FBI requests spawn network forensics startup

Packet Analytics debuts with security tool developed at Los Alamos National Lab

Startup Packet Analytics today is announcing a tool for searching aggregated log data to analyze traffic activity between IP-based host computers.

Net/FSE, which stands for Network Forensic Search Engine, is Linux-based server software that provides a Web interface for network managers to easily see an analytical profile of host-to-host activity based on NetFlow router data as well as log information related to the organization's firewall, intrusion-detection systems and security-information management.

The Net/FSE tool was developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory by Packet Analysis's cofounders Ben Uphoff and Paul Criscuolo, both former LANL technical staff members.

"If an enterprise already has centralized logging, we can start directly searching that, and we can also act as the data aggregation point," says Uphoff, vice president of research, about Net/FSE.

The tool was developed at LANL in response to requests from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to provide detail on network activity based on a list of IP addresses related to possible security problems, he adds. The tool is restricted to IPv4 traffic and doesn't support IPv6.

Packet Analytics regards Splunk and LogLogic as its closest competitors.

Packet Analytics' goal to commercialize Net/FSE is backed with US$100,000 in funding from the Los Alamos National Lab Venture Acceleration Fund, plus US$50,000 from Flywheel Ventures, and another US$50,000 from an undisclosed angel investor. The start-up says it has one enterprise customer, Los Alamos National Bank, using Net/FSE.

The Santa Fe, N.M.-based start-up, founded last July, has only two employees. To spur interest in Net/FSE, today Packet Analytics will be making the Net/FSE software available for free download to those using it to analyze up to 1 million events per day with limited support, says Andy Alsop, cofounder and CEO.

For use with up to 3 million events per day, the price for Net/NSF would be US$1,495 with US$299 for support each year with prices of up to US$18,900 for the tool and US$3,790 for support for use analyzing 50 million events per day.

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