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!

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.

TheHive4py 1.5.1 Released

When you need to interact with TheHive’s REST API and you ain’t shy of working with Python, TheHive4py is the way to go. It’s a free, open source library we provide to allow you to easily create alert feeders, automate certain tasks like creating cases, assign them to analysts and much more. For example, Synapse, DigitalShadows2TH and Zerofox2TH leverage the library to send alerts to your favourite SIRP/SOAR.

Sometime ago, we decided that it was time to overhaul the whole library and we began working on version 2.0.0 which will be easier to use. It should also support the full set of TheHive’s REST API calls. In the meantime we decided to release version 1.5.0, shortly followed by version 1.5.1 to support some new functionality contributed by our user community and correct a few issues.

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Source : XKCD

New Features Introduced in 1.5.0

Bugfixes Introduced in 1.5.0

  • #80: Prevent max recursion depth exceeded error, contributed by Psynbiotik

New Features Introduced in 1.5.1

Important note: TheHive4py 1.5.1 does not work with TheHive 3.0.10 or earlier versions. Please stick with 1.5.0 if you are using those versions.

Updating/Installing

To update your existing package:

$ sudo pip install thehive4py --upgrade

If you are just getting started with TheHive4py, you can forgo the --upgrade at the end of the command above.

But I just Wanna Play!

If you’d like to play around with TheHive4py 1.5.1, TheHive 3.1.1., Cortex4py 2.0.1 and Cortex 2.1.1, please download the training VM.

Paris? Are you There?

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

Correction: October 12, 2018
As reported by Robin Hahling, TheHive 1.5.1 does not work with TheHive 3.0.10 or earlier versions.

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).

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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!

Hold your breath and git pull

Cortex-Analyzer 1.13.0 is out and includes new analyzers, some improvements and few bug fixes :

  • Hunter.io has been contributed by Rémi Allain (@remiallain)
  • DShield lookup contributed by Xavier Martens (@xme)
  • Pulsedive contributed by Nils Kuhnert (@3c7, TheHive Project)
  • FileInfo has been enhanced with Manalyze submodule for PE analysis ; by @lctrcl and Nils Kuhnert (@3c7)
  • Thanks to @silrumpa, the Fortiguard_URLCategory analyzer has been updated and let you configure categories and customize theirs maliciousness level
  • PhishingInitiative analyzer has been flavoured with a scan facility, thanks to Rémi Pointel

Huge thanks for the awesome work that has been performed by all our contributors!

Hunterio_DomainSearch

Hunter.io is a search engine that lets you find emails associated with a given domain name. The analyzer can be used to query the API and get a list of email addresses for a specific domain name. An API key is required to use this analyzer and can be obtained by registering on the website.

Results are displayed in TheHive in the following manner:

sc-hunterio-short

sc-hunterio-long
Hunterio_DomainSearch: short and long report samples

DShield_lookup

The analyzer lets you query the famous SANS Internet Storm Center (ISC) DShield API and look up IP address reputation. No API key is needed to run this analyzer.

Results are displayed in TheHive in the following manner:

sc-dshield-short
sc-dshield-long
DShield_lookup: short and long report templates

Pulsedive_GetIndicator

Pulsedive is a Threat Intelligence platform that allows you to enrich your observables. The analyzer can be used to query  the API and get information about a domain name,  hash, IP or URL. An API key is required to use this analyzer and can be acquired by creating an account on the webiste.

Results are displayed in TheHive in the following manner:

sc-pulsedive-short

sc-pulsedive-long
Pulsedive_GetIndicator: short and long report templates

Manalyze joins FileInfo

Manalyze is a tool developed by Ivan Kwiatkowski (@JusticeRage) that lets you analyze, operate PE (Portable Executable) and collect useful artifacts that help the analyst in determining its maliciousness.

@lctrcl wrote an analyzer that triggers Manalyze on a PE file and gives the analyst a useful report. Nils Kuhnert (@3c7) from TheHive Project then included this analyzer as a submodule into our FileInfo meta-analyzer for files ; it can run Manalyze from compiled binary, or, if your Cortex server is ready for that, through the right docker. If you decide to use the compiled binary, please follow instruction from Manalyze github page.

This submodule is disabled by default. To use it, you have to set some configuration in Cortex:

sc-fileinfo-config
FileInfo: configuration for Manalyze in Cortex

Results are displayed in TheHive in the following manner:

sc-fileinfo-short3

sc-fileinfo-long3
Manalyze submodule: short and long report templates

Fortiguard_URLCategory

This analyzer has been enhanced to let analysts choose categories considered as malicious or suspicious. It comes with a default configuration but you can setup your own by selecting the categories from the Fortiguard website.

sc-fortiguard-config
Fortiguard_URLCategory: default configuration for categories  in Cortex

Select which categories you want to be considered malicious or suspicious, and others will be considered by the analyzer as info. Analyzed observables that are not categorised by Fortigard service is considered as safe.

PhishingInitiative_Scan

PhishingInitiative has been enhanced with a new scan flavor. This let the analyst submit an URL to the webservice. An API key is needed to run this analyzer and can be obtained by registering on the website.

Results are displayed in TheHive in the following manner:

sc-phishinginitiative-short

sc-phishinginitiative-long
PhishingInitiative_Scan: short and long report samples

Bug fixes

  • #335 : fix a bug in MISP analyzer
  • #340 : fix short report template in C1fApp
  • #339 : fix short and mini reports for Domaintools Whois history flavor

Get It While Supply Lasts!

Each analyzer comes with its own, pip compatible requirements.txt file. To update your Cortex analyzers to 1.13.0, run the following commands:

cd path/to/Cortex-Analyzers
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

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!

Correction: September 25, 2018
The link to the report templates was incorrect.

TheHive 3.1.0-RC2 is Out!

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 would also like to thank Marc-André Doll for contributing a nice UX enhancement and GitHub user secdecompiled for adding the ability to view alerts and cases with large descriptions in an easy way.

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.

Important Note

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.

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.

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.

Unveiling Synapse

When we’re not busy cooking new features, we go back to the trenches and face incidents like many of our fellow analysts who read our publications and use our tools. To do so, we swap our chef toques for firefighter helmets, not only because such shiny headwear is cool, but mainly because incident response (IR) is, at its very heart, firefighting (minus all the dangerous stuff).

If you think about it, when handling incidents you can see everything from cats in trees (spam) to major fire (APT). Thankfully, there are more cats to bring down than fire to extinguish. That being said, a big herd of cats could be a serious threat to your organization, to your mental health or both.

We tend to forget that incident handlers are humans, not robots. Unlike our metal cyberfriends, we need diversity. We can’t risk insanity like Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times if we can avoid it. Unfortunately IR can be highly repetitive, especially if you only have cats to deal with.

Some could say ‘Nah, this is minor, nothing critical here’ but at some point, an analyst brainwashed by the same tasks again and again will be led to fault. In the worst case scenario, one could see an alert and immediately categorize it as false positive without any further consideration. Because ‘this alert is always a false positive’, until the day it is not…

Automation, a Solution?

Intuitively, we look in the direction of automation in order to minimize what we call ‘zombie’ tasks: highly repetitive and brainless tasks that need to be done. We believe that doing so will allow incident handlers to focus on the analysis and not on the tedious side of IR. Ultimately, we hope it will keep analysts stimulated and in a state of alert. Also, it should reduce time and effort spent on the low-hanging fruits.

One of the most dreary tasks in our opinion is to record the context around an incident.
What is the problem? When did it happen? What’s the origin? Who are the victims? How many are there? Answers to these questions let you have an overview of what is happening and are valuable to correlate incidents. So it is worth taking some minutes to add this information to your case. Sadly, most of the time it will look like a succession of ‘Ctrl+C; Alt+Tab; Ctrl+V’ from your incident source to TheHive. Exactly the kind of tasks we want to forego.

Specifications

Having identified the threat that apathetic analysts pose, the root cause (highly repetitive tasks) and a solution (automate the recording of incident context), the question of the implementation has been raised.

The first challenge to solve is the number of incident sources. Almost everything can trigger an incident: a firewall, an IDS, antivirus, SIEM, users, etc… So the application must be designed to accept several sources and must permit to easily integrate new ones. And instead of having to configure multiple alert feeders to supply alerts to TheHive, we would have only one. To some extent, it can be assimilated to a meta feeder.

And if the application works as intended, we still have a second challenge. Let’s say you, dear reader, and ourselves use the galaxy renowned Stargazer IDS. Maybe you’d like to include the full packet capture in the case but we wouldn’t. Using the same product doesn’t mean using it the same way. So we have a variety of sources and for each source, we have a variety of configurations and workflows. Hence any app we design needs to accept multiple configurations and workflows for any given source.

Finally: the third challenge. We want to make the most out of TheHive. Creating cases, creating alerts, assigning cases, adding logs, adding observables … all those actions are not an option.

Synapse

After several trials and failures, we came up with Synapse. Basically it is a Python 3 app which sits between TheHive and your incident sources:

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 09.54.28.png
Synapse Overview

To solve the first and third challenge, we rely on connectors. A connector is a Python object dedicated to interact with a security device. In the picture above, you can see the Exchange Connector and TheHive Connector. To extend the number of sources, you just have to develop the connector that corresponds to your device.

Regarding the second challenge, we rely on workflows. Workflows are python scripts who use connectors to automate repetitive tasks when tracking a case. Not happy with the current workflow? Develop your own using the connectors.

At this point, you probably wonder why there’s an API in the picture above. Well, the API is the link between the user and the workflows. By hitting a specific endpoint of the Synapse’s API, the corresponding workflow will be launched. That way the user can choose what to launch, especially if they are only interested in a particular workflow. Moreover, using an API allows us to listen to TheHive’s real-time stream and initiate some actions like closing a QRadar offense when the related case is solved.

At the moment, Synapse includes the Exchange connector and the associated Ews2Case workflow. The workflow features:

  • Case creation from emails
  • Case assignment
  • Adding email bodies to task logs
  • Adding email replies to the case
  • Adding email attachments as observables

And of course, everything is done to minimize the number of clicks! Check the workflow documentation to understand how it works under the hood.

We’re still working on the QRadar connector and the associated workflows but if you can’t wait, have a look at the work done by the community like pierrebarlet’s script.

Check it Out

As usual, Synapse is an open source and free software released under the AGPL (Affero General Public License).

Synapse has its own repository. Start with the user guide and read about the workflow you want to use as you’ll need to configure 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!