Cortex 101: Dissecting Observables a Hundred Ways

TheHive Project’s Code Chefs are glad to announce that, thanks to the precious contributions of the user community, Cortex has broken the one hundred analyzer mark.

Cortex-Analyzers version 1.14.0 is out and includes new analyzers, some improvements and some bug fixes.

New Analyzers

New and enhanced analyzers, described below, are:

  • Cisco Investigate by Cisco Umbrella Research @opendns
  • Proofpoint Forensics Lookup by Emmanuel Torquato
  • Proofpoint Threat Insight Forensics Analyzer by Emmanuel Torquato
  • RecordedFuture by jojoob
  • urlscan.io search by ninoseki
  • Google DNS over HTTP by 0xswitch
  • RTF files support in FileInfo by Nils Kuhnert
  • Datascan and Inetnum flavors in Onyphe analyzer by Pierre Baudry and Adrien Barchapt

Again, huge thanks for the awesome work that has been performed by all our contributors!

Investigate

Cisco Umbrella Investigate provides threat intelligence about domains and IP addresses accross the Internet. The analyzer can be used to query the Cisco Umbrella (formerly OpenDNS) API and get information about an IP or a domain name. An API key is required to use this analyzer.

Results are displayed in TheHive in the following manner:

sc-investigate-short

sc-investigate-long
Cisco Investigate: short and long reports

Proofpoint Forensics Lookup

According to Proofpoint’s website, the Forensics API allows insight in detailed forensic evidences about individual threats or compaigns. The analyzer can be used to check observables against given indicators of compromise stored in the ProofPoint service.

Unfortunately, there are currently no sample report screenshots available, because TheHive’s Core Team does not have access to Proofpoint services. Also, due to the same reason, this analyzer could not be tested by us. If you have access to the service and can test the analyzer and/or provide report screenshots, please let us know.

RecordedFuture

This analyzer lets you get the latest risk data from RecordedFuture for a hash, domain or an IP address. It can be used to query the API and get information. An API key is required to use this analyzer.

Results are displayed in TheHive in the following manner:

sc-recordedfuture-short

sc-recordedfuture-long
RecordedFuture: short and long reports

Urlscan.io search

Urlscan.io is a service that scans and analyzes websites. Submitted pages will be browsed like a regular user would do and every activity gets recorded. The analyzer submitted by ninoseki queries urlscan without initiating a scan which would be publicly visible on the website. Accepted datatypes for this analyzer are URL, domain, hash and IP.

The templates which display the results of the analyzer look like the following screenshots:

Screenshot from 2018-10-25 09-55-34

Screenshot from 2018-10-25 09-48-58
Urlscan.io: short and long reports

Google DNS over HTTP

This analyzer provides DNS information for an IP, a domain or a FQDN by making calls to Google DNS-over-HTTP (DoH). No API key is required.

Results are displayed in TheHive in the following manner:sc-googleDNS-short

sc-googleDNS-long
Google DNS: short and long reports

RTF files support in FileInfo

The FileInfo meta analyzer has been improved and now leverages the rtfobj tool provided in the Oletools suite by Decalage.

Results are displayed in TheHive in the following manner:

sc-fileinfo_RTF-short

sc-rtfobj-long
FileInfo with rtfobj: short and long reports

Datascan and Inetnum flavors in Onyphe analyzer

The Onyphe analyzer has been enhanced with two new flavors. Datascan provides information about known open ports on a specific IP, and Inetnum enumerates all known network information about the analyzed IP address.

An API key is required to use the analyzer and can be obtained by creating an account on the Onyphe website.

Results are displayed in TheHive in the following manner:

sc-onyphe-inetnum-short

sc-onyphe_inetnum-long
Onyphe  Inetnum: short and long reports

sc-onyphe_datascan-short

sc-onyphe_datascan-long
Onyphe Datascan: long and short reports

Bug fixes and enhancements

  • #248: Improve error msg when VT Get Report does not have an entry for
  • #323: Fix an issue with HybridAnalysis analyzer filenames handler
  • #329: Enhance PassiveTotal Passive DNS report
  • #348: Fix a typo in URLhaus’s long.html
  • #356 : Force the use of Python3 in MISP analyzer
  • #362: Fix file not found issue and empty result set in CERT.at passive DNS analyzer

Get It While Supply Lasts!

Each analyzer comes with its own, pip compatible requirements.txt file. To update your Cortex analyzers to 1.14.0, run the following commands:

cd path/to/Cortex-Analyzers
git pull
for I in analyzers/*/requirements.txt; do sudo -H pip2 install -U -r $I || true; done && \
for I in analyzers/*/requirements.txt; do sudo -H pip3 install -U -r $I || true; done

Once done, do not forget to login to Cortex as an orgadmin and click on the Refresh Analyzers button. Refer to the online Cortex documentation for further details.

Update TheHive Report Templates

If you are using TheHive, get the latest version of  the report templates and import them into TheHive.

Running Into Trouble?

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!

There are More than 80 Ways to Analyze Them

TheHive Project Chefs are pleased to announce the immediate availability of Cortex-Analyzers 1.10.1. To install this new release and benefit from 11 new analyzers and some fixes:

$ cd /path/to/Cortex-Analyzers
$ sudo git pull
$ for I in analyzers/*/requirements.txt; do sudo -H pip2 install -r $I; done && \
for I in analyzers/*/requirements.txt; do sudo -H pip3 install -r $I || true; done

After running these commands, read the Analyzer Requirements Guide,  log into the Cortex 2 Web UI as an orgAdmin, click on the Refresh Analyzers button in the Cortex Web UI, configure the new analyzers and enjoy!

click.png
Cortex: click on Refresh Analyzers after updating to the latest Cortex-analyzers version

If you are using TheHive, get the last version of  the report templates and import them into TheHive.

New Analyzers

We have added 11 analyzers to this release, bringing the total to 53 (83 if we count all the flavors):

  1. Crtsh: contributed by crackytsi
  2. Cybercrime-Tracker: contributed by ph34tur3
  3. FireEye iSIGHT: contributed by Davide Arcuri and Andrea Garavaglia from LDO-CERT
  4. GreyNoise: contributed by Nclose
  5. IBM X-Force: contributed by Davide Arcuri and Andrea Garavaglia from LDO-CERT
  6. Malwares: contributed by Davide Arcuri and Andrea Garavaglia from LDO-CERT
  7. MnemonicPDNS: contributed by Michael Stensrud from the Nordic Financial CERT
  8. StaxxSearch: contributed by Robert Nixon
  9. StopForumSpam: contributed by Marc-André Doll from STARC (by EXAPROBE)
  10. ThreatCrowd: contributed by Rémi Allain from Cyberprotect
  11. Unshortenlink: contributed by Rémi Pointel from CERT-BDF

Crtsh

Get Crt.sh certificate transparency lists associated with a domain name. Crt.sh is an online service operated by the Comodo Certificate Authority.

The analyzer comes in only one flavor. No configuration is required. It can be used out of the box.

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 16.46.22.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 16.46.31.png
TheHive: Crtsh — Short and Long Report Samples

Cybercrime-Tracker

Use the Cybercrime-tracker.net service to assess whether an IP address, URL, domain, or FQDN has a C2 (Command & Control) entry in its database.

This analyzer comes in only one flavor. No configuration is required. It can be used out of the box.

Screenshot from 2018-06-05 14-43-54.png

Screenshot from 2018-06-05 14-43-37.png
TheHive: CyberCrime-Tracker — Short and Long Report Samples

FireEye iSIGHT

Leverage FireEye iSIGHT Threat Intelligence to qualify domains, IP addresses, hashes and URLs.

This analyzer comes in only one flavor. You need a valid FireEye iSIGHT Threat Intelligence subscription to use the analyzer. Retrieve the API key associated with your account and provide it as a value to the key parameter. Obtain the password associated with the API key and provide it as a value to the pwd parameter.

Fireeye.png
TheHive: FireEye iSIGHT — Long Report Sample (courtesy of Andrea Garavaglia)

GreyNoise

Determine whether an IP has known scanning activity using GreyNoise.

This analyzer comes in only one flavor. It can be used out of the box without configuration. However, if you make many requests, you need to obtain an API key. Please contact GreyNoise to ask for one. Once you get the API key, provide it as the value of the key parameter.

Screenshot from 2018-06-05 14-48-02.png

Screenshot from 2018-06-05 14-47-42.png
TheHive: GreyNoise — Short and Long Report Samples

IBM X-Force

Query domains, IPs, hashes and URLs against IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence sharing platform.

This analyzer comes in only one flavor. Access to IBM X-Force Threat Exchange requires an IBM ID. Once you have access to the service, supply the URL of the service as value for the url parameter, the API key associated with your account as value for the key parameter and the associated password as the value of the pwd parameter.

IBM-XForce.PNG
TheHive: IBM X-Force — Long Report Sample (courtesy of Andrea Garavaglia)

Malwares

Query Malwares.com and get reports on files, hashes, domain names and IP addresses.

The analyzer comes in two flavors:
– Malwares_pDNS_GetReport: get the latest Malwares report for a file,
hash, domain or an IP address.
– Malwares_pDNS_Scan: scan a file or URL.

You need to sign up for a Malwares.com account. An API key to use the service’s API should be associated with your account. Supply it as the value of the key parameter.

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 16.56.38.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 16.56.57.png
TheHive: Malwares_GetReport — Short and Long Report Samples

MnemonicPDNS

Query IP addresses and domain names against Mnemonic Passive DNS service.

This analyzer comes in two flavors:

  • Mnemonic_pDNS_Public: query Mnemonic’s public service.
  • Mnemonic_pDNS_Closed: query Mnemonic’s closed service.

When using the public service, the analyzer can be used out of the box with no further configuration. When using the closed service, you need to contact Mnemonic to get an API key which you’ll need to supply as the value of the key parameter.

Screenshot from 2018-06-05 14-46-40.png

Screenshot from 2018-06-05 14-46-19.png
TheHive: Mnemonic PDNS — Short and Long Report Samples

StaxxSearch

Fetch observable details from an Anomali STAXX instance.

This analyzer comes in only one flavor. You need to install an Anomali STAXX instance or to have access to one to use the analyzer. Supply the following parameters to the analyzer in order to use it:

  • auth_url: URL of the authentication endpoint.
  • query_url: URL of the intelligence endpoint.
  • username: the STAXX user name.
  • password: the STAXX password.
  • cert_check: boolean indicating whether the certificate of the endpoint must be checked or not.
  • cert_path: path to the CA on the system to validate the endpoint’s certificate if cert_check is true.

image0010.png

image002.png
TheHive: StaxxSearch — Short and Long Report Samples (courtesy of Robert Nixon)

StopForumSpam

Query StopForumSpam to check if an IP or email address is a known spammer.

You need to define the thresholds above which the analyzed observable should be marked as suspicious or malicious.

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 18.32.08.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 18.32.21.png
TheHive: StopForumSpam — Short and Long Report Samples

ThreatCrowd

Look up domains, mail and IP addresses on [ThreatCrowd(https://www.threatcrowd.org/), a service powered by AlienVault.

This analyzer comes in only one flavor. No configuration is needed. It can be used out of the box.

Screenshot from 2018-06-05 14-45-29.png

Screenshot from 2018-06-05 14-45-11.png
TheHive: Threatcrowd — Short and Long Report Samples

Unshortenlink

Follow redirects of shortened URLs to reveal the real ones.

This analyzer comes in only one flavor.

No configuration is required. It can be used out of the box.

Warning: using this analyzer without extra caution might lead to unexpected consequences. For example, if the URL you are seeking to unshorten is an attacker-controlled one, you may end up leaving undesired traces in the threat actor’s infrastructure logs. The TLP values Cortex allows you to configure to prevent the use of an analyzer if the TLP associated with an observable is above the authorized level won’t be of much help since Unshortenlink have to access the shortened URL. Please do not activate this analyzer unless you (and your fellow analysts) know what they are doing.

Pasted image at 2018_06_05 09_07 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 21.05.45.png
TheHive: Unshortenlink — Short and Long Report Samples

Additional Enhancements

  • YARA analyzer had a bug which was fixed in version 1.9.7 of the Cortex-analyzers repository. If you install 1.10, you’ll obviously benefit from the fix 😉
  • A permission problem that prevented using the Cuckoo Sandbox analyzer was corrected (thanks Felix Bauer!)

Support

Something does not work as expected? No worries, please join our user forum, contact us on Gitter, or send us an email at support@thehive-project.org. We are here to help.

CorrectionJune 6, 2018
An earlier version of this post mentioned that GreyNoise needs an API key. That’s only necessary if a certain level of requests are made. Also, to configure analyzers, you need to be orgAdmin.

Unveiling Cortex 2

TheHive Project’s Master Chefs are extremely happy to share, for free their latest recipe with the Cyber Threat Intelligence, Digital Forensics and Incident Response communities: Cortex 2.

As its predecessor, Cortex 2 is published under an AGPL v3 license and it introduces many important features that we brushed upon in a Dec 2017 post.

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 17.16.06
Cortex 2 — Architecture

Update: Cortex 2.0.1 was released since this post went live. It corrects a few bugs we uncovered in 2.0.0 as described in the changelog. Please install Cortex 2.0.1 instead of 2.0.0.

Authentication

Cortex 2 supports all the authentication methods that TheHive supports: LDAP, Active Directory, local accounts, API Keys, and X.509 SSO.

To connect your favorite Security Incident Response Platform with Cortex 2, you will need to update TheHive to Cerana 0.7 (TheHive 3.0.7) which was released today as well. This version fixes a regression pertaining to case templates introduced by Cerana 0.6 and is the first version to fully support Cortex 2’s API changes and authentication.

To make TheHive 3.0.7 analyze observables at scale through Cortex 2, you have to create an account on Cortex 2 with the read and analyze roles (see the next section) and generate the associated API Key. Next, feed the key in TheHive’s /etc/thehive/application.conf as described in the documentation et voilà !

TheHive 3.0.7 remains compatible with Cortex 1 and you can connect it to a mixed set of Cortex 1 and/or Cortex 2 instances with no issues.

Organizations, Analyzers and Rate Limiting

Cortex 2 introduces multi-tenancy through organizations and each organization can have its own set of users, with different roles, its own set of analyzers and, if necessary, rate limits that will prevent analysts from burning quotas.

Multi-tenancy has several interesting use cases. For instance, if you are the CSIRT or CERT of a large multinational organization with several regional teams, you can create an organization for each region within your constituency and enable the analyzers that they may need to use. Let’s assume that you bought a VirusTotal subscription that limits you to 5000 requests per month. You can configure the corresponding analyzers to give each region a fair share of that quota and keeping some requests for your own use.

In case you are a commercial CSIRT or an MSSP, you could do the same for your customers by installing only one Cortex 2 instance and creating an organization for each customer.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 16.27.05.png
Configure an analyzer graphically and impose rate limits if necessary

User Roles

By default, Cortex 2 is shipped with the default cortex organization which sole purpose is to create other ones and manage the users within each organization and their associated powers. The cortex organization hosts all users with the superAdmin role and it cannot be used to configure or run analyzers.

As described in the new Quick Start Guide, after installing Cortex 2, updating its database and creating the first user who will have super admin powers, you’ll have to create your first organization and at least one user within that organization with orgAdmin rights.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 16.33.02
Create an organization

You can then log out and log in using the orgAdmin account to create further users within that organization, enable and configure analyzers etc. Please note that no analyzer is enabled by default and you need at least v 1.9.0 of the cortex-analyzers repository. To update your set of analyzers to 1.9.0, please run git pull.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 16.28.47
Manage users within an organization

Besides the superAdmin and orgAdmin roles, Cortex 2 introduces the read role which allows users to access analyzer reports and read them but not execute analyzers. For that, users need the analyze role (which implies the read role). orgAdmin users can also run analyzers. superAdmin users are limited to the default cortex organization. While they can create organizations and manage users within them, they cannot access analyzer configurations such as confidential API keys or job reports.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 16.31.28
Job reports

Report Persistence and Caching

Cortex 2 relies on Elasticsearch 5.x to store many configuration items but also all the analyzer reports that have been generated. Unlike its predecessor, you won’t lose your existing reports should you need to restart the service or the host it is running on.

Cortex 2 also introduces report caching. By default the cache.job parameter is set to 10 minutes in /etc/cortex/application.conf. That means that if an analysis on a given observable with a defined TLP is requested and that a report has been previously generated in the last 10 minutes, Cortex 2 will serve that report instead of running a new analysis. This feature can help prevent soliciting analyzers, particularly those which require a subscription or have quotas, when there is no need to do so. Please note that this parameter is global to all the analyzers and all the organizations that are configured in the Cortex 2 instance. We do have plans to make it more granular in future versions.

Migrating from Cortex 1

If you are migrating from Cortex 1.x, we recommend that you:

  1. Save the configuration of your analyzers (which ones are enabled and what their configuration items are, such as users/passwords or API keys).
  2. Install Cortex 2.
  3. Edit /etc/cortex/application.conf to add the secret key as shown in Step 1 of the Quick Start Guide and point Cortex to the location of the analyzers.
  4. Follow the remaining steps of the Quick Start Guide to enable the analyzers you need and reinject their configuration.

What’s Next?

In the upcoming weeks, we will release a new version of Cortex4py in order to make it compatible with Cortex 2, continue the work we started with our MISP Project friends to support MISP attribute enrichment through Cortex 2 (MISP currently only supports enrichment using Cortex 1), and perform a long-overdue overhaul of our documentation.

Feeling Generous? Donate!

As you know, we are a FOSS project and donations are always welcome to make our products even better for the community.

All donations go to Creative Source, the non-profit organization we have created, and we will use them to improve TheHive, Cortex & Hippocampe but also to develop (even better) integrations with other FOSS solutions such as MISP.

So if you are feeling generous, please contact us at support@thehive-project.org.

Creative Source can also provide so-called professional, entreprise-grade support, help integrating the products, train your analysts before they drain or assist you in specific areas such as developing in-house analyzers for Cortex.

Support

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

Correction: March 30, 2018
Instructions on how to update the cortex-analyzers have been added. Also, Cortex 2.0.1 was released to correct a few bugs in the previous version since this post went live.

Training VM Updated with Mellifera 13.2

Two days after the release of  Mellifera 13.2 (TheHive 2.13.2), we have updated the training VM with this version. You can download it from the following location:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3G-Due88gfQMGZ2RjRlc1RfQ2M/view?usp=sharing

To ensure that your download went through nicely, check the file’s SHA256 hash which must be equal to the following value:

15dc0a1d1ef099abd852fefff3a12c1b752573c01b133fc6e643dd2fceb1d46f

The system’s login is thehive and the associated password is thehive1234.

Use It

You can start using TheHive & Cortex once the VM is started. To access TheHive, point your browser to the following URL:

http://IP_OF_VM:9000

For Cortex, the port is 9999:

http://IP_OF_VM:9999

Where to Go from Here?

Please read the associated documentation page to configure the services on your training virtual machine and plug it with MISP.

Need Help?

Something does not work as expected? No worries, we got you covered. Please join our  user forum, contact us on Gitter, or send us an email at support@thehive-project.org. We are here to help.

Cortex 1.1.4 Released

Moments ago, we have announced the release of Mellifera 13, TheHive4py 1.3.0, and Cortex4py. And since we don’t want to leave you wanting for more fun time, you may want to schedule as well a Cortex update shall you need it 😉

Implemented Enhancements

  • Disable analyzer in configuration file #32
  • Group ownership in Docker image prevents running on OpenShift #42

Fixed Bugs

  • Cortex removes the input details from failure reports #38
  • Display a error notification on analyzer start fail #39

Download & Get Down to Work

To update your current Cortex installation, follow the instructions of the installation guide. Before doing so, you may want to save the job reports that were not executed via TheHive. Cortex 1 has no persistence and restarting the service will wipe out any existing reports.

Please note that you can install Cortex using an RPM or DEB package, deploy it using an Ansible script, use Docker, install it from a binary or build it from sources.

Support

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

Train till you Drain: TheHive & Cortex VM

Rejoice folks! You can now play with TheHive & Cortex thanks to the test VM we created. It includes Mellifera 12, the latest major version of TheHive, Cortex 1.1.3, the latest Cortex analyzers with all dependencies and ElasticSearch installed on top of Ubuntu 16.04 with Oracle JRE 8.

The test VM is intended to be used… well… for testing or training purposes. We strongly encourage you to refrain from using it for production.

Get It

You can download the VM from the following location:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3G-Due88gfQYWR6WVlkLWhRemM/view?usp=sharing

To ensure that your download went through nicely, check the file’s SHA256 hash which must be equal to the following value:

17df5989d852583e3046daefb97caadff90d30ecf4402df69cf6036d7ad1cacd

The system’s login is thehive and the associated password is thehive1234.

Use It

You can start using TheHive & Cortex once the VM is started. To access TheHive, point your browser to the following URL:

http://IP_OF_VM:9000

For Cortex, the port is 9999:

http://IP_OF_VM:9999

Configure TheHive

The first time you access TheHive, you’ll need to create the associated database by clicking on the Update Database button as shown below:

Screen_Shot_2017-07-06_at_21_52_46.png
Update TheHive’s Database on First Access

TheHive’s configuration file is located in /etc/thehive/application.conf. For additional configuration, read the docs.

Cortex

TheHive is already configured to use the local Cortex service.

Analyzer and Associated Report Templates

To fully benefit from the analyzers, you should install the associated report templates:

  • download the report template package
  • log in TheHive using an administrator account
  • go to Admin > Report templates menu
  • click on Import templates button and select the downloaded package
Plug it with MISP

The test VM does not contain a MISP instance and none is configured in TheHive’s configuration file.  To play with MISP, you may want to use the VM our good friends at CIRCL provide.  Once you’ve downloaded it or if you have an existing instance, edit /etc/thehive/application.conf and follow the configuration guide.

Restart or Go Mad

After each modification of /etc/thehive/application.conf do not forget to restart the service:

$ sudo service thehive restart

Troubles?

TheHive service logs are located in /var/log/thehive/application.log.

Configure Cortex

All available analyzers are installed with their dependencies, but none is configured. To configure analyzers, edit /etc/cortex/application.conf and follow the configuration guide.

Restart or Go Mad

After each modification of /etc/cortex/application.conf do not forget to restart the service:

$ sudo service cortex restart
Troubles?

Cortex service logs are located in /var/log/cortex/application.log.

Need Help?

Something does not work as expected? No worries, we got you covered. Please join our  user forum, contact us on Gitter, or send us an email at support@thehive-project.org. We are here to help.

 

Correction: July 8, 2017 
An earlier version of this post offered to download the VM from Dropbox but they suspended the associated link due to seemingly heavy traffic. The post was updated to replace the Dropbox link with a Google Drive one.

TheHive, Cortex and MISP: How They All Fit Together

TheHive, Cortex and MISP work nicely together and if you’ve read our June-Dec 17 roadmap post, the integration of our products with the de facto threat sharing platform will get better in a few months.

During the FIRST conference presentation we gave last week, we displayed a picture that we will use here to try to explain how these three open source and free products integrate with one another.

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 09.58.43.png
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…

TheHive

TheHive is a Security Incident Response Platform (SIRP). It can receive alerts from different sources (SIEM, IDS, email. etc.) via its REST API. This is where alert feeders come into play.

Alert Feeders

Think of an alert feeder as a specialized program which consumes a security event (SIEM alert, email report, IDS alert, and so on), parses it and outputs an alert that its sends to TheHive through TheHive4py, the Python library we provide to interact with TheHive’s REST API.

We do not supply such feeders but developing them should be straightforward. If not, let us know  and we’ll do our best to help you out.

Alerts

Any alert sent to TheHive will show up in its Alerts pane. In addition to the sources mentioned above, new or updated MISP events will show up as well in that area if you configured TheHive to connect to one or several MISP instances. If so, TheHive will poll those MISP instance(s) at every interval looking for new or updated events. If there are any, TheHive will generate an alert which will end up in the Alerts pane.

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 15.29.51.png
The Alerts Pane

Alerts can be ignored, mark as read, previewed and imported. When an alert is imported, it becomes a case that needs to be investigated.

Cases

workflow
The Workflow that is at the Heart of TheHive

A case can be generated from an alert or created from scratch. It is subdivided into tasks (think identification, containment, eradication, check proxy logs, and so on) and observables (IP addresses, hashes, email addresses, domain names, URLs…). When analysts are working on tasks, they add logs as they go. In TheHive’s terminology, logs are text entries which may contain attachments to help analysts record what they have been doing. Logs can be written using Markdown or a rich-text editor.

Case Templates

You don’t need to add the same tasks over and over when working on cases belonging to a given category (DDoS, Malspam, APT, …). You can create custom templates to which you add tasks as shown below. This is very useful when you are dealing with alerts so that when you import them, you can select which case template you’d like to apply and there you go!

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 10.26.22.png
A Sample Case Template
Observables

Observables can be tagged, flagged as IOCs, and analyzed. When the investigation is well in progress or completed, you may want to share the resulting IOCs or a subset of those with partners and peers. TheHive will support the ability to export that data to MISP in September 2017. Until then, you can still export your IOCs as text, CSV or as a MISP-compatible format that you can use to add them to your MISP instance using the freetext editor. TheHive can export IOCs/observables in protected (hxxps://www[.]somewhere[.]com/) or unprotected mode.

Every observable must have a TLP (Traffic Light Protocol) level. By default, any added observable is considered TLP:AMBER. Please note that the TLP is taken into account by some analyzers. Wait! Analyzers?

Cortex

Cortex is our standalone analysis engine and a perfect companion for TheHive and MISP. Analysts can use it to analyze observables using its Web UI, in which case they can be submitted only one at a time. The Web UI should really be limited to quick assessments of observables before creating a case in TheHive (or in an alternate SIRP). The power of Cortex really comes into play when you use its REST API. TheHive speaks natively to Cortex (as MISP does). Moreover, TheHive can leverage one or several Cortex servers.

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Observable Page and List of Analyzers
Analyzers

As of this writing, Cortex has 23 analyzers which come in a total of 39 flavors and more will be available soon.

An analyzer can be written in any programming language supported by Linux though all of our current analyzers are written in Python. This is because we provide a Python library called Cortexutils which contains a set of utility classes that make it easier to write an analyzer in Python.

Flavors

Analyzers such as VirusTotal, PassiveTotal or DomainTools can provide different analysis services. Let’s take VirusTotal as an example. You can scan a file or URL. That’s one flavor. You can also obtain the latest available report on VirusTotal.com for a file, hash, domain or IP address. That’s a second flavor. So the VirusTotal analyzer has two flavors.

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How about PassiveTotal? It has 8 flavors: unique resolutions lookup, SSL certificate history lookup, malware lookup, passive DNS lookup, data enrichment lookup, SSL certificate details lookup, OSINT lookup and WHOIS data lookup.

The MISP Search Analyzer

At this point, we need to mention a special analyzer that may create some confusion if not understood correctly: the MISP Search analyzer. Thanks to it, Cortex has the ability to search observables within a MISP instance as represented by the arrow that goes from the Analyzers to MISP.

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Search for MISP Events Containing a Given Observable

When an observable is found in an event, Cortex will return the number of records found (i.e. the number of events where the observable has been found) and a list of links to those events with additional data.

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Searching for a Hash Using the MISP Search Analyzer from the Cortex Web UI
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The Same Search Conducted from TheHive: Long Report
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Mini-Report

The current version of the MISP Search analyzer can only search within a single MISP instance but in the near future, it will be able to support multiple ones.

MISP Expansion Modules

Besides its own analyzers (which include MISP Search described above), Cortex can also invoke MISP expansion modules. These are normally used by MISP to enrich attributes within events but Cortex can also take advantage of them to analyze observables.

There is some overlap between the native Cortex analyzers and MISP expansion modules. When choosing between a native analyzer or an expansion module, we highly recommend you select the former. The expansion modules are deactivated in the default Cortex configuration.

Jobs

When you submit an observable for analysis, Cortex will create a job and, if successful, it will generate an analysis report in JSON format. TheHive has the ability to parse those results and present them in a human-friendly fashion thanks to report templates we offer for free. So when you’ll submit an observable to Cortex from TheHive, you’ll get back a short (or mini) report and a long one. The first can be thought of as a really tiny Exec Analyst Summary while the second provides more insight and details.

Calling Cortex from MISP

In addition to the expansion modules we have just mentioned, MISP 2.4.73 and up can enrich attributes using Cortex analyzers. The configuration is pretty straightforward. So if all you are concerned about is threat intelligence and sharing, you may augment your visibility into a given threat represented as a MISP event by leveraging all current 23 Cortex analyzers and any future ones.

Conclusion

TheHive, Cortex and MISP are three open source and free products that can highly aid you combat threats and keep the ‘monsters’ at bay.

TheHive, as a SIRP, allows you to investigate security incident swiftly in a collaborative manner. Several analysts can work simultaneously on tasks & cases . While cases can be created from scratch, TheHive can receive alerts from different sources thanks to alert feeders which consume security events generated by multiple sources and feed them into TheHive using TheHive4py Python library. TheHive can also sync to one or several MISP instances to receive new and updated events which will appear in the alert pane with all the other alerts generated by other sources. Analysts can then preview new alerts to decide whether they need to be acted upon. If so, they can transform them into investigation cases using templates.

To analyze the observables collected in the course of an investigation and/or imported from a MISP event, TheHive can rely on one or several Cortex analysis engines. Cortex is another standalone product that we have developed which sole purpose is to allow you to analyze observables at scale thanks to its large number of analyzers, MISP expansion modules and any analyzer you might have developed on the side. Cortex has a REST API that can be used to empower other security products such as  ‘analytics’ software, alternate SIRPs or MISP.

The highly popular threat sharing platform can indeed enrich attributes thanks to Cortex as it has a native integration with it. And in a few months, you will also be able to export cases from TheHive as MISP events that you can share with peers and partners.

If you do share, you do care about our collective mission to defend the  digital assets that are under our watch from harm. So let us fight together as one.