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19th Large Installation System Administration Conference—Abstract

Pp. 185–196 of the Proceedings

NetViewer: A Network Traffic Visualization and Analysis Tool

Seong Soo Kim and A. L. Narasimha Reddy, Texas A&M University


The frequent and large-scale network attacks have led to an increased need for developing techniques for analyzing network traffic. If efficient analysis tools were available, it could become possible to detect the attacks, anomalies and to appropriately take action to contain the attacks before they have had time to propagate across the network. This paper describes NetViewer, a network monitoring tool that can simultaneously detect, identify and visualize attacks and anomalous traffic in real-time by passively monitoring packet headers. NetViewer represents the traffic data as images, enabling the application of image/video processing techniques for the analysis of network traffic.

NetViewer is released free to the general public. By employing a freely available visualization tool, the users of NetViewer can comprehend the characteristics of the network traffic observed in the aggregate. NetViewer can be employed to detect and identify network anomalies such as DoS/DDoS attacks, worms and flash crowds. NetViewer can also provide information on traffic distributions over IP address/port number domains, utilization of link capacity and effectiveness of Quality of Service policies.

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