ARKIME ULTIMATE GUIDE

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ARKIME

Arkime (formerly known as Moloch) is a powerful, open-source, large-scale network traffic analysis tool that is designed to capture, index, and analyze network packets. It enables security analysts to conduct real-time, high-speed searches and data visualizations, aiding in the detection, diagnosis, and response to cybersecurity threats and anomalies within network environments.

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Section 1

Installation & Setup

The installation and setup process of Arkime (formerly known as Moloch) is crucial for ensuring that the network traffic capturing and analysis tool is properly deployed. This section will cover the initial steps required to get Arkime up and running, focusing on the installation procedures, initial configuration, and common troubleshooting steps.

Arkime can be installed on various operating systems, but Linux is commonly preferred. Begin by ensuring your system meets the prerequisites, such as having Elasticsearch installed and running.

Download the latest version of Arkime from the official GitHub repository or the project’s website. Extract the files and navigate to the newly created directory. Run the ./easybutton-build.sh script (for those who prefer a quick setup) or manually compile and install dependencies if necessary.

./easybutton-build.sh

After the build process completes, run make install to install Arkime. This process compiles the source and installs the necessary components.

make install

For Debian-based systems, you can use the provided scripts like db_*.sh to install dependencies. Ensure Elasticsearch is properly configured and accessible. Arkime’s setup script (./configure) will prompt for various settings, including the Elasticsearch URL and Arkime interfaces.

./configure

After configuration, initiate the database setup with the ./db.pl script to prepare Arkime’s internal structures within Elasticsearch.

After installation, configure Arkime to suit your network environment and security requirements. This involves editing the config.ini file, where you can specify network interfaces, set capture limits, and adjust retention policies. It’s essential to configure user access and permissions at this stage, setting up admin accounts through the Arkime interface or the command line.

vim config.ini

Next, configure the network settings, specifying which traffic to capture and analyze. This might involve setting up BPF (Berkeley Packet Filter) expressions to filter relevant network traffic. Also, integrate Arkime with other security tools and databases, such as GeoIP and threat intelligence feeds, to enhance its analytical capabilities.

Common issues during the Arkime setup include problems with Elasticsearch connectivity, packet capture errors, and permission issues. Ensure that Elasticsearch is running and accessible from the Arkime instance. If packet capture isn’t working as expected, verify that the Arkime user has the necessary permissions to capture packets on the designated interfaces.

If you encounter errors related to disk space or write permissions, check the configuration files and ensure that the specified directories are accessible and writable by the Arkime process. Consult the Arkime GitHub issues page and community forums for solutions to common problems, and use logging and diagnostic tools to identify and resolve issues.

Section 2

Features and Capabilities

Arkime is a powerful network traffic analysis tool that provides real-time visibility into data traversing networks. This section explored the key features and capabilities of Arkime, exploring its use cases, applications, and inherent limitations.

Arkime offers extensive network data capture and analysis capabilities, allowing users to monitor and investigate network traffic in real-time. Key features include full packet capture, indexed searching, and data visualization tools.

Arkime captures network traffic and stores it for detailed analysis, enabling users to search and filter through vast amounts of data using a web-based interface.

The tool provides powerful visualization capabilities, presenting data in various formats, including graphs, tables, and timelines. This helps users quickly identify patterns, anomalies, and trends in network traffic. Additionally, Arkime supports tagging and session reconstruction, allowing for in-depth analysis and forensic investigations.

Arkime is used in a variety of cybersecurity scenarios, including network monitoring, incident response, and threat hunting. It enables organizations to detect and respond to security threats in real-time, identify unauthorized access, and monitor suspicious activities.

In incident response, Arkime can be used to quickly gather and analyze relevant network traffic, helping teams understand the scope and impact of an incident.

Furthermore, Arkime is valuable for threat hunting, enabling analysts to proactively search for indicators of compromise and malicious activities within network traffic. Its extensive data retention and search capabilities make it an essential tool for identifying and investigating potential security threats before they escalate.

While Arkime offers extensive features, it also has limitations. The tool requires significant storage space for full packet capture, which can be costly and challenging to manage. Performance can be affected in high-traffic environments, requiring proper tuning and hardware optimization.

Arkime’s effectiveness is also dependent on the user’s knowledge and experience. Understanding complex network protocols and identifying malicious activities requires advanced skills. Additionally, while Arkime provides data capture and analysis capabilities, it does not include automated threat detection or response features, necessitating integration with other security tools for a comprehensive security posture.

Section 3

Advanced Usage and Techniques

Beyond basic setup and usage, Arkime supports advanced features and techniques that enable users to gain deeper insights into network traffic and enhance their cybersecurity efforts. This section covers advanced functionalities, best practices for effective usage, and integration with other tools.

Arkime’s advanced features include encrypted traffic analysis, custom parsing scripts, and API integration. Users can analyze encrypted traffic by integrating Arkime with SSL/TLS decryption tools, allowing for inspection of otherwise hidden packet contents.

Custom parsing scripts can be developed to extend Arkime’s capabilities, enabling the extraction and analysis of data from proprietary or uncommon protocols.

Additionally, Arkime’s RESTful API allows for automation and integration with other systems, enabling users to programmatically query data, create alerts, and initiate captures. This enhances Arkime’s flexibility and allows for customized security solutions.

To maximize the effectiveness of Arkime, adhere to best practices such as regular updates, network segmentation, and access control. Keeping Arkime and its components up-to-date ensures protection against the latest threats and access to new features. Implementing network segmentation reduces the volume of traffic to capture and analyze, making the process more manageable and efficient.

Properly configuring access control is crucial for protecting sensitive data and maintaining the integrity of your network traffic analysis. Limit access to Arkime’s interface and data to authorized personnel only, and use strong authentication methods to secure user accounts.

Integrating Arkime with other security tools enhances its capabilities and provides a more comprehensive approach to network security. Combine Arkime with intrusion detection systems (IDS), security information and event management (SIEM) systems, and threat intelligence platforms to correlate data and improve threat detection and response.

Leveraging Arkime’s API, integrate it with automated response tools and ticketing systems to streamline the incident response process. By combining Arkime’s detailed network insights with other security tools, organizations can achieve a layered defense strategy, improving their overall security posture.

Section 4

FAQs

Understanding Arkime’s functionalities and common concerns can help users maximize its capabilities and resolve common issues. This section addresses frequently asked questions and clarifies common misconceptions.

  • Q: Can Arkime analyze encrypted traffic?
  • A: Yes, Arkime can analyze encrypted traffic when integrated with SSL/TLS decryption tools, allowing users to inspect the contents of encrypted packets.
  • Q: How does Arkime handle large volumes of data?
  • A: Arkime stores captured data efficiently and provides tools for data management, including data aging and compression. However, handling large volumes of data requires adequate storage and proper configuration.
  • Q: Is Arkime suitable for small businesses?
  • A: Yes, Arkime can be tailored to fit the needs of small businesses, though it requires proper setup and maintenance. Small businesses should evaluate their network traffic volume and storage capabilities before deployment.
  • Q: Can Arkime be integrated with other cybersecurity tools?
  • A: Yes, Arkime can be integrated with a wide range of cybersecurity tools, including IDS, SIEM systems, and threat intelligence platforms, enhancing its capabilities and providing a more comprehensive security solution.
  • Q: How can I improve Arkime’s performance in high-traffic environments?
  • A: Improving performance involves optimizing hardware resources, properly configuring Arkime settings, and implementing network segmentation to reduce unnecessary traffic capture.

  • M1: Arkime is a complete security solution: Arkime is a network traffic analysis tool, not a complete security solution. It should be part of a layered security approach, integrated with other security measures.
  • M2: Arkime can replace a firewall: Arkime is not a firewall and does not provide network filtering or access control functionalities. It is designed for monitoring and analyzing network traffic.
  • M3: Arkime does not require any maintenance: Like any security tool, Arkime requires regular updates, configuration adjustments, and monitoring to ensure optimal performance and security.
  • M4: Arkime can only be used by large enterprises: While Arkime is powerful, it can be scaled and configured for use in organizations of any size, from small businesses to large enterprises.
  • M5: Arkime’s data capture and storage are unlimited: The amount of data Arkime can capture and store is limited by physical storage and system resources. Effective data management practices are essential to avoid performance degradation.

Section 5

ARKIME USEFUL COMMANDS

Arkime is equipped with a variety of commands that facilitate network traffic capture, analysis, and management. This section provides a brief overview of useful commands and their purposes.

Starts the packet capture process.

arkime_capture

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Stops the packet capture process.

arkime_stop

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Displays the current status of the Arkime system.

arkime_status

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Updates the GeoIP database used for IP location

arkime_geoipupdate

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Rebuilds the Arkime databases for maintenance or upgrade purposes.

arkime_db_rebuild

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Adds a new user to the Arkime system.

arkime_adduser

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Deletes data within a specified time range.

arkime_deleterange

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Lists captured sessions based on specified criteria.

arkime_listsessions

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Exports packet capture data to a PCAP file.

arkime_exportpcap

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Searches through captured data based on specified filters.

arkime_search

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The cybersecurity information provided on this site is strictly for educational use. We hold no responsibility for misuse and urge users to apply these skills ethically, on networks or systems where they have explicit authorization – such as a private home lab.