An Apology

Dear Users,

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.

Source : https://kininaru-korean.net/archives/10305

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.

ごめんなさい 🙏🏼

TheHive 3.3-RC2, Hot out of the Oven

TheHive Project’s code Chefs, dressed in their outright haute cuisine outfit, including the traditional toque blanche, have been quite busy lately, working on dockerizing all the Cortex analyzers (more on this later in an upcoming post), and doing tedious work to prepare the replacement of Elasticsearch by a GraphDB which will help us finally release much-awaited features such as multi-tenancy, delayed for way too many months (yeah, yeah, don’t chastise them but feel free to help them). In the meantime, they found enough bandwidth to release a new major version of TheHive.

Version 3.3, currently a release candidate includes several bug fixes and many new features as outlined below. Please note that TheHive 3.3-RC2 is beta software. As all our other release candidates, you can grab it from the pre-release, beta repositories. As usual, we would truly appreciate your help making it a great stable release 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.

Check TheHive Installation guide for further details.

Wait! Where’s RC1?

TheHive 3.3-RC1 was very short-lived. Few hours after its release, and thanks to Chris (a.k.a. crackytsi on GitHub), Thomas Franco, our back-end mastermind, discovered an issue with the Debian 8 and Debian 9 packages.

New Features

  • #836: add a new exportCaseTags parameter to the MISP configuration section. If set to true, all the tags associated with a case will be exported along with it to MISP.
  • #861: add support for Java higher than 8, such as OpenJDK 11.
  • #271: bulk merge alerts into a case. Select multiple alerts at once and create a single case out of them or merge them into an existing case using its ID.
  • #824: add ability to sort alerts by reference, status, type, source…
  • #826: when previewing an alert, there are sometimes no overlap with an existing case. However, an analyst might already know, thanks to HI (Human Intelligence), that the alert should be merged into a specific case. This is now possible thanks to a new button.
  • #769: improve case template selection for case creation. If you have defined a large set of case templates, you will be able to sort/filter to find the case you want to use when creating a New Case.
New case template selector
  • #657: add observable tags auto-completion. Contributed by Tyler Chong (Thanks!).
Observable tag auto-completion

Fixed Bugs

  • #864: do not return a session cookie when making an API call.
  • #856: there was a bug where after a followed alert PATCH, if the alert has already been promoted to a case, the case is not updated. Now, if the alert has follow=true, if it gets updated, its status is set to Updated and the related case is updated too.
  • #845: assigned but unstarted tasks were not showing up in My Tasks.
  • #844: enable user account locking through the Delete API endpoint.

Stuck?

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.

The Mind-Boggling Implications of Multi-Tenancy

TheHive offers a powerful yet generic query API for all the data stored by the platform in the underlying Elasticsearch database.

Thanks to its DSL (Domain Specific Language), TheHive can handle complex search queries such as the following:

Among all the unassigned tasks, show me all those associated with cases which severity is high but also contain the highest number of observables which datatype is  ‘mail’

When faced with such complex queries, TheHive translates them using its DSL and sends them over to Elasticsearch to obtain the results. TheHive’s dashboards draw their power from such querties.

And while such capability is highly desirable in our opinion, a capability that we will further leverage to add a completely revamped search module in the upcoming Cerana 1 (TheHive 3.1) release, it greatly complicates RBAC (or multi-tenancy) in TheHive.

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 11.50.39.png
A Sneak Peek at the New Search Module of the Upcoming Cerana 1 (TheHive 3.1) Release

Indeed, in the RBAC world, the conversion of any search queries submitted to TheHive into an Elasticsearch one is fully dependent on the user context. The user view must be kept within the boundaries of the group or groups to which they belong. Each search filter,  each search parameter, must return only the results that the user can view.

The data scope needs to be clearly identified at the case level. To perform a search against task logs for example, TheHive will need to identify the parent task log, then identify the parent case and only then verify the scope. This is no small undertaking.

Similarities across cases or alerts, such as the Related Cases feature or the relationships between a given alert and existing cases, would need additional work that has not been clearly identified at this stage. But the difficulties do not stop there. Any element that has no clear relationship with case entities will have to be singled out and specific code would need to be added to limit access according to the RBAC rules. This will be clearly the case for the audit trail. Also, what should TheHive display when an analyst group is working on a case that shares observables with another one belonging to a different group? Shall it allow a limited view without any details so that groups may request from a super administrator to authorize both groups to collaborate on the investigation, something that distributed CERTs or SOCs in a large corporation may desire? Or shall it keep the data completely isolated as MSSPs which serve multiple customers with a single instance will require? We know the answer: make it configurable. But take a step back and think of the implications at the code (and security) level.

Contrary to the feature we added to Cortex 2, which allow multiple organizations to use a single Cortex instance, multi-tenancy in TheHive is a much more complex feature to implement and which is expected to have a significant impact on the platform’s performance. It will also need extreme caution to avoid blind spots that attackers (and not so innocent tenants) may exploit to circumvent scope limitations and extend their view to data they are not supposed to access. That’s why we had to delay it to Cerana 2 (TheHive 3.2), currently planned for the end of October 2018.

If you are well versed in Elasticsearch and Scala and willing to help implement this feature, please contact us at support@thehive-project.org.