HTTP Network Session in the Text Analysis Panel

When the content of an HTTP network session is compressed and you are viewing the Text Analysis panel, NetWitness Suite displays decompressed content by default. This helps you to determine if there are any patterns and view the readable characters. You can switch between a compressed and decompressed view of compressed text.

Note: Decompressed text is not available for the Packet Analysis panel, the File Analysis panel, non-HTTP network sessions, and log data.

The toggle for changing between compressed and decompressed text is only displayed in the Text Analysis panel, and is enabled only if there is compressed text content.

  1. Open the Text Analysis panel of an HTTP session that contains compressed content.
    By default the session is reconstructed with the text decompressed, and above the reconstruction, is the Display Compressed Payloads toggle switch.
    a decompressed payload
  2. To view the same text in its compressed form, click the toggle switch.
    The view changes so that the compressed text is no longer readable, and the switch indicates the Display Compressed Packets is on.
    a compressed payload
  3. To return to the view of decompressed text, click the switch again.

Use the Payload Only Option in the Packet Analysis Panel of a Network Session

When viewing a reconstruction of a network session in the Packet Analysis panel, you can choose to view only the main payload for each packet. By default, packet header and footer bytes are displayed for each packet. You can hide these by clicking the Display Payloads Only toggle switch. If you are viewing only the payload bytes, you can revert to the default setting by setting the Display Payloads Only toggle switch to on. This setting persists until you change it or refresh the browser.

  • With the Display Payloads Only option off, the number of packets, packet header, packet footer, and payload are displayed.
  • With the Display Payloads Only option on, no packet header and footer bytes are displayed. Only the packet content of 16 hexadecimal bytes per line and the corresponding ASCII per line is displayed.
  1. In the Event Analysis view, go to the Packet Analysis panel of a network session.
    By default the session is reconstructed with the packet header, footer, and payload displayed.
    Packet headers hightlighted in blued
  2. To change the view to show only the payload for each packet, click the Display Payloads Only toggle switch.
    The view changes to that only the payload is visible and contiguous same-side packets are concatenated together to make the payload more readable and understandable.
    Display Payloads Only in effect

View Highlighted Bytes in the Packet Analysis Panel

When you first open a reconstruction in the Packet Analysis panel, the significant header bytes in each packet are highlighted in blue, and the payload bytes are distinguished using shading to help you understand the contents of the packet. This figure shows the default Packet Analysis with highlighting and byte shading.

Packet Analysis with highlighting and byte shading

The Shade Bytes option adds shading to identify the different hexadecimal bytes (00 to FF) using degrees of highlighting. Bytes near the lower range are more transparent, and bytes near 255 are more opaque. Both hexadecimal and ASCII bytes are shaded. This is an example of the shading applied to each hexadecimal byte.

example of shading applied to hexadecimal bytes

The Shade Bytes switch controls the shading of bytes. When you set Shade Bytes on or off, your setting persists until you change it or refresh the browser.

Highlight Common File Types in the Packet Analysis Panel

In the Packet Analysis panel, analysts can show or hide highlighting of certain common file types based on the file signature. When the Common File Patterns feature is turned on, the magic number bytes in the file signature are highlighted in the payload and you can hover over the highlighting to see the potential type of file. In this example, 89 50 4e 47 is highlighted in the hexadecimal payload and PNG is highlighted in the ASCII payload. When you hover over the highlighted bytes, the potential file type associated with the magic number is provided in a hover box.

Possible file type highlighted

These are the files types and corresponding magic numbers that are highlighted if present in the payload:

                                                                                                  
File TypeHexadecimal SignatureASCII Encoding
DOS Executable / Windows PE4D 5AMZ
Portable Network Graphics (PNG) 89 50 4E 47 0D 0A 1A 0APNG
JPEG FF D8 FFJPEG
JPEG/JFIF4A 46 49 46JFIF
JPEG/Exif45 78 69 66Exif
GIF47 49 46 38 37 61GIF87a
GIF47 49 46 38 39 61GIF89a

Non-portable Executable

5A 4D

ZM

BMP42 4DBM
PDF25 50 44 46%PDF
Old Office Document (doc, xls, ppt, msg, and other)D0 CF 11 E0 A1 B1 1A E1ÐÏ.ࡱ.á
ZIP file formats and formats based on it, such as JAR, ODF, OOXML50 4BPK..
7-Zip File Format (7z)37 7A BC AF 27 1C7z¼¯'
Java Class File, Mach-O Fat BinaryCA FE BA BEÊþº¾
Postscript 25 21 50 53%!PS
Unix/Linux Shell script23 21#!
Executable and Linkable Format (ELF) executables7F 45 4C 46 .ELF

To view common file signatures in the Packet Analysis panel:

  1. Go to the Packet Analysis panel, and turn on the Common File Patterns option.
    If there is more then one highlight in view, all are shown.
  2. To view the hover box, place the cursor over the highlighting.
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