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Configuration Guide

The configuration file of TheHive is /etc/thehive/application.conf by default. This file uses the HOCON format. All configuration parameters should go in this file.

You can have a look at the default settings.

Table of Contents

1. Database

TheHive uses the Elasticsearch search engine to store all persistent data. Elasticsearch is not part of TheHive package. It must be installed and configured as a standalone instance which can be located on the same machine. For more information on how to set up Elasticsearch, please refer to Elasticsearch installation guide.

Three settings are required to connect to Elasticsearch:

  • the base name of the index
  • the name of the cluster
  • the address(es) and port(s) of the Elasticsearch instance

The Defaults settings are:

# Elasticsearch
search {
  # Name of the index
  index = the_hive
  # Name of the Elasticsearch cluster
  cluster = hive
  # Address of the Elasticsearch instance
  host = [""]
  # Scroll keepalive
  keepalive = 1m
  # Size of the page for scroll
  pagesize = 50
  # Number of shards
  nbshards = 5
  # Number of replicas
  nbreplicas = 1
  # Arbitrary settings
  settings {
    # Maximum number of nested fields
    mapping.nested_fields.limit = 100

  ### XPack SSL configuration
  # Username for XPack authentication
  # Password for XPack authentication
  # Enable SSL to connect to ElasticSearch
  search.ssl.enabled = false
  # Path to certificate authority file
  # Path to certificate file
  # Path to key file

  ### SearchGuard configuration
  # Path to JKS file containing client certificate
  # Password of the keystore
  # Path to JKS file containing certificate authorities
  ## Password of the truststore
  # Enforce hostname verification
  # If hostname verification is enabled specify if hostname should be resolved

If you use a different configuration, modify the parameters accordingly in the application.conf file.

If multiple Elasticsearch nodes are used as a cluster, addresses of the master nodes must be used for the setting. All cluster nodes must use the same cluster name:

search {
    host = ["node1:9300", "node2:9300"]

TheHive uses the transport port (9300/tcp by default) and not the http port (9200/tcp).

TheHive versions index schema (mapping) in Elasticsearch. Version numbers are appended to the index base name (the 8th version of the schema uses the index the_hive_8 if search.index = the_hive).

When too many documents are requested to TheHive, it uses the scroll feature: the results are retrieved through pagination. You can specify the size of the page (search.pagesize) and how long pages are kept in Elasticsearch ((search.keepalive) before purging.

XPack and SearchGuard are optional and exclusive. If TheHive finds a valid configuration for XPack, SearchGuard configuration is ignored.

2. Datastore

TheHive stores attachments as Elasticsearch documents. They are split in chunks and each chunk sent to Elasticsearch is identified by the hash of the entire attachment and the associated chunk number.

The chunk size (datastore.chunksize) can be changed but any change will only affect new attachments. Existing ones won't be changed.

An attachment is identified by its hash. The algorithm used is configurable (datastore.hash.main) but must not be changed after the first attachment insertion. Otherwise, previous files cannot be retrieved.

Extra hash algorithms can be configured using datastore.hash.extra. These hashes are not used to identify the attachment but are shown in the user interface (the hash associated to the main algorithm is also shown). If you change extra algorithms, you should inform TheHive and ask it to recompute all hashes. Please note that the associated API call is currently disabled in Buckfast (v 2.10). It will be reinstated in the next release.

Observables can contain malicious data. When you try to download an attachment from an observable (typically a file), it is automatically zipped and the resulting ZIP file is password-protected. The default password is malware but it can be changed with the datastore.attachment.password setting.

Default values are:

# Datastore
datastore {
  name = data
  # Size of stored data chunks
  chunksize = 50k
  hash {
    # Main hash algorithm /!\ Don't change this value
    main = "SHA-256"
    # Additional hash algorithms (used in attachments)
    extra = ["SHA-1", "MD5"]
  attachment.password = "malware"

3. Authentication

TheHive supports local, LDAP and Active Directory (AD) for authentication. By default, it relies on local credentials stored in Elasticsearch.

Authentication methods are stored in the auth.provider parameter, which is multi-valued. When a user logs in, each authentication method is tried in order until one succeeds. If no authentication method works, an error is returned and the user cannot log in.

The Default values within the configuration file are:

auth {
	# "provider" parameter contains authentication provider. It can be multi-valued (useful for migration)
	# available auth types are:
	# services.LocalAuthSrv : passwords are stored in user entity (in Elasticsearch). No configuration is required.
	# ad : use ActiveDirectory to authenticate users. Configuration is under "" key
	# ldap : use LDAP to authenticate users. Configuration is under "auth.ldap" key
	provider = [local]

  # By default, basic authentication is disabled. You can enable it by setting "method.basic" to true.
  method.basic = false

	ad {
		# The name of the Microsoft Windows domain using the DNS format. This parameter is required.
		#domainFQDN = "mydomain.local"

    # Optionally you can specify the host names of the domain controllers. If not set, TheHive uses "domainFQDN".
    #serverNames = [ad1.mydomain.local, ad2.mydomain.local]

		# The Microsoft Windows domain name using the short format. This parameter is required.
		#domainName = "MYDOMAIN"

		# Use SSL to connect to the domain controller(s).
		#useSSL = true

	ldap {
		# LDAP server name or address. Port can be specified (host:port). This parameter is required.
		#serverName = "ldap.mydomain.local:389"

    # If you have multiple ldap servers, use the multi-valued settings.
    #serverNames = [ldap1.mydomain.local, ldap2.mydomain.local]

		# Use SSL to connect to directory server
		#useSSL = true

		# Account to use to bind on LDAP server. This parameter is required.
		#bindDN = "cn=thehive,ou=services,dc=mydomain,dc=local"

		# Password of the binding account. This parameter is required.
		#bindPW = "***secret*password***"

		# Base DN to search users. This parameter is required.
		#baseDN = "ou=users,dc=mydomain,dc=local"

		# Filter to search user {0} is replaced by user name. This parameter is required.
		#filter = "(cn={0})"

# Maximum time between two requests without requesting authentication
session {
  warning = 5m
  inactivity = 1h

To enable authentication using AD or LDAP, edit the application.conf file and supply the values for your environment. Then you need to create an account on TheHive for each AD or LDAP user in Administration > Users page (which can only be accessed by an administrator). This is required as TheHive needs to look up the role associated with the user and that role is stored locally by TheHive. Obviously, you don't need to supply a password as TheHive will check the credentials against the remote directory.

In order to use SSL on LDAP or AD, TheHive must be able to validate remote certificates. To that end, the Java truststore must contain certificate authorities used to generate the AD and/or LDAP certificates. The Default JVM truststore contains the main official authorities but LDAP and AD certificates are probably not issued by them.

Use keytool to create the truststore:

keytool -import -file /path/to/your/ca.cert -alias InternalCA -keystore /path/to/your/truststore.jks

Then add parameter when you start TheHive or put it in the JAVA_OPTS environment variable before starting TheHive.

4. Streaming (a.k.a The Flow)

The user interface is automatically updated when data is changed in the back-end. To do this, the back-end sends events to all the connected front-ends. The mechanism used to notify the front-end is called long polling and its settings are:

  • refresh : when there is no notification, close the connection after this duration (the default is 1 minute).
  • cache : before polling a session must be created, in order to make sure no event is lost between two polls. If there is no poll during the cache setting, the session is destroyed (the default is 15 minutes).
  • nextItemMaxWait, globalMaxWait : when an event occurs, it is not immediately sent to the front-ends. The back-end waits nextItemMaxWait and up to globalMaxWait in case another event can be included in the notification. This mechanism saves many HTTP requests.

Default values are:

# Streaming
stream.longpolling {
  # Maximum time a stream request waits for new element
  refresh = 1m
  # Lifetime of the stream session without request
  cache = 15m
  nextItemMaxWait = 500ms
  globalMaxWait = 1s

5. Entity size limit

The Play framework used by TheHive sets the HTTP body size limit to 100KB by default for textual content (json, xml, text, form data) and 10MB for file uploads. This could be too small in most cases so you may want to change it with the following settings in the application.conf file:

# Max textual content length
# Max file size

Note: if you are using a NGINX reverse proxy in front of TheHive, be aware that it doesn't distinguish between text data and a file upload. So, you should also set the client_max_body_size parameter in your NGINX server configuration to the highest value among the two: file upload and text size defined in TheHive application.conf file.

6. Cortex

TheHive can use one or several Cortex analysis engines to get additional information on observables. When configured, analyzers available in Cortex become usable on TheHive. First you must enable CortexConnector, choose an identifier then specify the URL for each Cortex server:

## Enable the Cortex module
play.modules.enabled += connectors.cortex.CortexConnector

cortex {
    # URL of the Cortex server
    url = "http://CORTEX_SERVER:CORTEX_PORT"
    # Key of the Cortex user, mandatory for Cortex 2
    key = "API key"
  # HTTP client configuration, more details in section 8
  # ws {
  #   proxy {}
  #   ssl {}
  # }
  # Check job update time interval
  refreshDelay = 1 minute
  # Maximum number of successive errors before give up
  maxRetryOnError = 3
  # Check remote Cortex status time interval
  statusCheckInterval = 1 minute

If you connect TheHive with Cortex 2, you must create a user in Cortex with the read, analyze roles, set an API key and add this key in the Cortex server definition in TheHive application.conf. For Cortex 1, authentication is not required, the key is not used.

To create a user with the read, analyze role in Cortex 2, you must have at least one organization configured then you can connect to the Cortex 2 Web UI using a orgAdmin account for that organization to create the user and generate their API key. Please refer to the Cortex Quick Start Guide for more information.

Cortex analyzes observables and outputs reports in JSON format. TheHive shows the report as-is by default. In order to make reports more readable, we provide report templates which are in a separate package and must be installed manually:

HTTP client used by Cortex connector use global configuration (in but can be overridden in Cortex section and in each Cortex server configuration. Refer to section 8 for more detail on how to configure HTTP client.


TheHive has the ability to connect to one or several MISP instances in order to import and export events. Hence TheHive is able to:

  • receive events as they are added or updated from multiple MISP instances. These events will appear within the Alerts pane.
  • export cases as MISP events to one or several MISP instances. The exported cases will not be published automatically though as they need to be reviewed prior to publishing. We strongly advise you to review the categories and types of attributes at least, before publishing the corresponding MISP events.

Note: Please note that only and all the observables marked as IOCs will be used to create the MISP event. Any other observable will not be shared. This is not configurable.

Within the configuration file, you can register your MISP server(s) under the misp configuration keyword. Each server shall be identified using an arbitrary name, its url, the corresponding authentication key and optional tags to add each observable created from a MISP event. Any registered server will be used to import events as alerts. It can also be used to export cases to as MISP events, if the account used by TheHive on the MISP instance has sufficient rights.

This means that TheHive can import events from configured MISP servers and export cases to the same configured MISP servers. Having different configuration for sources and destination servers is expected in a future version.

Important Notes

TheHive requires MISP 2.4.73 or better. Make sure that your are using a compatible version of MISP before reporting problems. MISP 2.4.72 and below do not work correctly with TheHive.

7.1 Configuration

To sync with a MISP server and retrieve events or export cases, edit the application.conf file and adjust the example shown below to your setup:

## Enable the MISP module (import and export)
play.modules.enabled += connectors.misp.MispConnector

misp {
    # URL of the MISP instance.
    url = "<The_URL_of_the_MISP_Server_goes_here>"

    # Authentication key.
    key = "<the_auth_key_goes_here>"

    # Name of the case template in TheHive that shall be used to import
    # MISP events as cases by default.
    caseTemplate = "<Template_Name_goes_here>"

    # Tags to add to each observable imported from an event available on
    # this instance.
    tags = ["misp-server-id"]

    # Truststore to use to validate the X.509 certificate  of  the  MISP
    # instance if the default truststore is not sufficient.
    #ws.ssl.trustManager.stores = [
    #  type: "JKS"
    #  path: "/path/to/truststore.jks"

    # Case template created in TheHive for MISP events
    caseTemplate = "<Template_Name_goes_here>"

    # HTTP client configuration, more details in section 8
    # ws {
    #   proxy {}
    #   ssl {}
    # }

    # filters:
    max-attributes = 1000
    max-size = 1 MiB
    max-age = 7 days
    exclusion {
     organisation = ["bad organisation", "other orga"]
     tags = ["tag1", "tag2"]
    whitelist.tags = ["whitelist-tag1", "whitelist-tag2"]
    # MISP purpose defines if this instance can be used to import events (ImportOnly), export cases (ExportOnly) or both (ImportAndExport)
    # Default is ImportAndExport
    purpose = ImportAndExport

  # Check remote TheHive status time interval
  statusCheckInterval = 1 minute
  # Interval between consecutive MISP event  imports  in  hours  (h)  or
  # minutes (m).
  interval = 1h

The HTTP client used by the MISP connector uses a global configuration (in but it can be overridden within the MISP section of the configuation file and/or in the configuration section of each MISP server (in Refer to section 8 for more details on how to configure the HTTP client.

7.2 Associate a Case Template to Alerts corresponding to MISP events

As stated in the subsection above, TheHive is able to automatically import MISP events (they will appear as alerts within the Alerts pane) and create cases out of them. This operation leverages the template engine. Thus you'll need to create a case template prior to importing MISP events.

First, create a case template. Let's call it MISP-EVENT.

misp case template

Then update TheHive's configuration to add a 'caseTemplate' parameter as shown in the example below:

misp {
    # URL of the MISP server
    url = "<The_URL_of_the_MISP_Server_goes_here>"
    # authentication key
    key = "<the_auth_key_goes_here>"
    # tags that must be automatically added to the case corresponding to the imported event
    tags = ["misp"]
    # case template
    caseTemplate = "MISP-EVENT"

Once the configuration file has been edited, restart TheHive. Every new import of a MISP event will generate a case using to the MISP-EVENT template by default. The template can be overridden though during the event import.

7.3 Event Filters

When you first connect TheHive to a MISP instance, you can be overwhelmed by the number of alerts that will be generated, particularly if the MISP instance contains a lot of events. Indeed, every event, even those that date back to the beginning of the Internet, will generate an alert. To avoid alert fatigue, and starting from TheHive 3.0.4 (Cerana 0.4), you can exclude MISP events using different filters:

  • the maximum number of attributes (max-attributes)
  • the maximum size of the event's JSON message (max-size)
  • the maximum age of the last publication (max-age)
  • the organisation is black-listed (exclusion.organisation)
  • one of the tags is black-listed (exclusion.tags)
  • doesn't contain one of the whitelist tag (whitelist.tags)

Please note that MISP event filters can be adapted to the configuration associated to each MISP server TheHive is connected with. As regards the max-age filter, it applies to the publication date of MISP events and not to the creation date.

In the example below, the following MISP events won't generate alerts in TheHive:

  • events that have more than 1000 attributes
  • events which JSON message size is greater than 1MB
  • events that have been published more than one week from the current date
  • events that have been created by bad organisation or other orga
  • events that contain tag1 or tag2
    # filters:
    max-attributes = 1000
    max-size = 1 MiB
    max-age = 7 days
    exclusion {
     organisation = ["bad organisation", "other orga"]
     tags = ["tag1", "tag2"]

Of course, you can omit some of the filters or all of them.

7.4 MISP Purpose

TheHive can interact with MISP in two ways: import a MISP event to create a case in TheHive and export a TheHive case to create a MISP event. By default, any MISP instance that is added to TheHive's configuration will be used for importing events and exporting cases (ImportAndExport). If you want to use MISP in only one way, you can set its purpose in the configuration as ImportOnly or ExportOnly.

Starting from TheHive 3.3, when exporting a case to a MISP instance, you can export all its tags to the freshly created MISP event. This behaviour is not enabled by default. If you want to enable it you must set the exportCaseTags variable to true as shown below:

misp {
  "local" {
    url = ""
    key = "<the_auth_key_goes_here>"
    exportCaseTags = true
    [...] # additional parameters go here

8. HTTP Client Configuration

HTTP client can be configured by adding ws key in sections that needs to connect to remote HTTP service. The key can contain configuration items defined in play WS configuration:

  • ws.followRedirects: Configures the client to follow 301 and 302 redirects (default is true).
  • ws.useragent: To configure the User-Agent header field.
  • ws.compressionEnabled: Set it to true to use gzip/deflater encoding (default is false).


There are 3 different timeouts in WS. Reaching a timeout causes the WS request to interrupt.

  • ws.timeout.connection: The maximum time to wait when connecting to the remote host (default is 120 seconds).
  • ws.timeout.idle: The maximum time the request can stay idle (connection is established but waiting for more data) (default is 120 seconds).
  • ws.timeout.request: The total time you accept a request to take (it will be interrupted even if the remote host is still sending data) (default is 120 seconds).


Proxy can be used. By default, the proxy configured in JVM is used but one can configured specific configurations for each HTTP client.

  • ws.useProxyProperties: To use the JVM system’s HTTP proxy settings (http.proxyHost, http.proxyPort) (default is true). This setting is ignored if ws.proxy settings is present.
  • The hostname of the proxy server.
  • The port of the proxy server.
  • ws.proxy.protocol: The protocol of the proxy server. Use "http" or "https". Defaults to "http" if not specified.
  • ws.proxy.user: The username of the credentials for the proxy server.
  • ws.proxy.password: The password for the credentials for the proxy server.
  • ws.proxy.ntlmDomain: The password for the credentials for the proxy server.
  • ws.proxy.encoding: The realm's charset.
  • ws.proxy.nonProxyHosts: The list of hosts on which proxy must not be used.

#### SSL SSL of HTTP client can be completely configured in application.conf file.

Certificate manager

Certificate manager is used to store client certificates and certificate authorities.

keyManager indicates which certificate HTTP client can use to authenticate itself on remote host (when certificate based authentication is used)

  ws.ssl.keyManager {
    stores = [
        type: "pkcs12" // JKS or PEM
        path: "mycert.p12"
        password: "password1"

Certificate authorities are configured using trustManager key. It is used to establish a secure connection with remote host. Server certificate must be signed by a trusted certificate authority.

  ws.ssl.trustManager {
    stores = [
        type: "JKS" // JKS or PEM
        path: "keystore.jks"
        password: "password1"

##### Debugging To debug the key manager / trust manager, set the following flags:

  ws.ssl.debug = {
    ssl = true
    trustmanager = true
    keymanager = true
    sslctx = true
    handshake = true
    verbose = true
    data = true
    certpath = true

##### Protocols If you want to define a different default protocol, you can set it specifically in the client:

ws.ssl.protocol = "TLSv1.2"

If you want to define the list of enabled protocols, you can do so explicitly:

ws.ssl.enabledProtocols = ["TLSv1.2", "TLSv1.1", "TLSv1"]

Cipher suites can be configured using ws.ssl.enabledCipherSuites:

ws.ssl.enabledCipherSuites = [

9. Monitoring and Performance Metrics (deprecated)

Performance metrics (response time, call rate to Elasticsearch and HTTP request, throughput, memory used...) can be collected if enabled in configuration.

Enable it by editing the application.conf file, and add:

# Register module for dependency injection
play.modules.enabled += connectors.metrics.MetricsModule

metrics.enabled = true

These metrics can optionally be sent to an external database (graphite, ganglia or influxdb) in order to monitor the health of the platform. This feature is disabled by default.

metrics {
    name = default
    enabled = true
    rateUnit = SECONDS
    durationUnit = SECONDS
    showSamples = false
    jvm = true
    logback = true

    graphite {
        enabled = false
        host = ""
        port = 2003
        prefix = thehive
        rateUnit = SECONDS
        durationUnit = MILLISECONDS
        period = 10s

    ganglia {
        enabled = false
        host = ""
        port = 8649
        mode = UNICAST
        ttl = 1
        version = 3.1
        prefix = thehive
        rateUnit = SECONDS
        durationUnit = MILLISECONDS
        tmax = 60
        dmax = 0
        period = 10s

    influx {
        enabled = false
        url = ""
        user = root
        password = root
        database = thehive
        retention = default
        consistency = ALL
        #tags = {
        #    tag1 = value1
        #    tag2 = value2
        period = 10s


You can enable HTTPS on TheHive application or add a reverse proxy in front of TheHive. The latter solution is recommended.

10.1 HTTPS using a reverse proxy

You can choose any reverse proxy to add SSL on TheHive. Below an example of NGINX configuration:

	server {
			listen 443 ssl;
			ssl on;
			ssl_certificate			ssl/thehive_cert.pem;
			ssl_certificate_key		ssl/thehive_key.pem;
			proxy_connect_timeout   600;
			proxy_send_timeout      600;
			proxy_read_timeout      600;
			send_timeout            600;
			client_max_body_size    2G;
			proxy_buffering off;
			client_header_buffer_size 8k;
			location / {
					add_header				Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=31536000; includeSubDomains";
					proxy_pass    ;
					proxy_http_version      1.1;

10.2 HTTPS without reverse proxy

To enable HTTPS in the application, add the following lines to /etc/thehive/application.conf:

    https.port: 9443
    play.server.https.keyStore {
      path: "/path/to/keystore.jks"
      type: "JKS"
      password: "password_of_keystore"

As HTTPS is enabled, HTTP can be disabled by adding http.port=disabled in configuration.

To import your certificate in the keystore, depending on your situation, you can follow Digital Ocean's tutorial.

More information: This is a setting of the Play framework that is documented on its website. Please refer to

10.3 Strengthen security

When SSL is enable (with reverse proxy or not), you can configure cookie to be "secure" (usable only with HTTPS protocol). This is done by adding in the application.conf file.

You can also enable HSTS. This header must be configured on the SSL termination component. If SSL is configured on TheHive, add play.filters.https.strictTransportSecurity="max-age=31536000; includeSubDomains" in application.conf.

For NGINX, use add_header directive, as show above.