NSM-Console version 0.6 release

March 14, 2008

nsmmonkeyI’m happy to announce the release of the next version of NSM-Console. Version 0.6. If you are unfamiliar with NSM-Console, here’s the synopsis from the project page:

NSM-Console (Network Security Monitoring Console) is a framework for performing analysis on packet capture files. It implements a modular structure to allow for an analyst to quickly write modules of their own without any programming language experience. Using these modules a large amount of pcap analysis can be performed quickly using a set of global (as well as per-module) options. It aims to be simple to run and easy to understand without a lot of learning time.

The recently posted NSM-Console whitepaper is a good place to start if you want an introduction to NSM-Console.

You can download NSM-Console 0.6 from the project page.

Here are the highlights for the changes in this version, check the TODO and CHANGELOG for a full list of changes.

The dump command
The dump command lets you dump either the payload (in ascii format), or the full packet (with the -f flag) to a file, you can specify ranges like 1-20, 5,7,9-* and 1-* just like you can with the print command, extremely useful for picking and choosing packets to dump to a file. Here’s an example:

nsm> dump 1-5,10-* file.txt
Writing (append) packet(s) 1 through 5 from /Users/hinmanm/data.pcap to file.txt...
Writing (append) packet(s) 10 through * from /Users/hinmanm/data.pcap to file.txt...

And another of the full dump

nsm> dump -f 20,56-59 full.out
New args: 20,56-59 full.out
Dumping full packet, not just payload...
Writing (append) packet(s) 20 through 20 from /Users/hinmanm/data.pcap to full.out...
Writing (append) packet(s) 56 through 59 from /Users/hinmanm/data.pcap to full.out...

Performance improvements for harimau and checkip
The Harimau module, as well as the checkip command, now use wget (if it’s installed) instead of Ruby’s HTTP request library, this results is a much much faster query time. Another performance tweak was that reverse dns lookups for most modules is now turned off by default because it was taking extremely long for large pcaps

New modules: clamscan, foremost, trace-summary
New modules have been included in this release, clamscan, which scans extracted files (from either the tcpxtract or foremost modules) for viruses, foremost, which is another file extractor and trace-summary, which provides an extremely nice summary of traffic in the pcap

NSM-Console handle’s gzip’d files
You can now specify a gzip’d file directly to NSM-Console, it will attempt to decompress the file into a temporary file when it is loaded. Note that directories of gzip’d files is still not supported entirely.

Bro-ids and Snort changes
Bro-IDS has been split into 2 modules, one for protocol analysis and the other for generating content streams.
Snort has had its community and emerging rules updated to the latest revisions.

As always, bugfixes and minor enhancements, check out the full changelog for a list of what’s changed. If you have any requests for additional features or modules, be sure to leave a command and let me know :)

Also, if anyone out there wants to see what my ~/.nsmcrc looks like, you can find it here.

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