Category Archives: PoC

Setup my GoLang Osquery-file-carving server with Kolide

Facebook released an awesome open-source tool named Osquery that is being maintained by a thriving community and several product leaders such as Kolide, TrailOfBits, and Uptycs. However, Facebook did not release the server component of Osquery and that has led to the creation of many projects: Kolide, Uptycs, Doorman, OSCRTL, and SGT just to name a few. Furthermore, not all projects have the ability to support the Osquery file carve functionality, more specifically the open-source version of Kolide Fleet. This project set out on a mission to provide an open-source Osquery file carving server for file uploads and downloads that could be used with Kolide.

This blog will provide a deep dive into the architecture of this project, design decisions, and lessons learned as an evolving incident response engineer. This project has been a 6-month long project that resulted in the creation of 4 blog posts, 3 Udemy certificates/courses, and 3 separate Github repos. The collection of these experiences and research has led to the creation of this project. My hope is that this project benefits the community and provides an additional capability to Osquery that may not be supported by all fleet managers.

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Setting up Kolide and Osquery with client certificates for mutual TLS (mTLS)

Do you know if your Osquery client is connecting to the right server? Do you know if your Kolide server is accepting requests from rogue devices? If you have answered “I don’t know” to either of these questions then this blog post is for you. This blog post will be demonstrating how to setup Kolide + Osquery with mutual TLS (mTLS). Mutual TLS is a mechanism that can be implemented to verify the identity of the server and clients. Continue reading

Install/Setup Vault for PKI + NGINX + Docker – Becoming your own CA

Hashicorp Vault (Vault) is an open-source tool for managing secrets. This blog post will demonstrate how to use Vault to generate a root CA for trusted TLS communication and how to generate client certificates for mutual TLS communication. Not only does this blog post contain a high-level overview of Vault, it includes working infrastructure-as-code and step-by-step tutorial.

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PoC: Using KSQL to enrich Zeek logs with Osquery and Sysmon data

In incident response, time is precious and something you can never get back. Typically, when I receive a security alert about an endpoint, it requires manual lookups on multiple data sources for critical pieces of information. These manual lookups can be time-consuming, create fatigue, and don’t use the power of technology to your advantage. This blog post will demonstrate a proof-of-concept (POC) by using the power of a network community ID hash by Corelight to fuse endpoint and network-based data sources.

KSQL by Confluent provides the ability to enrich independent data sources by correlating common attributes. In this POC, we are going to use Sysmon or Osquery to monitor the endpoint and Zeek to monitor the network. Not only will this blog post serve as a POC but it will discuss the architecture, design decisions, working infrastructure-as-code, and the knowledge I accumulated from this project. The hope is that this POC will serve as a framework for the infosec community to use to perform log enrichment. Lastly, I will demonstrate the power of this POC by detecting a Powershell Empire agent that has been injected into explorer.exe.

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Reducing your alert fatigue with AskJeevesSecBot

In incident response, there is a disconnect between a security alert being generated and a user’s confirmation of the security alert. For example, generating an alert every time a user runs “curl” on a production system would generate a bunch of false positives that can lead to what is called “alert fatigue”. But if we extend our incident response capabilities to include the user as part of the triage process we could reduce the number of alerts. This blog post is going to demonstrate AskJeevesSecBot which is an open-source proof of concept (POC) of how to integrate Slack and user responses into your security pipeline, specifically during the triage phase of the incident response process. In addition to a PoC, this blog post will also provide a deep dive into the architecture of this project, design decisions, and lessons learned as an evolving threat detection engineer.

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My logging pipeline: Splunk, Logstash, and Kafka

Over the years I have built several logging pipelines within my homelab and each used different technologies and methodologies but now I have finally built a pipeline that suites my needs. When I tell people about my pipeline they usually ask if I have a blog post on it because they want to know more or replicate it. This blog post is my attempt to share my logging pipeline as a framework for newcomers. The hope is that the explanation of the architecture, design decisions, working infrastructure-as-code, and the knowledge I accumulated over the years will be beneficial to the community. Continue reading

Adventures of the Sherlock Holmes Memory Gopher: Dumping and analyzing memory with Osquery and Kolide

For several years I have always wanted to write an Osquery extension to perform memory dumps and analysis. I never got the time to do a deep dive into my idea but since I have been creating some Osquery-go extensions lately, I decided to take a crack at my idea. This blog post will provide a high overview of the architecture of these Osquery extensions for this project, how to generate memory dumps, and how to remotely analyze these memory dumps with Osquery. Follow me with another threat detection engineering experience with Osquery-go.

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Operation cleanup: Eradicating malware with Osquery and Kolide

This blog post is going to cover an Osquery extension that I engineered with osquery-go to eradicate malware. This extension has the ability to delete files, kill processes, delete directories, and can be used with the builtin YARA table. This blog post will act as documentation for the setup and operation of this Osquery extension.

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Creating my second Osquery extension with osquery-go

Here we go again! This blog post is tangential to my previous blog post on creating an Osquery extension with Python but this time we are using golang. Osquery is my favorite open-source security tool and golang is becoming a popular programming language so fusing them together allows us to engineer tools to detect threats. This blog post will build an Osquery-go extension to calculate the CommunityID of a network connection utilizing the Osquery-polylogyx extension pack to monitor network connections. In blog posts to follow, we will correlate network-based events monitored by Zeek and host-based events generated by Osquery using the CommunityID. So follow me again as your adventure guide on this development journey to make an Osquery extension with osquery-go.

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Creating my first Osquery extension to generate CommunityIDs with Osquery-python on Windows

Osquery is my favorite open-source security tool and Python is my favorite programming language so fusing them together allows us to engineer tools to detect threats. This blog post will build an Osquery-python extension to calculate the CommunityID of a network connection utilizing the Osquery-polylogyx extension pack to monitor network connections. In blog posts to follow, we will correlate network-based events generated by Zeek and host-based events generated by Osquery using the CommunityID. So follow me as your adventure guide on this development journey to make an Osquery extension with osquery-python.

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PoC: Mail.app the boomerang of reverse shells on macOS

This blog post is going to demonstrate a proof of concept (PoC) of sending an e-mail to trigger the Mail app (mail.app) to create a reverse shell. The Mail app has built-in functionality that can trigger an Applescript to execute code when certain conditions (new e-mail in inbox from bob, deletion of e-mail, or an e-mail containing certain text) occur within the Mail app. This functionality provides a method to initiate a reverse shell without user interaction or placing a persistent mechanism in a well-known location. The method below will utilize this functionality to monitor e-mails from a particular user, upon receiving an e-mail from said user, a reverse shell will call back to our Powershell Empire server.

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PoC: Exfiltrating data on macOS with Folder Actions

This blog post is going to demonstrate a proof of concept (PoC) to exfiltrate data from macOS with a built-in functionality called Folder Actions. The Folder Actions functionality triggers Applescripts to execute code when certain conditions (creating files, deleting files, etc.) occur by interactions with Finder. This functionality provides a method to exfiltrate data without the need for a shell to execute the actions. The Applescript provided below will utilize this functionality to monitor for new files in the user’s Download folder and, upon detection of a new file, exfiltrate a copy of the file to a remote server.

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PoC: Monitoring user browser activity with Osquery

This proof-of-concept (PoC) will demonstrate how to use Osquery to monitor the browser activity of users. Not only will this PoC collect browser activity, but it will also use VirusTotal to rank each URL to detect malicious activity. In addition to VirusTotal, this PoC will utilize Rsyslog, Osquery, Kafka, Splunk, Virustotal, Python3, and Docker as a logging pipeline. Once this pipeline has been implemented, your security team will have the ability to protect your user’s from today’s most serious threats on the web.

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Detecting malicious downloads with Osquery, Rsyslog, Kafka, Python3, and VirusTotal

This blog post will explore how to set up a simple logging pipeline to detect maliciously downloaded files. This setup will utilize technologies such as Osquery, Rsyslog, Kafka, Docker, Python3, and VirusTotal for a logging pipeline. If this pipeline detects a malicious file, a Slack alert will be triggered.

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Detecting SSH brute forcing with Zeek

In this blog post, we will explore how Zeek detects SSH brute forcing. We will explore the SSH handshake to understand how it works. Next, I will demonstrate several test cases of Zeek detecting SSH brute forcing. Finally, this post will lay down the foundation to implement active defense controls with Zeek in future posts.

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PoC: Using Cloudflare as an HTTP C2 with Powershell Empire

For a red teamer, one of the biggest challenges is utilizing a command-and-control(C2) server without being discovered and blocked. This is because the detected traffic is not coming from a trusted source. One way around this is to use CloudFlare’s free HTTP reverse proxy service as your C2. By pivoting all HTTP traffic through these proxies, it becomes much harder for a network defender to detect malicious intent.

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