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NVision-PA: A Process Accounting Analysis Tool with a Security Focus on Masquerade Detection in HPC Clusters

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2 Author(s)
Ermopoulos, C. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Illinois Univ., Urbana-Champaign, IL ; Yurcik, W.

In the UNIX/Linux environment the kernel can log every command process created by every user with process accounting. Thus process accounting logs have many potential uses, particularly the monitoring and forensic investigation of security events. Previous work successfully leveraged the use of process accounting logs to identify a difficult to detect and damaging intrusions within high performance computing (HPC) clusters, masquerade attacks, where intruders pose as legitimate users with purloined authentication credentials. This paper incrementally advances the goal of more accurately identifying masqueraders on HPC clusters by seeking to identify features within command sets that distinguish masqueraders. To accomplish this goal, we created NVision-PA, a software tool which produces text and graphic statistical summaries describing input processing accounting logs. This research is both a promising next step toward creating a real-time masquerade detection sensor for production HPC clusters as well as providing another tool for system administrators to use for statistically monitoring and managing legitimate workloads in HPC environments

Published in:

Cluster Computing, 2006 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

25-28 Sept. 2006

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