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How to automate IP Lookup with GreyNoise from a Splunk Cloud platform webhook

How to automate: IP lookup with GreyNoise from a Splunk Cloud platform webhook

Hugo David

Today we will learn how to automate IP lookup with GreyNoise from a Splunk Cloud Platform webhook alert.

With the constant threat landscape evolution, one must always stay close to cybercriminals’ evolution, if not stay ahead. One way to achieve this is by automating the analysis of alerts generated by security tools like Splunk Cloud Platform. This Flow is designed to help security teams efficiently and effectively respond to potential threats by automating the analysis of IP addresses flagged in Splunk Cloud Platform webhooks alerts.

The importance of this playbook lies in its ability to streamline the threat detection and response process. By automating the analysis of IP addresses flagged in Splunk Cloud Platform alerts, security teams can significantly reduce the time spent on manual investigation and focus on more strategic tasks. 

Moreover, this playbook enables organizations to quickly identify and respond to malicious activities and understand if they are being specifically targeted or under a mass attack which will dramatically change how they react to the incident. Ultimately, this playbook helps minimize the risk of data breaches and other security incidents.

To create this playbook, we will orchestrate 6 tools:

Splunk Emblem e1680605275711
Splunk Cloud Platform
RiskIQ Passive Total
RiskIQ Passive Total
slack integration mindflow

Roughly put, the playbook works in the following way: When an IP address triggers an alert in Splunk Cloud Platform due to a high number of scans on a specific port, the alert is redirected to the playbook via a webhook. The playbook then pushes the flagged IP address to GreyNoise, a third-party service that analyzes IP addresses to determine their maliciousness based on their behavior across the web.

Trigger, setting the Splunk Cloud Platform webhook alert with the detection rule

This section will discuss how to set up an alert in Splunk Cloud Platform that will trigger a webhook action when a specific rule is met. This rule is designed to monitor the number of scans on a specified port and flag IP addresses that exceed a certain threshold.

To configure the alert, use the following example of a Splunk query:

index=your_index_name sourcetype=your_sourcetype_name | stats count by src_ip, dest_port | where dest_port=<your_threshold_port_number> and count>=<your_threshold_scan_count>

To customize the query for your specific use case, follow these steps:

  1. Replace<your_index_name>with the name of the index where your data is stored.
  2. Replace<your_sourcetype_name>with the name of the sourcetype that your data is tagged with.
  3. Replace<your_threshold_port_number>with the port number that you want to monitor.
  4. Replace<your_threshold_scan_count>with the minimum number of scans that you want to trigger an alert.

This query will analyze the data in your specified index and sourcetype, counting the number of scans for each source IP and destination port combination. It will then filter the results only to display IP addresses that have scanned the specified port above the threshold scan count.

Once the query is set up, you need to configure the alert to trigger a webhook action. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In the Splunk Cloud Platform, navigate to the “Alerts” section and create a new alert.
  2. Set the alert condition using the customized query provided above.
  3. Configure the alert to trigger a webhook action when the specified condition is met. This will require providing the webhook URL that will receive the alert generated by the playbook. Copy and paste this URL into the field needed in Splunk.

By configuring the alert and the Splunk Cloud Platform webhook action, the playbook will automatically receive the alert data when the specified rule is met.

Splunk Cloud Platform webhook introspection and data extraction

In this section, we will discuss the process of webhook introspection and extracting relevant data from the Splunk Cloud Platform webhook. The playbook will use this data to analyze the flagged IP addresses further and take appropriate action.

A typical Splunk webhook payload will be structured as follows:

  "event": "port_number scans detected from ip_address",
  "severity": "high",
  "description": "The ip_address has scanned port_number above the specified threshold.",
  "source": "Splunk",
  "timestamp": "$result._time$"

To extract the relevant information from the webhook payload, we will use the native data transform tool that will allow us to parse the payload and extract the necessary data, such as the flagged IP address and the number of port scans that triggered the alert. For example, you can use a parsing function to extract the IP address and port number from the “event” field:

ip_address = extract_ip_from_event(webhook_payload['event'])
port_number = extract_port_from_event(webhook_payload['event'])

Additionally, you can extract the alert severity, description, source, and timestamp for further analysis or reporting purposes:

severity = webhook_payload['severity']
description = webhook_payload['description']
source = webhook_payload['source']
timestamp = webhook_payload['timestamp']

By extracting this data, we will utilize the flagged IP address and other relevant information to perform a more in-depth analysis using third-party services like GreyNoise.

IP lookup with GreyNoise and subsequent steps

In this section, we will perform an IP lookup with GreyNoise on the flagged IP address and determine the appropriate response actions based on the IP’s behavior.

    1. IP lookup with GreyNoise: To analyze the IP address, push it to GreyNoise using a GNQL (GreyNoise Query Language) query. GreyNoise will classify the IP as either benign or malicious based on its observed behavior across the web.
    1. Response Actions: Depending on the classification of the IP address by GreyNoise, follow the appropriate response actions:

a. Benign Actor: No further action is required if GreyNoise classifies the IP address as benign.
b. Malicious Actor: If GreyNoise classifies the IP address as malicious, perform the following steps:

i. Push this IP address to your WAF solution to update the ruleset: Here we use AWS WAF to update the IP ruleset with this malicious IP address.

ii. Assess the risk and check if the IP was flagged with other behaviors: If the IP has been seen elsewhere and reported performing other malicious behaviors, extract these behaviors under the field “tags.”

iii. Create a Jira ticket: Gather the collected information from the IP lookup with GreyNoise and the Splunk Cloud Platform webhook (IP address, port scans, other behaviors), and assign the rank HIGH PRIORITY if the IP has been reported with other malicious behaviors. If the IP has not been reported with other behaviors or has been reported as performing mass scans, create a Jira ticket with the collected information and assign the rank LOW PRIORITY.

    1. Notify the Security Team: Once the appropriate response actions have been taken, notify the Security team in Slack about the created Jira ticket by linking its URL and priority rank. This will ensure that the Security team is informed of potential threats and can take necessary actions to mitigate the risks.
IP lookup with GreyNoise from a Splunk Cloud Platform webhook

Additional steps: further enrichment with third-party threat intelligence services

If the IP has been flagged somewhere else, performing scans, making specific requests, or if this IP has only been flagged performing scans on your port. This could indicate a targeted, if not advanced, attack against your networks and systems. 

Now, this is a race against time to try and gather as much information as possible about this IP: all the behaviors linked to it and close IP address, ASN location, Threat actors associated with it, their modus operandi to gain access in your networks and systems, in other words, the kill-chain their known to operate with, and known IOCs (Indicators of Compromise).

This is why in this section, we will discuss additional steps that can be taken in this workflow to gather more comprehensive threat intelligence using specialized services like RiskIQ (now Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence) or other similar platforms that will be able to provide in-depth information on specific threat actors, infrastructure, and other malicious activities.

Query RiskIQ’s API to gather information related to the flagged IP address or threat actor name, for instance. You can use API endpoints to gather more intelligence: /host, /search/advanced, /intelligence/group or /campaign, and /group/group_id/indicators or /campaign/campaign_id/indicators.

This may include, but is not limited to:

    With the additional threat intelligence data, update the Jira ticket to include the new findings depending on the action you queried. As we saw above, the information collected may involve adding more context about the threat actor, their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), and any other relevant information that can help the Security team better understand and prioritize the threat.

    Additionally, notify the Security team on Slack to warn them of a High priority event and link the updated Jira ticket to ensure that the Security team is well-informed of the latest information and has all the cards in hand to take every action necessary.

    Incorporating additional threat intelligence services like RiskIQ or similar platforms into the workflow can significantly enhance the organization’s ability to understand and respond to potential threats. By gathering more specialized intelligence on threat actors, infrastructure, and malicious activities, security teams can make more informed decisions and prioritize their response efforts accordingly.

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