ElasticSearch, TheHive and Cortex

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!

TheHive 4.0-RC3, a new kid on the block

Three weeks ago, on May 6th, we announced the availability of TheHive 4.0 RC-2 release and the active community made the usual hard work of testing the release to find bugs and ask for enhancements.

Special thanks to Christopher, alias crackytsi who has already created 122 Github issues, 11 of them are just for 4.0-RC-3 milestone.

We are thrilled to present our third release candidate before the final release of TheHive 4. As the RC-2, this milestone brings new features and fixes a nice set of issues.

This blog post will focus on the following new features:

  • Multi-orgs users
  • Switch organisation
  • OAuth2
  • Migration tool performance
  • Case sharing overview

If you are curious about all the issues that have been addressed, you can read the full changelog

Multi-orgs users

This feature doesn’t introduce UI changes, but it allows a superadmin or an org-admin to add an existing user to an organisation.

Users in TheHive 4 are identified by their email addresses, so when an administrator adds a new user, with an email address that already exists, TheHive 4 links that existing user to the organisation being updated.

This ends up with a single User record on the database, linked to multiple organisations. Thanks to the new graph data model. This means the given user has:

  • the same credentials
  • the same api key, if enabled
  • the same 2FA settings, if enables
  • the same status (locked or not)

With that being said, the user can have a different profile for on the organisation (s)he belongs to.

What happens when a user is logged in?

As we mentioned earlier, a user belonging to several organisations, has the same authentication settings, and after the login, his/her workspace is opened with the context of the first organisation (s)he has been created on.

For example, if John was firstly created on the *SocLevel2* organisation, and was later attached to *CTI* organisation, then after signing in, the user is redirected to the workspace of *SocLevel2* organisation.

Future improvements

We will consider allowing the user to define a default organisation to be displayed juste after the login. We are examining the possibility to allow the user to define a default organisation to be displayed just after the login process. Hopefully, we will be able to add this feature in TheHive 4.0.0 release.

Switch organisation

This feature empowers the multi-tenancy capabilities brought to you by TheHive 4. Following what has been showcased above, how can a user, who belongs to more than one organisation, switch between his/her tenants?

The UI introduces a simple feature, available to “multi-org” users only, as a button on the right hand side of the page’s header, aka. the navigation bar.

The switch organisation action button

This button is just hidden for users who belong to a single organisation.

Once clicked, that button show a dialog that displays the following details:

  • user’s organisations
  • user’s profile on each organisation
  • the current organisation

Clicking on an item of this list, refreshes the page by loading the context of the selected organisation, and the UI behaves like if the user was logged in a a member of that selected organisation.

Very useful.

Switch organisation dialog

OAuth2

We had a considerable amount of users asking for SSO and OAuth support in TheHive. We tried to make it more robust in TheHive 4, and let it rely on a redirectUri provided by the backend (/api/ssoLogin) instead of the old redirectUri that some OAuth providers don’t support (index.html/#!/ssoLogin).

In TheHive 4.0 RC-2, OAuth 2 partially worked, and failed to redirect the user to the home page after the authentication success. Yes, sorry for that.

We spent some time testing the new implementation. We will devote some blog posts to it, but firstly, here is a working example relying on Keycloak

auth {
  providers: [
    {name: session}               # required !
    {name: basic, realm: thehive}
    {name: local}
    {name: key}    
    {
      ##############
      # Keycloak
      ##############
      name: oauth2
      clientId: "CLIENT_ID"
      clientSecret: "CLIENT_SECRET" # or empty
      redirectUri: "http://THEHIVE/api/ssoLogin"
      responseType: "code"
      grantType: "authorization_code"
      authorizationUrl: "http://KEYCLOAK/auth/realms/TENANT/protocol/openid-connect/auth"
      authorizationHeader: "Bearer"
      tokenUrl: "http://KEYCLOAK/auth/realms/TENANT/protocol/openid-connect/token"
      userUrl: "http://KEYCLOAK/auth/realms/TENANT/protocol/openid-connect/userinfo"
      scope: ["openid", "email"]
      userIdField: "email"
    }
  ]
}

After a question asked on Twitter, we tried to test our OAuth implementation with the providers mentioned in the answers, and we have successfully tested:

Migration tool performance

The migration tool we implemented in TheHive 4.0 RC-2 suffered from important performance issues as a result of our desire for a clean design.

In fact, enabling database locks during a parallelised and asynchronous processing of the migration operations produce a migration tool with poor performance.

We changed the strategy, by disabling locks and programmatically handling duplicates if they happen. This ended by a significant improvement of performance

We hope you can test it and provide us with your feedback.

Case sharing overview

Case sharing is the most important feature that the multi-tenancy support adds to TheHive. Allowing users to quickly spot if a case is owned or is coming from a share (made by another organisation) improves the user’s experience.

The other handy information is: the number of organisations having access to a certain case

Case list with sharing indicators

This screenshot shows all the case sharing related UI element:

  • The blue line, indicates that the case is coming from another organisation
  • The green line, indicates that the case is owned by the current organisation
  • The red line, highlights the column that show the number of organisation having access to the corresponding case

How to report issues

Please open an issue on GitHub using the template made for TheHive4 if you’d like to report a bug on this version. We will monitor those closely and respond accordingly.

TheHive 4.0-RC2, Fresh out of the Oven

Shortly after the release of TheHive 4.0 RC-1 in February 2020, many members of our community tested it and provided great feedback, spotting issues here and there. We would like to wholeheartedly thank all of those who, like us, want to make TheHive 4.0 a great, rock-solid release!

We are now happy to unveil the 2nd release candidate. It fixes many bugs and introduce – or reintroduce – some new (and old) features :-). In this blog post, we will concentrate on the following features:

  • 2FA
  • Age of cases
  • Reintroduction of webhooks

Please read the changelog for a more comprehensive view, including bugfixes.

And since the COVID-19 crisis is here to stay for quite some time, we don’t want you to rediscover boredom, a dreadful feeling long forgotten thanks to the continued stream of notifications, solicitations and attention-grabbing, 280 chars ‘thoughts’. So instead of getting bored, we invite you to test TheHive 4.0-RC2 to the best extent possible and, should you encounter any issue, please let us know. We want to issue the final release during the summer so that everyone can have it just in time for their forthcoming vacations at home!

2FA

Two factor authentication was initially scheduled for the final release. We changed our minds and decided to offer you the possibility to test this feature right away to gather your feedback and improvement ideas before we finish up baking the final recipe.

Users can enable 2FA from their account. To enable it, first go to your account Settings and check Enable Multi-Factor Authentication.

Once done, you are invited to use your preferred TOTP application (Google Authenticator, Authy, Microsoft Authenticator etc.) to scan the QR code or the code underneath it. Your 2FA will generate A TOTP that you should supply in the MFA Code area. If it is valid, 2FA will be activated.

Important notes:

  1. If a user loses access to their TOTP application, only an administrator can restore access to their account.
  2. If an org administrator loses access to their TOTP application and they are the only administrator for that org, only a super admin can restore access to their account.
  3. If a super admin loses access to their TOTP application and they are the only super admin of the instance, they should pack up their things and look for another job. That or use a magic DB command to restore access to their account. We’ll update the documentation accordingly.
  4. The current implementation of 2FA does not support backup codes or alternate authentication methods should a user loses access to their TOTP application. However, we are considering adding backup codes to the final release.
  5. 2FA cannot be enforced by default for all users at this stage. It is thus of rather marginal value. However, an org admin can see from the UI who did not activate it and pester them until they do. In the same way, a super admin can do the same for org admins, other super admins and mere users. We are updating the documentation to add an API query that will allow you to list all users who did not activate 2FA.
  6. We will consider making 2FA mandatory in TheHive 4.1.
2FA configuration view

Next time you log in, you will need to supply the TOTP verification code in addition to your login and password.

TOTP verification code required at login

Age of Cases

A new information regarding case duration has been added in the list of cases and in case view, so you can easily keep an eye on how old your cases are and activate your escalation procedures etc. if necessary.

Age of Cases in list view
Age of a Case in Case view

Webhooks are back!

TheHive 4.0-RC1 was released without webhooks. They have been reintroduced in this version. You can now configure TheHive 4.0 to use them, but also filter data sent to the remote server by Organisation.

How to report issues

Please open an issue on GitHub using the template made for TheHive4 if you’d like to report a bug on this version. We will monitor those closely and respond accordingly.

Under the Mighty Hood of TheHive 4

We have been speaking about it for almost two years. We have been making it for more than twelve months. And the day (or rather the month in this case) has almost come for TheHive 4, our latest and greatest version, to be unleashed.

While the first release candidate should be published by the end of this month, we would like to cover some of the most important changes we introduced in a platform which we rewrote almost from the ground up (40,000 lines of Scala code and counting), while keeping the familiar look&feel our longtime users came to expect.In a previous blog post, we covered TheHiveFS, a nifty feature of TheHive4 that allows you to quickly access all files stored in TheHive directly from your investigation machine. It’s time now to get a look under the hood of THeHive 4.

My Time is Precious. TL;DR Please

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Here you go then!

The Hive 4’s Brand New Architecture

I am Puzzled, can you Elaborate a Bit?

So, you are not in a hurry anymore? Fine. Here, grab a seat, a glass of Gevrey-Chambertin and tasty Burgundy snails. All set? Let’s start then!

TheHive 4 will be the first version to use a graph database instead of Elasticsearch. Yes, you read that correctly. TheHive 4 won’t support Elasticsearch anymore but fear not fearless cyberdefender. Your friendly bees will not leave you hanging. If you are already using TheHive 3.4.x, we will provide a migration tool that will move your existing data to the new storage system (with no losses or bit flips hopefully).

We haven’t decided to ditch Elasticsearch on a whim or because Thomas (Franco, not Chopitea nor the General) dropped his leftist hipster attitude for a tight, tailor-made dictator uniform straight out of Spain. For all its greatness, ES has some annoying limitations which prevented us from adding, in an elegant, haiku-like way important features such as multi-tenancy, RBAC and large file management, while laying the ground for the future (stop being curious, the future has not been invented yet and when we do invent it, we’ll let you know).

Using JanusGraph, TheHive 4 structures information in graphs and stores them in an Apache Cassandra database. All the files that you attach to task logs or add as observables are stored in a Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).

Thanks to this brand new architecture, TheHive 4 is horizontally scalable. You can add as many TheHive, Cassandra and HDFS nodes to your Security Incident Response Platform cluster and sustain whatever load you might be facing without a sweat. Who said FOSS can’t be ‘enterprise grade’ (whatever that means in marketing lingo)?

Tour d’Horizon of the Main Features

TheHive 4, boosted by all the passion and skills of Zen Master Franco and MC Adouani, will support, in addition to TheHiveFS:

  • Multi-tenancy
  • RBAC
  • 2FA
  • Web configuration
  • API versioning

We will cover some of these features in greater detail in future instalments. In the meantime, let’s take a ride in a helicopter and view the wonderful landscape laying before us from above. After you Messieurs-Dames, we are French gentlemen and gallantry is of the essence (except when we use the public transportation in Paris, then savages we become).

Multi-Tenancy

As in Cortex, you will be able to create multiple organisations within a single instance of TheHive 4. In addition, an organisation can decide to share a case or parts of it (say a task, some observables, etc.) with other organisations. That way, a peer organisation or a constituent can contribute to the investigation at hand, provide essential information, etc.

RBAC

TheHive 4 supports a large set of user permissions. Some pertain to administrators, others to users and there are also permissions that apply to connectors. For example, users can manage tasks but not observables. They can have the power to share a case or part of it with sister organisations and execute Cortex analyzers but not responders.

You will be able to create roles for users, and, at the organisational level, what we call shares. RBAC deserves its own blog post and we’ll get to it pretty soon.

2FA

Do you really want us to describe this one? Before you answer yes, we’d like to remind you that you are in a helicopter. Just sayin’.

‘They asked me to explain 2FA. So I helped them out of the helicopter. It was flying way above ground.’
Source: Berserk, FNAC.com

Web Configuration

Tired of using vi, Emacs or your favourite CLI editor for making configuration changes to TheHive’s application.conf? Tired of restarting the service to take into account those modifications? Then you will certainly go dance kizomba with Nabil all night long when we tell you that you don’t need to use vi & service (or whatever the kids are using these days) anymore!

Thanks to the new architecture, all the configuration will be stored in the underlying database and you will be able to edit it using the WebUI. TheHive will automatically take the changes into account and you won’t need to restart it.

We can feel your love here. Merci !

API Versioning

TheHive 4 adds API versioning and it will maintain backward compatibility with TheHive 3.4.x without preventing us from adding new features. TheHive4py will not be updated right away for TheHive 4 but thanks to the backward API compatibility, all existing feeders and programs that use the current version of TheHive4py will still work out of the box.

That’s all folks! Stay tuned for further news and, in the meantime, don’t be blue cuz’ the bees gonna take care of you.

TheHiveFS

TheHive Project’s Code Chefs, sweating under their toques, are working hard to deliver TheHive 4 as soon as feasible. The current target release date for the 1st release candidate (4.0-RC1) is Friday Feb 28, 2020.

While TheHive 4 will be the first release to support graph databases, multi-tenancy and Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), it will also have a nifty feature that can simplify the incident response and digital forensics workflows of our fellow cyberdefenders: TheHiveFS.

What is TheHiveFS?

Starting from TheHive 4, TheHive can be ‘mounted’ as a remote, WebDAV filesystem. The filesystem can be securely mounted if SSL/TLS is enabled.

Thanks to TheHiveFS, you can quickly access all files stored in TheHive directly from your investigation machine. This can speed up the time needed to triage and analyse evidence. 

What Types of Files Can I Access through TheHiveFS?

You can access, in read-only mode, all files attached to task logs and all observables which datatype is file, as long as you are allowed to do so. Indeed, TheHive 4 comes with RBAC so if, for example, you are not allowed to view a case or some file observables in a case, you won’t be able to access them using TheHiveFS, the same way as if you are using the WebUI.

Screenshot showing an analyst accessing file observables and files associated to tasks of case #40 using TheHiveFS

How Can I Mount TheHiveFS?

Assuming you have a WebDAV client, such as davfs2, use the following command line:

$ sudo mount -t davfs -o noexec https://myhiveinstance:9001/fs /mnt/dav/

You can also point your graphical file manager to:

dav(s)://myhiveinstance:9001/fs

You will need to authenticate using your username and password as if you were connecting to TheHive’s WebUI.

Mom, I’ve Just Stepped on a Landmine

Beware folks. When you download a file observable using TheHive’s WebUI, it will conveniently create a password-protected ZIP archive before handing you the file. This way, we avoid accidental double clicks that may lead to the infection and compromise of your workstation, which might reflect bad on you or force you to offer breakfast the next morning to all your fellow teammates.

There is no such protection if you use TheHiveFS. Let us repeat this so it sinks: there is no such protection if you use TheHiveFS.

If you mount TheHive’s filesystem and open by accident or by a great deal of will, as a true, hardcore fan of Russian roulette, a file observable that is in fact malware courtesy of your favourite bear, kitten, panda or eagle, you can’t blame your friendly bees. But we will empathise (and our empathy level is directly correlated to the amount of pains au chocolat you send our way).

You’ve been warned.

That Sounds Awesome! When Can I Try It?

As written above, you will be able to try TheHiveFS as soon as TheHive 4.0-RC1 is released and that’s currently planned for the end of February 2020.

You can cry, beg, try to bribe us with VC money, make the line at 3:00 AM in front of TheHive Store (there ain’t no such store, we are not Apple), this will not make us work any faster. But you can always cheer us up, hug us or just thank us. This means a lot to us and to the free, open source software flame we carry deep within our souls.

One More Thing…

While we aren’t Apple, we can mimic Steve to share one more information that will make TheHiveFS even more interesting by Q3-Q4 2020. We plan to add support for large file management in TheHive 4.1, the next major version after 4.0 as would Captain Obvious say. Thanks to this feature, you will be able to upload memory and disk images to TheHive and if your Internet line breaks, the upload will resume automatically. 

That’s all folks!