Network monitoring is very important in todays world. The internet is a scary place. People have taken steps to raise their awareness by installing Intrusion Detection Systems(IDS) such as SNORT.
The problem with most of these systems is that upon first installing them they are vigilantly watched. After a week the allure wears off and they are no longer monitored, silently churning away in the depths of the network.
By moving the visualization outside of the computer we make it easier to notice, providing the information at a glance and to a larger audience.
The Visual Threat Level Indicator (VTLI) requires a network connection and power. It does not need to be directly attached to a computer, this way it can be placed anywhere there is network access.
A python script is run on the IDS which connects the the Arduino and updates the display.
Step 1: Parts
-WiFly RN-XV http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10822
-Sparkfun XBee Shield http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9976
-Sparkfun RGB Breakout Board http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10111
-Arduino Enclosure http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10088
-Wires, solder, other bits and bobs.
-An IDS system running snort. http://www.snort.org
-WiFlySerial libraries: http://sourceforge.net/projects/arduinowifly/
Step 2: Brief Overview
The Arduino listens for incoming connections to update the display.
The IDS machine has a python script running that will look at the last 24 hours of the snort log to generate the threat level. It connects over the network to the Arduino to update the display. This should run out of cron an interval appropriate to the environment, 5 minutes is a good guess.
Step 3: Arduino Program
Step 4: Edit Your WiFi Details
Step 5: Fix the XBee Shield
Step 6: Wire It Up.
You will need to provide power to VCC and GND on the RGB breakout board.
That's it really. The XBee Shield takes care of the wiring for the WiFly.
Step 7: Add to Enclosure
Step 8: Process on IDS
The code is fairly resilient and will fail with helpful messages.The script is attached to this page.
Be sure to change the IP address of the Arduino in the file.
Step 9: Test
Power everything up and wait. It can take 30 seconds for it to connect to the wifi.
Test that the python process can connect to the Arduino. Be sure to point it to the Snort log and the Arduino.
Step 10: Done
Now that everything is running, you can tune the maxAlerts variable to suit your environment so you are not always in the red.
You have now moved your IDS signatures off of the screen and in to the real world, hopefully improving your situational awareness. Also you got to play with Arduinos!
Thanks for looking!