Brent Shaw



Brent Shaw is a PhD candidate with the Department of Computer Science
at Rhodes University. He is conducting research into the security of Industrial
Control Systems, within the Security and Networks Research Group.

Talk: Hearing the Internet Background Radiation

Network telescopes provide key insight into various large scale internet
events that take place, and are a key focusing ring for the identification
of strange request behaviour. The traffic that these telescopes see is often
referred to internet background radiation. When visualising data, the
ability of a researcher to draw meaning from the events presented is limited
by the projection of the data. While 3 dimensional space can be projected
onto a 2D plane, this still limits the amount of information we can process
when looking at a visualisation.
Data sonification might provide a higher dimensional medium with
which to investigate data. 3D audio spatialisation, combined with am-
plitude and spectral manipulation allows for an interesting approach to
analysing network telescope data. This sonification technique can be used
to identify and investigate events captured by telescopes, such as various
forms of scanning, malware and other unsolicited traffic.
In this presentation we will discuss methods of sonifying telescope
data. In particular we will look into a spatialisation technique known as
Ambisonics, and how this can be used as a spatial projection method to
denote packet origins and data flows. We will also determine mappings of
packet parameters to audio processes that define the timbre, tonality and
mood of the sonification to aid in analysis.
This presentation will cover various techniques that are used make
the identification of network events within sonified data recognisable to a
listener. Since hearing is different to seeing, this method can be used in
conjunction with visual rendering techniques to provide enriched analysis
of data.