Introducing passivetotal – R Package To Work With the PassiveTotal API

June 14, 2015
By

(This article was first published on Data Driven Security, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

As a precursor to releasing Episode 18 of DDSec Podcast, we’re releasing a really basic R package to interface with the PassiveTotal API. We asked Brandon Dixon to be on the podcast to talk about his new visualization for users of PassiveTotal, which is a “threat research platform created for analysts, by analysts.”. PT has deep and wide knowledge about domains and IP addresses which can be accessed via their portal or their API. They provide API tools for various languages and we’ll be working with them to get this new R package into their repository as soon as it’s a bit more feature rich.

Since it’s not on CRAN, you have to use devtools to install it:

devtools::install_github("hrbrmstr/passivetotal")

After that you just call the various API functions and get back an R list object from the returned JSON:

library(passivetotal)

get_metadata("www.passivetotal.com")

## $ever_compromised
## [1] FALSE
## 
## $tags
## list()
## 
## $dynamic
## [1] FALSE
## 
## $value
## [1] "www.passivetotal.com"
## 
## $subdomains
## list()
## 
## $query_value
## [1] "www.passivetotal.com"
## 
## $tld
## [1] ".com"
## 
## $primaryDomain
## [1] "passivetotal.com"
## 
## $type
## [1] "domain"

You’ll need to put your PassiveTotal API key in an PASSIVETOTAL_API_KEY environment variable, which is best done by editing your .Renvion file.

While you can get started playing with the PT API right away via this package we intend to add signifcant functionality to it. R list objects are all well-and-good, but I envision returning igraph objects that can be combined, maniupulated and visualized (both with static charts and htmlwidgets) with a few, simple function calls, which could make this a pretty powerful tool to use with the data the PT folks provide.

Suggestions, errors, etc shld all go on github.

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Data Driven Security.

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