Building an ethichal hacking lab on your laptop with VirtualBox – Part 14 – Security Onion – Network Monitoring Tools

If you followed along with my previous exercise on creating a Snort IDS for your lab you will most likely love Security Onion as it takes far less effort to get things configured and setup. It’s an excellent Ubuntu based operating system designed solely for both Host Intrusion Detection (HID’s) and Network Intrusion Detection (NID’s) for your network environment and a great tool to use in a lab environment due to the lack of configuration and setup time involved compared to doing everything yourself manually. Why reinvent the wheel when someone has already invented it for you? (Well sometimes it’s needed to learn about something new)

There is a huge host of network related tools that are installed which includes Snort, Suricata, Bro, OSSEC (HID’s), Sguil, Squert, ELSA, Xplico, NetworkMiner, Tcpreplay, Wireshark, tcpdump and a lot more great tools too for analyzing your network traffic.

It’s very easy to configure and excellent for use in a Production or even lab environment for monitoring network traffic.

What you will need is the following:

1 – VirtualBox installed with guest additions downloaded
2 – Pfsense Configured
3 – The Security Onion ISO downloaded
4 – Snort subscription to the free account is perfectly fine (Oinkcode)

Once you have all of the above obtained you are ready to start the installation.

Let’s get to it!

Follow along with the Pfsense configuration guide from the initial lab setup and feel free to allocate more memory to the Security Onion setup, I find 4GB’s to be sufficient for memory allocation and a 30GB Hard Disk for this setup. Assign your NIC’s in a similar fashion except make NIC Adapter 1 & 2 internal and set the Promiscuous Mode option to “Allow VM’s” then make NIC Adapter 3 an internal adapter only so that you will have Internet access for updates, you will also use it as the management interface from within your lab environment. Optionally you could set NIC adapters 1 & 2 as internal with Promiscuous mode set for VM’s and NIC adapter 3 as NAT which will allow for Internet connectivity without having Pfsense setup and configured to allow Internet access. The choice is yours here and depends on what you want to do. For this guide though, we will use the following NIC configuration outlined below.

NIC Adapter 1:

1_Security_Onion_VirtualBox_Configuration_NIC_Adapter_1

1_Security_Onion_VirtualBox_Configuration_NIC_Adapter_1

NIC Adapter 2:

2_Security_Onion_VirtualBox_Configuration_NIC_Adapter_2

2_Security_Onion_VirtualBox_Configuration_NIC_Adapter_2

NIC Adapter 3:

3_Security_Onion_VirtualBox_Configuration_NIC_Adapter_3

3_Security_Onion_VirtualBox_Configuration_NIC_Adapter_3

Once you’re finished with the VirtualBox configuration settings make sure you have pfsense running if you’re using the internal adapters in this guide otherwise the NAT adapter will give internet connectivity if you chose not to configure Pfsense.

Power on your Virtual Security Onion system and follow along.

Select your language and select Continue

4_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_language

4_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_language

Select Download updates while installing and select Continue

5_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_download_updates

5_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_download_updates

Click Continue to erase the disk and install Security Onion

6_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_erase_disk_and_install

6_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_erase_disk_and_install

At the next prompt just hit continue to Format the disk and continue with the install

7_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_erase_disk_and_install_continue

7_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_erase_disk_and_install_continue

Select your country on the map and select Continue again

8_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_your_country

8_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_your_country

Select your keyboard layout and select Continue

9_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_keyboard _layout

9_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_select_keyboard _layout

Enter your name, computer name, username and a password and select Continue again and wait for a bit for it to install.

10_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_username_system_and_password10_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_username_system_and_password

10_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_username_system_and_password

When finished click restart to continue

11_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_when_finished_click_restart

11_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_when_finished_click_restart

At the next prompt click Enter to continue with the reboot

12_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_when_finished_click_restart_followed_by_Enter

12_Security_Onion_Installation_Configuration_when_finished_click_restart_followed_by_Enter

Once the system has rebooted simply login with your username and password

13_Security_Onion_Enter_Username_and_password

13_Security_Onion_Enter_Username_and_password

Chances are there will be some further software updates once you login so select “Install Now” to proceed with the installation.

14_Security_Onion_Software_Update_First_boot

14_Security_Onion_Software_Update_First_boot

Once the update has completed select “Restart Now” to reboot the system again to complete the update process and then login again.

15_Security_Onion_Software_Update_First_boot_restart

15_Security_Onion_Software_Update_First_boot_restart

Now you will most likely want to have your system running in full screen to make playing with it easier so install VirtualBox Guest additions. You can follow along with the guide here at step 26 on how to do this as the process remains the same. After you have rebooted you should take a snapshot of the system so you can revert to this point and go back to a known good configuration if you break something while playing. It’s also handy for Malware analysis as you can revert back to the time before you were playing with it.

Now for the system configuration all you have to do is click on the Setup icon on the desktop, Enter your password and select “Yes, continue”

16_Security_Onion_Software_system_configuration_setup

16_Security_Onion_Software_system_configuration_setup

Next select “Yes, configure /etc/network/interfaces!”

17_Security_Onion_Software_system_configuration_configure

17_Security_Onion_Software_system_configuration_configure

Select eth2 as your management interface and select OK to continue

18_Security_Onion_Software_select_management_interface

18_Security_Onion_Software_select_management_interface

As this is in a Virtual environment with Pfsense providing DHCP already it’s fine to select DHCP to continue. Alternatively feel free to configure it manually as per your IP addressing scheme.

19_Security_Onion_Software_DHCP_addressing

19_Security_Onion_Software_DHCP_addressing

Select “Yes, configure monitor interfaces”

20_Security_Onion_monitor_interfaces

20_Security_Onion_monitor_interfaces

eth0 and eth1 should be already ticked to use as your monitoring interfaces so just click OK to continue

21_Security_Onion_monitor_interfaces_eth0_and_eth1

21_Security_Onion_monitor_interfaces_eth0_and_eth1

Yes you want to make your changes now so click on “Yes, make changes!”

22_Security_Onion_monitor_interfaces_make_changes

22_Security_Onion_monitor_interfaces_make_changes

Time to reboot again so select “Yes, reboot!” to continue

23_Security_Onion_reboot_to_continue

23_Security_Onion_reboot_to_continue

After the system has rebooted click on the setup icon on the desktop again and select “Yes, Continue” as you did before

24_Security_Onion_run_setup_again

24_Security_Onion_run_setup_again

This time though select “Yes, skip network configuration!” to continue

25_Security_Onion_skip_network_configuration

25_Security_Onion_skip_network_configuration

Select production mode to continue

26_Security_Onion_select_Production_Mode

26_Security_Onion_select_Production_Mode

Select Standalone as you are using the management and network sniffing interfaces on the same system

27_Security_Onion_select_Standalone

27_Security_Onion_select_Standalone

Select Best Practices to continue and select OK

28_Security_Onion_select_Best_Practices

28_Security_Onion_select_Best_Practices

Enter a username that you want to use for logging in to Squil, Squert and ELSA and select OK to continue

29_Security_Onion_Squil_Squert_Elsa_username

29_Security_Onion_Squil_Squert_Elsa_username

Next enter a password you would like to use for Squil, Squert and ELSA and confirm in the window that follows

30_Security_Onion_Squil_Squert_Elsa_password_and_confirm

30_Security_Onion_Squil_Squert_Elsa_password_and_confirm

Next select the Snort IDS and click OK to continue

31_Security_Onion_Snort_IDS_select

31_Security_Onion_Snort_IDS_select

Next select the option for Snort VRT ruleset and Emerging Threats NoGPL ruleset, this is why you obtained an Oink code from Snort.

32_Security_Onion_Snort_IDS_select_VRT_and_ET_ruleset

32_Security_Onion_Snort_IDS_select_VRT_and_ET_ruleset

Enter your Snort Oinkcode and click OK to continue

33_Security_Onion_Snort_IDS_Oinkcode

33_Security_Onion_Snort_IDS_Oinkcode

Keep the default PF_RING min_num_slots as 4096 and select OK to continue

34_Security_Onion_Snort_IDS_PF_RING_min_num_slots

34_Security_Onion_Snort_IDS_PF_RING_min_num_slots

eth0 and eth1 network interfaces should already be selected so just click on OK to continue

35_Security_Onion_Snort_NIC_monitor_interfaces

35_Security_Onion_Snort_NIC_monitor_interfaces

Congratulations you are nearly there just select “Yes, proceed with the changes!” to make the changes to your system permanent that you have just entered.

36_Security_Onion_Finishing_configuration_changes

36_Security_Onion_Finishing_configuration_changes

That’s it you’ve reached the end of the installation, just select OK for the next few windows and take note of any important directories like the ones shown in following screenshots in order to modify and make any changes to your configuration. Alternatively you can revert to your snapshot that you made earlier or just run the setup again from the desktop.

37_Security_Onion_Installation_and_configuration_complete

37_Security_Onion_Installation_and_configuration_complete

Sostat commands for checking detailed information about your service status, get a guided tour and share redacted network information with other sources.

38_Security_Onion_sostat_commands

38_Security_Onion_sostat_commands

Snort rule modification and sensor directories for making manual changes to these after you have things configured.

39_Security_Onion_Snort_pulledpork_rule_modification

39_Security_Onion_Snort_pulledpork_rule_modification

UFW Firewall rule modification if you need to change any of the firewall rules.

40_Security_Onion_UFW_Firewall_Rules

40_Security_Onion_UFW_Firewall_Rules

Take another snapshot of your system as you have everything configured now and you can revert back to it when needed.

That’s it for now, we will be using Security Onion in some upcoming tutorials so it will be handy to have it configured for when you are following along.