Moloch is an open source, large scale, full packet capturing, indexing, and database system. Moloch augments your current security infrastructure to store and index network traffic in standard PCAP format, providing fast, indexed access. An intuitive and simple web interface is provided for PCAP browsing, searching, and exporting. Moloch exposes APIs which allow for PCAP data and JSON formatted session data to be downloaded and consumed directly. Moloch stores and exports all packets in standard PCAP format allow you to also use your favorite PCAP ingesting tools, such as wireshark, during your analysis workflow.
Access to Moloch is protected by using HTTPS with digest passwords or by using an authentication providing web server proxy. All PCAPs are stored on the sensors and are only accessed using the Moloch interface or API. Moloch is not meant to replace an IDS but instead work along side them to store and index all the network traffic in standard PCAP format, providing fast access. Moloch is built to be deployed across many systems and can scale to handle tens of gigabits/sec of traffic. PCAP retention is based on available sensor disk space. Meta data retention is based on the Elasticsearch cluster scale. Both can be increased at anytime and are under your complete control.
SPI View Tab
For advanced users, if you wish to build Moloch yourself run
./easybutton-build.sh --install which will download all the prerequisites, build, and install.
make config can be used to perform a initial moloch configuration. The RPM & DEB files are much easier to deal with then building yourself and are recommended.
The Moloch system is comprised of 3 components
capture- A threaded C application that monitors network traffic, writes PCAP formatted files to disk, parses the captured packets and sends meta data (SPI data) to elasticsearch.
viewer- A node.js application that runs per capture machine and handles the web interface and transfer of PCAP files.
elasticsearch- The search database technology powering Moloch.
Building and Installing
Moloch is a complex system to build and install manually. The following are rough guidelines.
Recommended version 5.6.x for Moloch 0.18 and later. Download elasticsearch .
Important: At this time all development is done with elasticsearch 5.6.7 .
Inside the _ installed _
$MOLOCH_PREFIX/db directory run the
db.pl http://A_ES_HOSTNAME:9200 init script.
./easybutton-build.sh script to download all thirdparty libraries and build moloch.
Make sure you download the latest freely available GeoIP and RIR files.
viewer directory, run
addUser.js to add users. Pass the
--admin flag if you want admin users that can edit users from the web site. This is a good test if
config.ini are setup correctly:
node addUser.js <userid> "<Friendly Name>" <password> [--admin]
db/daily.sh script, and set it up in the crontab on one machine.
Get it Running
If you've made it this far, you are awesome!
capture machine you need to run at least one
moloch-capture and one
moloch-viewer . Using
make config will create startup files, or you can find the source files for
make config in the release directory.
Test it Out
Point your browser to any Moloch instance at
https://<hostname>:<port> and start tinkering!
Moloch is built to run across many machines for large deployments. For demo, small network, or home installations everything on a single machine is fine.
For larger installations please see the FAQ for recomended configurations.
The following are rough guidelines for capturing large amounts of data with high bit rates, obviously tailor for your specific situation. It is not recommended to run the
elasticsearch processes on the same machines for highly utilized GigE networks.
Here is an example system setup for monitoring 8x GigE highly-utilized networks, with an average of ~5 Gigabit/sec, with ~7 days of pcap storage.
iptablesMUST be used allowing only Moloch machines to talk to the
elasticsearchmachines (ports 9200-920x) and for them to mesh connect (ports 9300-930x). An example with 3 ES machines 2 nodes each and a viewer only machine::
for ip in moloches1 moloches2 moloches3 molochvieweronly1; do iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 9300 -s $ip -j ACCEPT iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 9200 -s $ip -j ACCEPT iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 9301 -s $ip -j ACCEPT iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 9201 -s $ip -j ACCEPT done iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 9300 -j DROP iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 9200 -j DROP iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 9301 -j DROP iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 9201 -j DROP * Moloch machines should be locked down, however they need to talk to each other (port 8005), to the elasticsearch machines (ports 9200-920x), and the web interface needs to be open (port 8005).
viewer should be configured to use SSL.
It is possible to set up a Moloch
viewer on a machine that doesn't capture any data that gateways all requests.
It is also possible to place apache in front of moloch, so it can handle the authentication and pass the username on to moloch
A shared password stored in the Moloch configuration file is used to encrypt password hashes AND for inter-Moloch communication.
Make sure you protect the config file on the filesystem with proper file permissions.
elasticsearchdirectly in case it hasn't been secured.
For answers to frequently asked questions, please see the FAQ .
We use GitHub’s built-in wiki located at https://github.com/aol/moloch/wiki .
Upgrading is easy if using the RPM/DEB files.
/data/moloch/db/db.pl http://localhost:9200 upgrade
Restart the moloch capture and viewer processes If upgrading from source it is a manual process.
Update the moloch repository from github