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Installing YARA Agent (CentOS/RHEL 6/7/8)

YARA Integration has two parts -- a primary and one or more minions. The primary service must be installed on the same system as VMware CB EDR, while minions are usually installed on other systems (but can also be on the primary system, if so desired). The YARA connector itself uses Celery to distribute work to and remote (or local) minions - you will need to install and configure a broker (e.g., Redis) that is accessible to both the primary and remote minion instance(s).

The connector reads YARA rules from a configured directory to efficiently scan binaries as they are seen by the EDR server. T he generated threat information is used to produce an intelligence feed for ingest by the EDR Server.

  1. Install the CbOpenSource repository if it isn't already present:

    cd /etc/yum.repos.d
    curl -O
  2. Install the RPM:

    yum install python-cb-yara-connector

Create YARA Connector Config

The installation process creates a sample configuration file: /etc/cb/integrations/cb-yara-connector/yaraconnector.conf.example. Copy this sample template to /etc/cb/integrations/cb-yara-connector/yaraconnector.conf, which is the filename and location that the connector expects. You will likely have to edit this configuration file on each system (primary and minions) to supply any missing information:

  • There are two operating modes to support the two roles: mode=primary and mode=minion. Both modes require a broker for Celery communications. Minion systems will need to change the mode to minion;
  • Remote minion systems will require the primary's URL for cb_server_url (local minions need no modification); they also require the token of a global admin user for cb_server_token.
  • Remote minions will require the URL of the primary's Redis server

The daemon will attempt to load the PostgreSQL credentials from the EDR server's cb.conf file, if available, falling back to the PostgreSQL connection information in the primary's configuration file using the postgres_xxxx keys in the config. The REST API location and credentials are specified in the cb_server_url and cb_server_token keys, respectively.

; Cb Response PostgreSQL Database settings, required for 'primary' and 'primary+minion' systems
; The server will attempt to read from local cb.conf file first and fall back
; to these settings if it cannot do so.
; EDR server settings, required for 'primary' and 'primary+minion' systems
; For remote workers, the cb_server_url mus be that of the primary
cb_server_token=<API TOKEN GOES HERE>

You must configure broker= which sets the broker and results_backend for Celery. Set this appropriately as per the Celery documentation.

; URL of the Redis server, defaulting to the local EDR server Redis for the primary.  If this is a minion
; system, alter to point to the primary system.  If you are using a standalone Redis server, both primary and
; minions must point to the same server.

Create your YARA rules

The YARA connector monitors the directory /etc/cb/integrations/cb-yara-connector/yara_rules for files (.yar) each specifying one or more YARA rule. Your rules must have meta section with a score = [1-10] tag to appropriately score matching binaries. This directory is configurable in your configuration file. C-style comments are supported.

Sample YARA Rule File

// Sample rule to match binaries over 100kb in size

rule matchover100kb {
		score = 10
		filesize > 100KB

Controlling the YARA Agent

CentOS / Red Hat 6

Action Command
Start the service service cb-yara-connector start
Stop the service service cb-yara-connector stop
Display service status service cb-yara-connector status

CentOS / Red Hat 7

Action Command
Start the service systemctl start cb-yara-connector
Stop the service systemctl stop cb-yara-connector
Display service status systemctl status -l cb-yara-connector
Displaying verbose logs journalctl -u cb-yara-connector

Command-line Options

usage: yaraconnector [-h] --config-file CONFIG_FILE [--log-file LOG_FILE]
                     [--output-file OUTPUT_FILE] [--working-dir WORKING_DIR]
                     [--pid-file PID_FILE] [--daemon]
                     [--validate-yara-rules] [--debug]

Yara Agent for Yara Connector

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --config-file CONFIG_FILE
                        location of the config file
  --log-file LOG_FILE   file location for log output
  --output-file OUTPUT_FILE
                        file location for feed file
  --working-dir WORKING_DIR
                        working directory
  --pid-file PID_FILE   pid file location - if not supplied, will not write a
                        pid file
  --daemon              run in daemon mode (run as a service)
                        only validate the yara rules, then exit
  --debug               enabled debug level logging


Provides the path of the configuration file to be used (REQUIRED)


Provides the path of the YARA log file. If not supplied, defaults to local/yara_agent.log within the current YARA package.


Provides the path containing the feed description file. If not supplied, defaults to feed.json in the same location as the configured feed_database_dir folder.


If supplied, YARA rules will be validated and the script will exit.

Development Notes

Utility Script

Included with this version is a feature for discretionary use by advanced users and should be used with caution.

When utility_interval is defined with a value greater than 0, it represents the interval in minutes at which the YARA connector will pause its work and execute an external shell script. A sample script, is provided within the scripts folder of the current YARA connector installation. After execution, the YARA connector continues with its work.

NOTE: As a safety for this feature, if an interval is defined but no script is defined, nothing is done. By default, no script is defined.

; The use of the utility script is an ADVANCED FEATURE and should be used with caution!
; If "utility_interval" is greater than 0 it represents the interval in minutes after which the YARA connector will
; pause to execute a shell script for general maintenance. This can present risks. Be careful what you allow the
; script to do, and use this option at your own discretion.

YARA Agent Build Instructions

The dockerfile in the top-level of the repo contains a CentOS 7 environment for running, building, and testing the connector.

The provided script will use docker to build the project, and place the RPM(s) in ${PWD}/RPMS.

Dev install

Use Git to retrieve the project, create a new virtual environment using Python 3.6+, and use pip to install the requirements:

git clone
pip3 install -r requirements.txt


  • View all API and integration offerings on the Developer Network along with reference documentation, video tutorials, and how-to guides.
  • Use the Developer Community Forum to discuss issues and get answers from other API developers in the Carbon Black Community.
  • Report bugs and change requests to Carbon Black Support.

Copyright © 2014-2020 VMware, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Analyze binaries collected in VMware Carbon Black EDR against Yara rules.



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