Monday, December 22, 2014

Keeping with tradition

Yup - it's that time of the year again. Another year is almost done. For many of us at Paterva, 2014 was a really really tough year. But this post is not about us - it's about you. No well.. not really. It's about this time of the year and our special discount we run for a few days.

It's the time when your extended family comes to visit with their 17 snotty nosed kids, the time when your weird uncle pitches up unannounced wearing only underpants and when your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/dog/cat/budgie/parrot is as stressed-out as you are. Perhaps us IT people are not *really* that much of herd animals after all.

This is why we run the Maltego Christmas special every year. This year we're giving 44% discount on licenses - from today up to the end of the 25th. It will allow you to retreat back to your computer during these days and make pretty graphs. When someone calls you for another family photo you can show them the graph (we suggest full screen mode) and say "Can you see I am busy with important stuff?!"

The coupon code this year is 'IHateSocks'. It's not like we really hate socks...but rather buy your loved one (or yourself) a freshly computed Maltego license.

Peace / love / baby seals,

Monday, October 13, 2014

Announcing Maltego Carbon Community edition

Hey there people of the Internet..

Woot! We’re excited to announce that Maltego Carbon has finally has come to the masses. We've chosen a 1984 Russian Nuclear Expo theme for the splash page:

We stealthily uploaded the binaries to the website on Friday – but we wanted to wait with the announcement until today (as it’s silly to do a “press release” on a Friday – right?). This is a major new version of Maltego so you’ll need to get a new installer from our website. Simply click on the download section of the website to get yours now! [LINK]

The Carbon release is a major step up from the previous version (Tungsten). The major improvements are discussed in this video:

Killer feature – integrated OAUTH allow you to have your Twitter transforms back and a slick new import from CSV and XLS files. 

An online update of Carbon is included in the download – taking it to 3.5.3 and has a lot of new transform goodies and fixes -it's discussed in this video post:

Oh – last thing – don’t get too annoyed with the CAPTCHAS. We've know you need a doctorate degree in hieroglyphics to solve them – and as such – we've disabled it for now. You may just enter ‘Paterva rocks’ and it will register a pass. Truth be told….you can enter anything. 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tweet Sentiment Analysis

Hey there,

It’s been a while since we last posted but we are pretty excited about our new sentiment analysis transforms so I thought I would make a quick post about it.

Sentiment analysis can be described as the use of natural language processing (NLP) to extract the attitude/opinion of a writer towards a specific topic. With the overwhelming amount of data being posted on the Internet every day and no way to read it all, sentiment analysis has become a really useful tool for extracting and aggregating opinions on a specific topic from many different sources. The potential use for sentiment analysis is endless, a few examples are things like brand reputation monitoring, market research, stock-exchange monitoring, etc. The transform that we built takes a Tweet as its input entity and returns either positive, neutral or negative entity. This way a large amount of Tweets can easily be categorized according to their sentiment.

Although sentiment extraction is a relatively new area of research there are quite a few methods of going about it and a lot of companies offering different sentiment analysis APIs. With many APIs to choose from it was quite difficult to decide which one would work best for the transform. I decided to use my top four APIs, aggregated their result and use that as the output of my transform. The problem with this method was that most of the time the APIs would return different and often obviously incorrect results (I won’t mention any names). While some APIs seemed to work well on certain topics of Tweets they would fail horribly on others. After much experimentation I settled for using only AlchemyAPI’s sentiment analysis tool which seems to work the best out of all the APIs that I tested, and I tested quite a few so well done to them.

I then built a new machine named Twitter Analyser to use with the new sentiment analysis transform. This machine takes a phrase in as its input and searches Twitter for Tweets with this phrase. From the Tweets that are returned hash tags, links, sentiment and uncommon words found in the Tweets are extracted. The uncommon words are extracted with one of our other new transforms that checks the word against an ordered list of common words, if the input word does not occur in the list before a certain threshold the word is returned as an entity.  The To Words transform can takes in two transform settings: the threshold it must search in the list of common words and words that should be ignored by the transform. The machine will run every 5 minutes to search Twitter for new Tweets. Running the machine in bubble view it is easy to see common hashtags, links, words and sentiment between Tweets of a certain topic. The screenshot of the graph below shows an example of using the Tweet Analyser machine on the phrase AlchemyAPI:

In this image the entities are sized according to their number of incoming links so you can see what is common between many Tweets.  From the image you can see common hashtags like: #ai, #deeplearning and #sentimentanalysis as well as pick out the common links and words between the Tweets.

As always enjoy responsibly!

PS: As most of you already know we have recently released an update to Maltego [version 3.5.2], our YouTube video here gives a quick breakdown of the new features:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Maltego Carbon - now!

Hi there,

It took a while to get there (and this release was tricky to schedule) but we're finally ready with Maltego Carbon. As this is a major release you'll need to download a fresh copy from the website  - it does not update from Tungsten.

Major new features are:

  1. OAuth - means you can use Twitter transforms again!
  2. New and improved tabular import - create a graph from XLS/CSV  
  3. Discovery of Maltego configs from NTDS (much needed feature for those with their own servers) as part of discovery.
  4. Bug fixes, optimization and new looks. 

Andrew explains of this in the next episode of AndrewTV (click below for this exciting episode):

For server clients - you can download new updated servers from the server portal:

  1. NTDS - now with paired configuration functionality and generic OAuth support. You can simply backup your configuration and load it into the new VM.
  2. CTAS - with new Twitter transforms and fancy *_SE transforms.

Maltego Carbon is live for download from the [Paterva website] right NOW. As always the free community edition of Carbon will follow in a few weeks.

Enjoy responsibly!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Where is my Maltego release?

Good question. We said we'll release this week and we haven't. Actually - truthfully, we said we'll release LAST week and we didn't. There are good reasons for this delay.

The updater broke -don't ask why.... Which means we can't send the new release as an update. Which in turns means we should really have a major new version and new builds - and a new element name. And that's OK, because we've added a whole lot of cool new features into this release. But - it also means that we need to do a bit of rebranding and have a few more edges to smooth out. And all of this takes time. Additionally it's a short week in SA (Human Rights day tomorrow), we finally moved into our Cape Town offices (and had to sort out Internet access) and nobody pushes out a new release on a Friday.

We CAN tell you that we're trying our best to have Maltego CARBON out before the end of the month. Yeah I know...don't even mention it. But you know that it's close when we're deciding on splash screens and testing angles for the associated video.

We'll leave you with the shortlist of Maltego Carbon splash screens:

Monday, January 20, 2014

reCaptcha: Stop spam...and everyone else.

Hey guys,

About a week ago we noticed that the images we were getting from reCaptcha were near impossible to solve. And wow did people let us know, we've had emails ranging from just strings of cuss words to people who refuse to touch anything we do after it.

Unfortunately as we were just passing on an image we got from the google reCaptcha service ( )  it wasn't really in our control. We have seen them go through bouts of absolute madness, but usually only for a day or so. We decided to leave it for a week and hoped it would get better. It sadly didn't.

At this stage we are no longer verifying reCaptcha images (you can put in anything and it will validate) while we explore other options.

We apologise for the inconvenience, frustration and mental instability trying to solve those impossible CAPTCHAs were.

Monkeys gone to heaven.