The Dockerization Will not be Televised

Do you know what the following set of commands achieve?

$ cd /opt/Cortex-Analyzers
$ sudo git pull
$ for I in $(find /opt/Cortex-Analyzers -name 'requirements.txt'); do sudo -H pip2 install -U -r $I; done \
&& for I in $(find /opt/Cortex-Analyzers -name 'requirements.txt'); do sudo -H pip3 install -U \
-r $I || true; done

The answer is obvious Doctor Watson, right? These highly readable commands (pun intended) allow you to update your Cortex analyzers and responders to the latest stable versions, downloading new ones in the process, going over all the Python 2 and Python 3 dependencies to install the missing ones and upgrade the old ones to make sure they work correctly. These operations take quite a long time and cause some headaches in the process (Hello, I have Python 3.X and this dependency is no longer required, or Hi, I have an old version of Python 2 and it seems I need this other dependency).

And if you are lucky enough to get it running smoothly, you are still not done as you need to log in to the Cortex UI as an organisation administrator (unlike TheHive, Cortex supports multi-tenancy), click on the Refresh analyzers button under Organization > Analyzers then go to Organization > Responders and click on Refresh responders.

So while the answer to the opening question might be simple, updating analyzers and responders is far from being straightforward, to say the least, even if we forget the ugly fact that both are stored in a repository “conveniently” named Cortex-Analyzers*:

thehive@thehive-training:/opt/Cortex-Analyzers$ ls -d a* r*
analyzers  responders

Unnecessary Complexity Must Die

Your lovely, hard-working bees hate unnecessary complexity. Our project’s front page blatantly states our mission to bring Security Incident Response to the masses. And we have to stand by our words even if TheHive and Cortex are free, open source solutions and we do not gain anything from them save for the huge satisfaction of helping our fellow incident handlers level the fight against cybercriminals & all kinds of other animals of the APT (Advanced Persistent Troll Threat) bestiary.

There is only one possible solution: simplify the installation and update process of the current, official 115 analyzers and responders we have as of this writing, the future ones and any private or unofficial ones written in other programming languages such as those developed in Go by Rosetelecom-CERT.

Docker all the Things!

Starting from Cortex 3.0, the next major release of your favourite analysis and active response engine, all analyzers and responders will be dockerized. It will no longer be necessary to install them along with their various dependencies. They will be dowloaded from our cortexengine Docker organisation. Sysadmins might also configure automatic updates.

As a side advantage of using Docker, analyzers, and responders will also be isolated from each other which gives more flexibility and possibilities.

© Steve Simson. This artwork and the title of this blog post are inspired by The Revolution will not be televised, a song from the late and great Gil Scott-Heron.

For those users who have private, custom analyzers and responders that they don’t want or can’t share with the community, several options will be available:

  • Continue managing their analyzers and responders in the same way as currently supported by Cortex 2 (i.e. launch them as processes, with no isolation whatsoever).
  • Dockerize them and store them locally on their Cortex instance.
  • Dockerize them and publish them on a Docker registry, either the official one or a private registry.

A Docker image of Cortex 3 will still be provided. It will contain a Docker engine to launch dockerized analyzers and responders using DIND (Docker in Docker).

It won’t be necessary to modify the code of the current, official analyzers and responders. A drone job will monitor the analyzer and responder repository and automatically build docker images when it detects changes.

The Cortex Web interface will be slightly modified to accommodate the whole process and allow adding in-house/private Certificate Authorities to allow Cortex to smoothly perform updates in those corporate environments where TLS/SSL inspection is enabled.

Nice Movie Trailer. When is it Coming to a Theatre near me?

We are working hard to get Cortex 3 out of the oven in Q1 (of this year, yes). We will reach out to you, dear reader, in due time, to help us test it and refine it before putting it on the digital shelf for free, as usual. We will provide a smooth migration path in order to move safely your current analyzers and responders and their configuration to Cortex 3.

So to paraphrase the late and great Gil Scott-Heron:

The dockerization will not be televised

The dockerization will not be televised

The dockerization will be live.

Since you are here

The success of TheHive and Cortex continue to grow, far more than we initially foresaw. As far as we know, there are about a hundred organisations of different sizes and locations using or testing them. And as the number of users grows, so does the number of features, professional service and support requests.

We have tried addressing these requests through Creative Source, a nonprofit organisation (NPO). All but one company trusted us enough to make a donation and get tailored services for its needs in return. Most of the others either did not reply to our proposals or explained that their procurement process does not accommodate working with NPOs.

Some members of our core team are actively working on alternative options to ensure not only the viability of TheHive and Cortex as FOSS products on the long run but the ability to provide professional training, support, and services without freaking out highly bureaucratic, think-in-the-box-but-never-outside procurement departments.

Stay tuned 🐝


(*) When the idea behind Cortex was born into our hive mind, we did not initially think about active response capabilities. So we naturally called the repository which was supposed to contain analyzers Cortex-Analyzers . When, at a later stage, we added responders, we put them in the same repository for obvious laziness pretences  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Correction: February 15, 2019
Typographical errors have been corrected. Some rewording has been made for the sake of clarity.

New Year, New Analyzers

Dear fellow incident handlers and cybercrime fighters around the world, the galaxy, the known and the unknown universe, first and foremost, all TheHive Project’s team would like to wish a wonderful new year 2019 to you and to your cherished relatives. We truly hope that eagles, pandas, kittens, babars, bears and all sorts of animals will stay out of the way. And remember that you don’t need to go bankrupt by purchasing so-called Next Gen™ magical solutions that work only when there’s a full moon and the page number of the book you are currently reading is 42 to investigate threats 😉

We would like to begin the year by introducing version 1.15.0 of Cortex analyzers, bringing the total number of analyzers to a whopping 113! And thanks to Kyle Parrish, this release improves the Mailer responder to allow you to specify a custom port number for your SMTP server and adds a new one to blacklist observables on Cisco Umbrella utilizing the Enforcement API. The Cisco Umbrella Blacklister responder will then add the tag Umbrella:blockedto the observable.

Cortex-Analyzers 1.15.0 also include fixes and enhancements for Eml_Parser, IBM X-Force, Fortiguard, and Shodan. Most of these modifications were contributed by our continuously growing user community. Thanks to all of those who help us in our mission to provide free and open source security incident response tools to the masses!

Please read the relevant sections in the Cortex installation guide to install or update your analyzers and responders in order to benefit from all this sweet & tasty honey.

New Analyzers

The following analyzers have been added:

Cyberprotect

This analyzer lets you query the Cyberprotect ThreatScore service for domains and IP addresses. No configuration is needed and it can be used out of the box.

TheHive displays the analyzer results as follows:

Have I Been Pwned

The HIBP_Query analyzer lets you check email addresses on Have I Been Pwned. You can use an optional parameter to include unverified breaches in the search results. Otherwise, it can be used without any additional configuration.

When called from TheHive, results would display as such:

PatrOwl

As it name states, The Patrowl_GetReport analyzer will let you get the current PatrOwl report for a FQDN, a domain name or an IP address. You need a running PatrOwl instance or to have access to one to use the analyzer.

If you fire it from TheHive, it would display results as follows:

SecurityTrails

This analyzer comes in two flavors in order to get Whois data and Passive DNS details using SecurityTrails. To use both flavors, you will need an account for the service to retrieve the associated API key, which you need to configure the analyzers.

SecurityTrails_Passive_DNS displays results in TheHive as follows:

The Whois variant produces reports such as:

Cisco Umbrella

In addition to Cisco Umbrella Investigate, you can now query the Umbrella Reporting API for recent DNS queries and their status for a domain name using the new Umbrella_Report analyzer.

New Shodan Flavors

In addition to Shodan_Host and Shodan_Search, which allow you to obtain Shodan information on a host and the search results for a domain name, now you can get domain resolutions (Shodan_DNSResolve), obtain scan history results for an IP address (Shodan_Host_History), get information on a domain (Shodan_InfoDomain) and the reverse DNS resolutions for an IP address (Shodan_ReverseDNS).

DomainTools

The following DomainTools flavors were added to this release:

  • DomainTools_HostingHistory: get a list of historical registrant, name servers and IP addresses for a domain.
  • DomainTools_ReverseIPWhois: get a list of IP addresses which share the same registrant information. It applies to a mail, IP, or domain.

Moreover, please note that DomainTools_WhoisLookup now handles IP addresses in addition to domains and provides parsed results. DomainTools_WhoisLookup_IP is thus not needed anymore. Instead, DomainTools_WhoisLookupUnparsed has been added to do the same as DomainTools_WhoisLookup, except that the output results are unparsed.

TheHive 3.2.0-RC1: The MISP Love Edition

Guess what? Our integration with MISP, the de facto standard for threat sharing, has just gotten better with our latest beta release: TheHive 3.2.0-RC1.

While you could synchronize TheHive with one or multiple MISP instances in earlier versions and select events using filters like their age, the number of attributes they contain or exclude those which are created by specific organisations or contain one or several black-listed tags, 3.2.0-RC1 adds the ability to whitelist tags, thus limiting the events that would show up in TheHive’s Alerts pane to only those which have been tagged with labels your SOC/CSIRT/CERT needs to act on. This can be very useful for example if your Cyber Threat Intelligence analysts pre-select or create events in MISP and tag for SOC consumption those that need to be acted on.

The Hive - Logo - Schéma - V1_Plan de travail 1.png
TheHive, Cortex, MISP: The Power DFIR & CTI Trio

To use this feature, use the whitelist.tags parameter in the MISP section of TheHive’s application.conf as described in the documentation.

This new version also adds the ability to create dashboards out of responder actions, log responder operations, and offers a confirmation dialog before running a responder to avoid noob over-clicks and errors made by seasoned incident handlers running low on caffeine.

TheHive 3.2.0-RC1 will also show you the description of an observable if any while hovering over one in the Observables tab. You can also see observable tags when previewing an alert in the Alerts pane.

Last but not least, some users reported severe problems when they enabled TLS/SSL directly on TheHive without resorting to a reverse proxy such as NGINX. Blame that on the crappy TLS support in Play framework ;-). So we highly recommend using a reverse proxy for that purpose, and delegate authentication to it if you are relying on X.509 authentication, as TheHive 3.2.0-RC1 allows you to. Please check the Single Sign-On on TheHive with X.509 Certificates guide for further information.

For additional details on this release, please check the full changelog.

Warning Capt’n Robinson!

The RC in 3.2.0-RC1 stands for Release Candidate. Please help us make a great stable release out of it by testing it as thoroughly as possible and reporting back any bugs or issues you encounter so we can address them before the final release. You’ll find this release candidate in the pre-release, beta repositories.

Please check TheHive Installation guide for further details.

You got a problem?

Something does not work as expected? You have troubles installing or upgrading? Spotted new bugs? No worries, please open issues on GitHub or comment on existing ones, join our user forum, contact us on Gitter, or send us an email at support@thehive-project.org. We are here to help.

TheHive 3.1.2 & Cortex 2.1.2 Released

We could not leave for the week-end without issuing a minor release or two so here we go.

TheHive 3.1.2

Starting from TheHive 3.0.1, an administrator has the ability to configure Cortex job polling by defining the time between two polls thanks to the cortex.refreshDelay parameter as well as the number of consecutive failures before giving up (via cortex.MaxRetryOnError). However, these settings prevent the service from starting correctly. TheHive 3.1.2 corrects this issue.

Cortex 2.1.2

When running a job in Cortex with the exact same details, the function findSimilarJob is called. It should return results from any previous jobs, but in the latest versions (2.1.0, 2.1.1) it does not because of a change that went past our QA.

In a similar fashion, the GUI search function was broken. Cortex 2.1.2 fixes both issues.

Excuse my French but I Need Help

Keep calm. We speak French. So if you encounter any difficulty to update TheHive or Cortex, please join our  user forum, contact us on Gitter, or send us an email at support@thehive-project.org. We are always ready to help as does our user community.

Cortex 2.1.0: The Response Edition

We released Cortex 2.1.0 as a release candidate back in July 31, 2018 along with TheHive 3.1.0-RC1. By then, the power duo which makes digital forensics, incident response and, to an extent, cyber threat intelligence, better, faster, happier, regular exercising gained the ability to perform active response.

We ate our own dog food for a couple of months. We found bugs. We added enhancements and we listened to the early adopters of these new major versions. And today we are thrilled to announce the availability of the stable release of Cortex 2.1.0 along with TheHive 3.1.0.

Cortex 2.1.0 restores the ability to query the analysis and response engine from MISP for enrichment purposes. A new version of the de facto standard for threat sharing should be released shortly as there are also some API-related issues on its side to make the integration fully working again.

mighty-morphin-power-rangers.jpg
Source : Consequence of Sound

Cortex 2.1.0 also gives you the ability to see the PAP (Permissible Actions Protocol) values for each analyzer as well as any custom cache values you might have configured.

You can check out the full changelog and we highly encourage you to install this new version and let us know what you think of it.

Troubles?

Shall you encounter any difficulty, please join our user forum, contact us on Gitter, or send us an email at support@thehive-project.org. We will be more than happy to help!

 

 

TheHive 3.1.0: Fresh out of the Oven

TheHive Project’s Master Cooks are happy to announce the immediate availability of TheHive 3.1.0. This is the first release of your favourite SIRP (Security Incident Response Platform) or, if you fancy new buzzwords, SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation & Response) that we put out as a release candidate to give sufficient time for our ever growing user community to test it and report any outstanding bug before publishing a stable version.

Indeed, TheHive 3.1.0 brings significant new functionalities that we detailed in previous blog posts. One of the most prominent features of this new major version is the support of responders through Cortex 2.1, also released today as a stable version.

Responders are similar to analyzers but instead of analyzing stuff, they allow you to respond to stuff. Put otherwise, they give you the ability to implement specific actions by a simple click from different elements in TheHive: alerts, cases, tasks, task logs and observables.

For instance, imagine a user in your constituency reporting a suspicious email. Using Synapse or an alternative alert feeder, the email reported by the user will automatically show up as an alert in your alert pane. Before starting working on it as a case, you preview it only to realise it is a scam and it does not warrant your time & effort. Still, you’d like to reply to the user.

In such a case, you could implement a responder that will not only send an email back to the user asking them to ignore such a scam but that can mark the alert as read. Using. A. Simple. Click. C’est beau n’est-ce pas ?

Going through all 71 (yes, 71) issues that have been closed with this release and the 3 RCs we published since July 31, 2018 will be terribly boring but you can read the full changelog while dipping your croissant in your espresso cup.

We’d rather encourage you to install this new version, which is as usual, AI-free, machine learning free, cyberbullshit-free, gluten-free, organic (well as much as free, open source software can be anyway), vegan (if you can eat it), and most importantly made with huge love and care for the SOC, CSIRT & CERT communities and other fellow cybercrime fighters. So go ahead and try it out. It won’t cost you a dime (or a franc if you are a French old timer).

Caum6EmUMAA6vi8

Need Help?

Shall you encounter any difficulty, please join our user forum, contact us on Gitter, or send us an email at support@thehive-project.org. We will be more than happy to help!

How to Cruise Ocean Threat Without Sinking Using TheHive 3.1 & Cortex 2.1

Paris, France. The Sun is shining on the city of lights and temperatures are quite high, even for the summer season. Life is good. As a matter of fact, life is excellent.

TheHive Master Cooks are about to go on vacation for a few weeks. But before they pack up their Patagonia bags and leave the sandy beaches for those who enjoy them, preferring mountains, trails, walking and breathing fresh air with family and friends, they would like to make a significant contribution to help TheHive and Cortex users fight cyberattacks even better than they already do. And maybe convince those who don’t that free, open source software is not a joke or a geek fad.

We’d like to welcome to the stage our latest babies, which we are really proud of: TheHive 3.1 and Cortex 2.1, the new versions of the power duo which make digital forensics, incident response and, to an extent, cyber threat intelligence, better, faster, happier, regular exercising (well you know the Radiohead song so we’ll let you continue singing along) since early 2017.

While our project might seem very young, it is not. We’ve been working steadily on TheHive, using it (i.e. eating our own dog food) since early 2014 before releasing it at the end of 2016 once we were satisfied with it, as a token of gratitude to a community that helped us due our jobs in various ways. We then extracted what has become Cortex from its core to ship it as a separate product in February 2017. And we kept improving them at a steady piece for the collective benefit of incident responders, forensicators and threat analysts. And adoption has been rather spectacular. Thanks to all of our users for their love and support!

We believe we are at a moment where people could not brush us off anymore as amateurs. Try TheHive and Cortex, preferably with MISP and get a taste of what professional, free and open source software can be.

TheHive 3.1 and Cortex 2.1 are feature-packed and we won’t be able to cover them all in detail in a single blog post. Rather, we’d like to concentrate on a few important ones.

Stable, Pre-release Channels and New Repositories

We’d like to point out that, in order to improve our release process and given the number of features that we added, TheHive 3.1 and Cortex 2.1 are release candidates at this stage. So we encourage you to test them and report back any bugs or issues you encounter so we can address them and make the final releases as rock-solid as possible.

We have now two release channels: a stable one that should be used for production systems and a pre-release channel that should be used to try the release candidates such as TheHive 3.1-RC1 and Cortex 2.1-RC1, the subjects of this blog post, and help us iron out bugs before adding them to the stable channel. Those who love living on the bleeding edge may be tempted by running the release candidates on their production environment given all the candy and icing we added. They are at liberty of doing so but we don’t want to hear anyone one whining about an RC that broke everything and asking for their money back grin.

We also moved our package and binary repositories to https://bintray.com/thehive-project and Docker images are now under thehiveproject.

Please check TheHive Installation and Cortex Installation guides for further details.

MISP with a Purpose

In previous releases of TheHive, whenever you configured a MISP instance, it was used to import events from and export cases to. Starting from TheHive 3.1.0, we added a purpose to the configuration file. By default, any added MISP instance will be used for import and export (ImportAndExport). However you can configure it to be used for importing events only (ImportOnly) or exporting cases only (ExportOnly).

Extended Events

When an analyst attempts to update a MISP event on which the account used by TheHive to connect to the MISP instance is not part of the original author’s organization, previous versions of TheHive will display a you do not have permission to do that error produced by MISP. Starting from TheHive 3.1, analysts have the ability to create a MISP extended event.

Task Grouping

Case tasks can now be associated with task groups. For example, you could create groups called Identification and Malware Analysis, Containment and Communication and add tasks to them. Of course, this new feature can be used when designing case templates as well.

Import Observables from Analyzer Output

If analyzers produce a set of artifacts in their output (which is the case of several existing ones), TheHive will give you the ability to select those artifacts very easily and add them to your case as observables.

ZIP File Upload

Austin Haigh contributed an important feature which will allow analysts to directly import password-protected ZIP files into a case. The code uses the supplied password when adding the archive to extract its contents and add them one by one to the existing set of observables. This is highly practical when you want to add suspicious files without risking an accidental click which would compromise your endpoint or having to unzip archives containing such files first then add them one by one to TheHive.

Revamped Search Page

The search page has been completely revamped as shown in the screenshot below:

41841154-d8d8fa5c-7867-11e8-8837-2a12a06a52a7.png
The New Search Page

You can now select your search scope (cases, tasks, observables, alerts, analyser reports a.k.a. jobs or even the audit logs), apply filters and search TheHive without having to resort to complex, mind numbing Lucene syntax.

Responders and PAP

Last but not least, TheHive and Cortex offer you response capabilities (i.e. perform an action depending on the context) thanks to a new breed of programs called … wait for it … wait for it … responders. TADA!

Responders are very similar to analyzers. In fact we’ve taken the concept and extended it to apply to different elements in TheHive: alerts, cases, tasks, task logs, and observables of course.

mailer_activeResponse.png
Responders in Action

You can reuse almost the same principles that apply to analyzers to write your own responders and if you are feeling generous, contribute them to the community. To give you a head start, we published a sample Mailer responder which, when customized for your environment, should allow you to send emails to inform your fellow analysts that a case has been created and that their help is required. Another example could be the ability to respond to a suspicious email report from a user, which is displayed as an alert, that they can safely ignore the corresponding email.

Like an analyzer, a responder can have two or more service interaction files (or flavors) to allow it to perform different actions. For example, a Mailer responder can send messages using several body templates.

Thanks to our long-time friend Andras Iklody from MISP Project who brought that to our attention, responders (and analyzers starting from Cortex 2.1) support PAP, the Permissible Actions Protocol.

Running into Troubles?

Something does not work as expected? You have troubles installing or upgrading? Spotted new bugs? No worries, please open issues on GitHub or comment on existing ones, join our user forum, contact us on Gitter, or send us an email at support@thehive-project.org. We are here to help.