Table of Contents
Logo of ProcDOT, consisting of the word "PROC" in white letters with a black background and "DOT" in black letters with the 'O' replaced by a red dot, all within a rounded rectangle.


Malware analysis is a critical process in cybersecurity that involves examining and understanding malicious software used by hackers to gain unauthorized access to systems, steal data, or cause harm. There are two main types of malware analysis techniques: static analysis, which examines the malware without executing it, and dynamic analysis, which investigates the malware's behavior by running it. ProcDOT is an innovative tool that enables analysts to visually map out a process's execution and associated activities, making it easier to identify suspicious behavior and comprehend the malware's capabilities. This article will delve into what ProcDOT is, its key features, who can benefit from using it, supported platforms, installation process, and how to use the tool effectively.

What is ProcDOT?

ProcDOT is a groundbreaking malware analysis tool that correlates data from Sysinternals Process Monitor (Procmon) and network packet captures (PCAPs) generated by tools like Windump, Tcpdump, or Wireshark. By merging these records, ProcDOT creates an interactive visual graph that represents the malware's behavior, enabling analysts to quickly identify relevant activities and understand the relationships between them. This comprehensive visualization makes behavioral malware analysis more efficient than ever before, filling the gap left by traditional tools that work in isolation.

Key Features

ProcDOT offers a wide array of features that enhance the malware analysis process:

  • Correlation of Procmon and PCAP data

  • Interactive graph visualization with animation mode for understanding timing aspects

  • Smart following algorithms to focus on relevant information

  • Detection and visualization of thread injection

  • Correlation of network activities with the responsible processes

  • Activity timeline and full-text search functionality

  • Filters to remove noise and support various matching modes

  • Graph content customization options

  • Plugin engine for extensibility

Additionally, ProcDOT is completely free to use.

Who Can Use ProcDOT?

ProcDOT is a versatile tool that caters to both experienced malware analysts and beginners in the field. For experts, ProcDOT provides a quick way to grasp the overall situation and identify critical areas of interest. Beginners can leverage the tool's intuitive visual representation to better understand the malware's behavior and the relationships between different activities. Security researchers, incident responders, and threat hunters can all benefit from incorporating ProcDOT into their malware analysis workflows.

Supported Platforms

ProcDOT is available for both Windows and Linux operating systems. The tool is distributed as a portable executable, making it easy to deploy and use across different systems. However, it's essential to note that ProcDOT relies on third-party software, namely Windump/Tcpdump, and Graphviz, which must be installed and configured correctly for ProcDOT to function properly.

How to Install ProcDOT?

To install ProcDOT, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Visit the official ProcDOT website ( and navigate to the "Download" section.

  2. Choose the appropriate version of the ProcDOT binaries based on your operating system (Windows or Linux):

    • For Windows, download the ZIP file containing the Windows binaries.

    • For Linux, download the TAR file containing the Linux binaries.

  3. Extract the contents of the downloaded archive to a folder of your choice:

    • On Windows, right-click on the ZIP file and select "Extract All." Choose a destination folder and click "Extract."

    • On Linux, open a terminal, navigate to the directory containing the TAR file, and run the following command:tar -xvf procdot_linux_<version>.tar.gz

  4. Install the required third-party dependencies:

    • For Windows:

    • For Linux:

      • Open a terminal and run the appropriate command for your distribution to install Tcpdump. For example, on Ubuntu or Debian, run:sudo apt-get install tcpdump

  5. Install Graphviz on your system:

    • For Windows:

      • Visit the Graphviz website ( and download the latest stable version for Windows.

      • Run the downloaded installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install Graphviz.

    • For Linux:

      • Open a terminal and run the appropriate command for your distribution to install Graphviz. For example, on Ubuntu or Debian, run:sudo apt-get install graphviz

  6. Launch ProcDOT by running the procdot executable from the folder where you extracted the binaries.

  7. Configure ProcDOT by providing the paths to the installed dependencies:

    • In ProcDOT, go to "Edit" > "Options."

    • In the "Options" window, navigate to the "Bin Paths" tab.

    • Provide the paths to the Windump/Tcpdump and Graphviz executables.

    • Click "OK" to save the settings.

Congratulations! You have now successfully installed ProcDOT and its dependencies. You are ready to start using ProcDOT for malware analysis.

How to Use ProcDOT?

To use ProcDOT for malware analysis, follow these steps:

  1. Set up a controlled environment (e.g., a virtual machine) for running the malware sample.

  2. Launch Procmon (Windows) or Tcpdump (Linux) to capture the malware's activity:

    • For Windows:

      • Run Procmon and configure it to capture the desired events (e.g., file system, registry, and network activity).

      • Start the capture by clicking on the "Start" button or pressing "Ctrl+E".

    • For Linux:

      • Open a terminal and run the following command to start capturing network traffic:sudo tcpdump -i <interface> -w capture.pcapReplace <interface> with the name of the network interface you want to monitor.

  3. Execute the malware sample in the controlled environment.

  4. Allow the malware to run for a sufficient amount of time to capture its behavior.

  5. Stop the Procmon capture (Windows) or terminate the Tcpdump process (Linux):

    • For Windows:

      • In Procmon, click on the "Stop" button or press "Ctrl+E" to stop the capture.

      • Save the captured logs by going to "File" > "Save" and selecting the desired location.

    • For Linux:

      • Press "Ctrl+C" in the terminal where Tcpdump is running to stop the capture.

  6. Launch ProcDOT:

    • On Windows, run the procdot.exe executable.

    • On Linux, run the procdot executable.

  7. Load the captured Procmon logs and network captures into ProcDOT:

    • For Procmon logs:

      • In ProcDOT, go to "File" > "Open" and select the saved Procmon logs (in CSV format).

    • For network captures:

      • In ProcDOT, go to "File" > "Open PCAP" and select the saved network capture file.

  8. Select the process of interest from the list of captured processes in ProcDOT.

  9. Click on the "Refresh" button or go to "View" > "Refresh" to generate the visual graph.

  10. Explore the generated graph:

    • Use the mouse to pan and zoom the graph.

    • Click on nodes and edges to view detailed information.

    • Use the available filters and customization options to focus on relevant data.

  11. Analyze the graph to identify suspicious activities, understand the malware's behavior, and gain insights into its functionality.

  12. Export the graph for further analysis or reporting:

    • Go to "File" > "Export Graph" and select the desired format (e.g., PNG, SVG, or DOT).

    • Choose a location to save the exported file.

By following these steps and leveraging ProcDOT's features, you can effectively analyze malware samples and gain a deeper understanding of their behavior and impact on the system.

Bottom Line

ProcDOT is a powerful and innovative malware analysis tool that combines data from Procmon and network captures to create an interactive visual representation of a malware's behavior. With its extensive feature set and user-friendly interface, ProcDOT empowers both experienced and novice malware analysts to efficiently investigate and understand malicious software. By leveraging ProcDOT's capabilities, cybersecurity professionals can enhance their malware analysis workflows, quickly identify threats, and develop effective strategies to mitigate risks.




View All

Learn More About Cyber Security Security & Technology

“Knowledge Arsenal: Empowering Your Security Journey through Continuous Learning”

Cybersecurity All-in-One For Dummies - 1st Edition

"Cybersecurity All-in-One For Dummies" offers a comprehensive guide to securing personal and business digital assets from cyber threats, with actionable insights from industry experts.


Recently added

View all

Learn Something New with Free Email subscription