For a few weeks, many questions have been arising regarding the End of Life of ElasticSearch 6.8, and its impact on TheHive and Cortex applications.
We were about to release TheHive 4.0-RC3 when Thomas, akwardly calmly announced to us, having found some time (where?) to review new features and most important, breaking changes introduced by ES7. We have now a good idea of what should be updated or added in the code, as well as the amont of work it represents to get the application working perfectly.
What about current version ?
Few months ago, we announced our intention to maintain current stable versions until ES6 End of Life. At that time, we didn’t expect it to be sooner.
Discontinuing TheHive 3.x with the release of TheHive 4.0 has never been in our plans. With the time, more and more organisations adopted them, and it is important for us to give everyone enough space to schedule and make the move to the TheHive 4.0. This is why TheHive 3 and Cortex 3 will support ES7.
The good news is our ability to announce that the changes introduced by ES7 have no major impacts on us, We are scheduling a first RC1 for TheHive 3.5.0 and Cortex 3.1.0 in the last week of July. Not only will they include support for ES7, but also a few interesting improvements that will be introduced in the coming blog posts.
What’s next ?
Needless to say, the chiefs are sparing no effort in focusing on TheHive 4.0, which requires a huge amount of attention. The application stack has completely changed – the most important adjustment is pushing aside ElasticSearch in favour of Cassandra to manage TheHive’s data storage – and thanks to the community, lots of bugs have already been fixed allowing it to be stronger with time.
Once we consider TheHive 4.0 reliable enough to be used in production, we will publish it as a stable version, and that would be in the coming days. After all, our plans are to make the applications use the same technology stack, which will directly benefit to the next major version of Cortex.
Besides, Cortex is scheduled to be upgraded and based upon Scalligraph, Cassandra and Hadoop. We hope to publish a first RC in few months.
Stay tuned sounds like TheHive Project’s Twitter account will be on fire 🔥 in the coming days!
Guess what? TheHive Project is still alive and well, as Saâd already mentioned in a previous blog post.
We’ve been certainly very busy lately, preparing the upcoming release of TheHive 4 and doing many other things beside working on our FOSS project. As a result, it took us a rather long time to merge several community contributions and reduce the sizeable pile of pull requests.
We would like to thank our contributors for their patience and we hope the cyberdefenders out there will enjoy the brand new Cortex-Analyzers 2.4.0 release, with many new analyzers, responders and some bug fixes & improvements, bringing the total to a whooping 138 analyzers (counting all flavors) and 10 responders!
Additionally, with this release, all analyzers are now using Python 3. No more Python 2 technodebt!
The EmailRep analyzer checks the reputation of an email address against the emailrep.io database.
This analyzer accesses IP-centric features provided by ipinfo.io. While the EmailRep API can be used without a token for limited usage, the ipinfo.io analyzer requires the configuration of an API token before use.
This analyzer lets you query the free Maltiverse Threat Intelligence platform for enrichment information about a particular hash, domain, ip or url.
TheHive displays the analyzer results as follows:
Andrea Garavaglia contributed this one a long time ago and we finally merged it into the Cortex-Analyzers repository. Andrea gave a talk about the background of this analyzer at the fourth MISP summit. You can watch it here.
In order to use the analyzer, you need to point it to a Neo4j server (you need to supply the host, port, login & password).
This analyzer lets you leverage PaloAlto Autofocus services. Provided you are an Autofocus customer and you have access to their API, you need to configure the analyzer with your username and a token key.
The analyzer comes with 3 flavors:
AUTOFOCUS_GetSampleAnalysis lets you request a full report for a given hash.
AUTOFOCUS_SearchIOC lets you research for samples linked to specific IoCs with datatypes like domain, fqdn, user-agent, imphash, ip, mutex, tag and url. Please note that mutex and tag are not default datatypes in TheHive. You need to create them in TheHive before you can leverage them.
AUTOFOCUS_SearchJSON lets you research for samples based on a complex JSON query.
Important: TheHive has no templates corresponding to this analyzer have been published yet. They will be provided in the near future.
This analyzer queries Team Cymru’s Malware Hash Registry for known malware hashes (MD5 or SHA-1). If it is malware and known by the service, it returns the last time it has been seen along with an approximate anti-virus detection percentage.
Overview of the New Responders
This responder allows the integration between TheHive/Cortex and KnowBe4’s User Events API. If a mail observable is tagged with a specified tag, corresponding to the responder’s configuration (e.g. phished), then the associated user will have a custom event added to their profile in KnowBe4.
A valid account on KnowBe4 and an API key are required to run this responder.
This responder sends observables you select to a Palo Alto Minemeld instance.
This responder performs actions on Wazuh, the open source security monitoring platform. It currently supports ad-hoc firewall blocking of ip observables.
New PassiveTotal flavors
Thanks to Brandon Dixon, the PassiveTotal analyzer gains 3 new flavors, bringing the total to 11:
PassiveTotal_Trackerslet you make tracker lookups on observables of type domain, fqdn and ip.
PassiveTotal_Host_Pairs let you make host pair lookups on observables of type domain, fqdn and ip.
PassiveTotal_Componentslets you make components lookup on observables of type domain, fqdn and ip.
They come with their own report templates.
The analyzer has been updated to support GreyNoise API v2, thanks to the contribution of Whitney Champion (#562).
New Data Types Supported by Some Analyzers
VirusTotal_GetReporthas been updated to allow requests for observables of type fqdn.
Threatcrowd has been updated to allow requests for observables of type domain.
Shodan has been updated to allow requests for observables of type fqdn.
[#602] The MISP analyzer was bumped to version 2.1 and is ready to use PyMISP 2.4.120.
Get It While Supply Lasts!
If you are using the dockerized analyzers & responders, ensure to refresh your analyzers and responders in the Cortex WebUI. Connect as an orgadmin and go to the Organization menu. Click on the Analyzers tab and click on the Refresh analyzers button. Do the same for the Responders tab: click on the Refresh responders button.
If you are still using the old-style way of installing analyzers and responders, run the following commands:
cd path/to/Cortex-Analyzers git pull for I in analyzers/*/requirements.txt; do sudo -H pip3 install -U -r $I || true; done for I in responders/*/requirements.txt; do sudo -H pip3 install -U -r $I || true; done
Once done, ensure to refresh your analyzers and responders in the Cortex WebUI. Connect as an orgadmin and go to the Organization menu. Click on the Analyzers tab and click on the Refresh analyzers button. Do the same for the Responders tab: click on the Refresh responders button. Refer to the online Cortex documentation for further details.
Update TheHive Report Templates
If you are using TheHive, you must import the new report templates in your instance as follows:
Lo and behold, we aren’t dead & TheHive Project ain’t toast! So, foremost, Happy New Year folks (we are still in January, right?)! We have some nice gifts coming up for you, gifts that have required very heavy-duty work. Of course, you might complain that we haven’t been responsive as of late but hey, there’s only so much we can do, right?
We’ll talk about those gifts in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, there’s a new Cortex version in town and we urge you to upgrade to it, particularly if you consider deploying several Cortex nodes as a cluster. Indeed, Cortex 3.0.1 fixes a missing dependency that is required to set up such an architecture. Additionally (and this is the part where you should be paying attention), this version fixes the display of error messages pertaining to analyzer and responder operations, and also ensure that old responders and analyzers no longer show up once you clicked on that Refresh button.
Fixes and Enhancements
#244 Prevent the Play secret key from being displayed in the logs at startup. Nonetheless, you can still display it (for troubleshooting purposes or to make things easier for attackers that might have access to the logs and be interested in such a world-changing secret) by using the --show-secret option when starting Cortex
#243 fixes the display of error messages when analyzers & responders fail
For many months, we have been concentrating our efforts on TheHive 4, the next major version of your favourite Security Incident Response Platform, which we’ll finally provide RBAC (or multi-tenancy if you prefer), a feature that Cortex had for quite some time now.
As you well know, both TheHive and Cortex rely on Elasticsearch (ES) for storage. The choice of ES made sense in the beginning of the project but as we added additional features and had new ideas to give you the best experience possible, we faced several ES quirks and shortcomings that proved challenging if not outright blocking for making our roadmap a reality, including RBAC implementation in TheHive, a far more complex endeavour than RBAC in Cortex. Transitioning from ES to graph databases was necessary and since we want our existing users to have a smooth migration path, TheHive 4 (the first release candidate should come out of the oven by the end of the year) will support both ES and graph databases.
But while we were focusing on that, we completely lost sight of the end of life of ES 5.6 so we wrote an apology to you, our dear users, back in May.
Shortly after, we released TheHive 3.4.0-RC1, to add support for ES 6 (with all the breaking changes it has introduced). We also did the same for Cortex with the release of Cortex 3.0.0-RC3. We also took that opportunity to clear out some AngularJS technodebt we had.
We then asked you to take them for a spin and report back any bugs you find given that both versions had to support ES 5.6 and ES 6 to allow for proper migration.
After a few rounds of release candidates, we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of TheHive 3.4.0 and Cortex 3.0.0 as stable releases.
As we announced on May 14, 2019, we have been working very hard to add Elasticsearch 6 support to TheHive and Cortex as Elasticsearch 5.x went the way of the dodo when Elastic plugged life support off this venerable version. We also took this occasion to upgrade AngularJS and its sub projects to 1.7.8, the latest 1.x version as of this writing. Additionally, Grunt build dependencies have also been updated to their latest compatible versions.
It took us more time than initially foreseen but hey, we all love deadlines. We all love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
TheHive 3.4.0-RC1 and Cortex 3.0.0-RC3 are now available on every Internet pipe near you and before you take them for a spin to help us identify any issues to make the stable releases rock-solid, let us walk you through some important information. Relax and grab a drink (and send good wine our way, we can always use some!).
In addition to ES5 and 6 support and the update of AngularJS, this version corrects a few bugs that were identified in the latest stable version (3.3.1) and adds a few features. The most important one in our opinion is the ability to import a file from a Cortex report. This requires Cortex 3.0.0-RC3. The full list of changes is available at the following location.
ES5 and ES6 support, AngularJS et cetera et cetera. Well you know the song right? Not quite as Cortex 3.0.0 significantly facilitates analyzer and responder installation and updates, thanks to Docker as we touched upon in a blog post earlier this year.
As detailed in the Cortex migration guide, which we recommend you read thoroughly, you can migrate from Cortex 2 and keep using analyzers and responders the same way (using processes), use the new Docker-based analyzers and responders or mix and match between running processes and docker containers (but then, you gotta pay extra attention to configure properly which analyzer/responder runs in which fashion).
Moreover, if you use the new dockerised analyzers and responders, you will be able to choose if you want to have them autoupdated (that’s the default behaviour) and if so, pick the bleeding edge, potentially buggy versions, the minor releases or, if you are risk-averse, stick with stable ones.
Cortex 3.0.0-RC3 also adds the ability to retrieve files resulting from analyzer jobs and last but not least, corrects an information disclosure bug that allowed non-admin users to retrieve the details of other users through the API. The vulnerability was reported by Adam Maris so kudos to him!
TheHive 3.4.0-RC1 and Cortex 3.0.0-RC3 use HTTP transport (9200/tcp by default) to connect to Elasticsearch instead of its native binary protocol (9300/tcp by default).
SSL/TLS, including when using a client certificate, can be configured to connect securely to ES. However this has not been tested yet.
Support of X-Pack and Search Guard is discontinued for anything but basic and SSL client authentication, which would still work.
Caution: Performance May Take a Hit!
The parent-child relationships we use behind the scene in Elasticsearch could make queries significantly slower with ES 6 and in our limited testing, we had the impression that performance took a hit. So please be cautious there and we’d be grateful if you could report any sluggishness you notice during your tests of the new versions with ES6.
We owe you an apology. We thought we would never need to support Elasticsearch 7 or even 6. We thought we could stick with the latest version of Elasticsearch 5 as the underlying storage and indexing engine for TheHive and Cortex until we would be able to complete the transition to a graph database. Moving to such a database is a necessity for your favourite open source, free Security Incident Response Platform and its analysis and orchestration companion, a necessity that has grown out of our frustration with Elasticsearch and its limitations, with the breaking changes that ES 6 introduced which forbid a smooth transition and puts a significant toll on an open source initiative such as ours.
We initially thought we could complete the transition by October of last year and finally offer you long-desired features such as RBAC and multi-tenancy as well as establish a solid ground to implement some exciting ideas that would help you lower the barrier to entry for junior analysts, save more time and concentrate on your work instead of having to master copy/paste between various interfaces or moving from one tool to the other.
Sadly, things did not play out the way we wanted. As TheHive and Cortex were adopted by more and more organisations, feature requests kept piling up and being generous bees, we have always strived to keep our users happy within the confines of our limited resources. Certainly, our user community helped us significantly by contributing a huge number of analyzers to Cortex in no time, making the total amount fly past the 100 landmark. However, we had to rely mostly on ourselves for heavy-duty backend work while steadily releasing new versions to satisfy the appetite for capabilities that sounded reasonable and feasible within a realistic, acceptable timeframe. Multi-tenancy and RBAC also proved more complex than initially foreseen and since we hate a half-baked recipe (blame it on our French culture and our love for delicious food), we did not want to rush things out and add flimsy ‘patch’ code.
So we focused on supporting graph databases and working on multi-tenancy and RBAC. You certainly noticed our silence these past weeks. And we completely lost sight of the end of life of ES 5.6 until we realised recently that it was no longer supported by Elastic, not even in critical bug fix mode. When ES 7 was released on April 10, the death sentence of ES 5.6 was pronounced and its coffin permanently nailed.
We know this is a lot to stomach. Welcome to the Upside Down! But remember: keep calm. Help is already on the way and hopefully this time around the cops will arrive before the movie is over. We are shifting our priorities to release new major versions of TheHive and Cortex in order to use a supported version of ES. This work should take a few weeks at least. In the meantime, if you are using TheHive and Cortex with their own, standalone ES instance and you have implemented sane network security measures to shield ES against unwanted remote access, you should be fine.
We also took the opportunity to look at what other external code we rely on and that would need to be updated as well, to avoid falling in the EOL trap again. Glad we looked! The current versions of TheHive and Cortex both use AngularJS 1.5 (here, take a stone and throw it the Hulk’s way on Nabil’s forehead). We are going to update our frontends to use AngularJS 1.7.
We will come up imminently with a concrete action plan to address our embarrassing miscalculation. Meanwhile, please accept our sincere apologies and rest assured that we won’t let you down.
Some of our die-hard fans noticed that we silently released TheHive 3.3.0 a few days ago, after six release candidates. Well. Silently won’t be the right word to use in this case as we are drowning under work and feature requests and we sometimes postpone communication in favour of getting true real work done.
So, without any further ado, we are happy to announce the official availability of our latest (and of course greatest) release of the most-advanced, next-gen, HI (Human Intelligence), gluten-free, (add here any keyword that you fancy to help us get the Gartner attention and land in the Magic Quadrant™), free and open source Security Incident Response Platform Security Orchestration Automation & Response Platform.
As stated earlier, TheHive 3.3.0 went through the largest number of release candidates to date in order to ensure it contains more features than bugs (or unexpected functionality as our dear Nabil call them sometimes).
TheHive and Cortex are a huge success. According to our estimates, 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 tried finding a solution to keep TheHive Project as healthy as possible. So we created Creative Source, a nonprofit organisation (NPO), in the hope that we could leverage it to hire more developers thanks to the generous donations of our large user community. Sadly, not everyone in this world is generous and altruistic. At the end, all but one company (yes, exactly one) 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.
As we informed you a few weeks ago, some members of our core team are finalising an alternative option 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 making highly bureaucratic, think-in-the-box-but-never-outside procurement departments freak out.
We could not leave for the week-end without issuing a minor release or two so here we go.
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.
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 email@example.com. We are always ready to help as does our user community.
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.
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.
After a nice summer break which allowed us to rest and enjoy Real Life™ (mostly) away from keyboards, screens and constant distractions and interruptions, we set to take into account the bug reports and feedback on TheHive 3.1.0-RC1 which we released a day or so before packing up for the mountains and elsewhere.
We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of Release Candidate 2 for TheHive 3.1.0. It contains numerous bug fixes and enhancements. You can read the full change log if you have nothing better to do with your life.
Among the changes we introduce in this new RC, we would like to highlight the following:
#652: the ability to set custom fields as mandatory.
#685: the quick case search box on the top navigation bar has been restored as it is highly useful for quick lookups without having to resort to the revamped search page.
#667: use alternative authentication methods when certificate authentification is enabled and the client does not present a certificate.
We encourage you to take TheHive 3.1.0-RC2 for a spin as quickly as you can and report any bug or issue so we can address them for the final release, scheduled in a couple of weeks. Cortex 2.1.0 is still at RC1 and we should be able to make a stable release at the same date as TheHive 3.1.0.
We would like to remind you that starting from these versions, we have 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-RC2 and Cortex 2.1-RC1, 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 beyond.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help.