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!