Automated deployment scripts for the ROCK NSM network hunting distribution.
Clone or download
Latest commit 76a5483 Aug 24, 2018

Documentation | Download

ROCK is a collections platform, in the spirit of Network Security Monitoring by contributors from all over industry and the public sector. It's primary focus is to provide a robust, scalable sensor platform for both enduring security monitoring and incident response missions. The platform consists of 3 core capabilities:

  • Passive data acquisition via AF_PACKET, feeding systems for metadata (Bro), signature detection (Suricata), and full packet capture (Stenographer).
  • A messaging layer (Kafka and Logstash) that provides flexibility in scaling the platform to meet operational needs, as well as providing some degree of data reliability in transit.
  • Reliable data storage and indexing (Elasticsearch) to support rapid retrieval and analysis (Kibana) of the data.


  • Full Packet Capture via Google Stenographer and Docket.
  • Protocol Analysis and Metadata via Bro.
  • Signature Based Alerting via Suricata.
  • Recursive File Scanning via FSF.
  • Message Queuing and Distribution via Apache Kafka.
  • Message Transport via Logstash.
  • Data Storage, Indexing, and Search via Elasticsearch.
  • Data UI and Visualization via Kibana.
  • Security - The system is developed and tested to run with SELinux enabled.


The Ansible playbook that drives this build strives not to use any external roles or other dependencies. The reasoning behind this is to make the rock playbook a "one-stop" reference for a manual build. This allows users to use the build process as a guide when doing larger scale production roll outs without having to decipher a labyrinth of dependencies.

Templated config files have comment sections added near key config items with useful info. They don't all have it, but they get added as remembered.


Operating System Deployment

This system is distributed as an ISO and is designed to be deployed as a secure operating system. This is the only supported method for deployment.

Service Deployment

Following operating system installation, you can customize the service deployment by editing /etc/rocknsm/rock/config.yml.

NOTE: If this file does not exist, you can create it with the following command:

sudo /opt/rocknsm/rock/bin/

Once you are happy with the deployment parameters, run the service deployment as follows:

sudo /opt/rocknsm/rock/bin/


Functions Check:

# Check to see that the ES cluster says it's green:
curl -s localhost:9200/_cluster/health | jq '.'

# See how many documents are in the indexes.  The count should be non-zero.
curl -s localhost:9200/_all/_count | jq '.'

# You can fire some traffic across the sensor at this point to see if it's collecting.
# NOTE: This requires that you upload your own test PCAP to the box.
sudo tcpreplay -i [your monitor interface] /path/to/a/test.pcap

# After replaying some traffic, or just waiting a bit, the count should be going up.
curl -s localhost:9200/_all/_count | jq '.'

# You should have plain text bro logs showing up in /data/bro/logs/current/:
ls -ltr /data/bro/logs/current/

# Kafkacat is your kafka swiss army knife.  This command will consume the current queue.  You should see a non-zero offset.
kafkacat -C -b localhost -t bro_raw -e | wc -l

# If you haven't loaded kibana already, it should be running on port 5601.  This just verifies while you're still on the command line.
sudo netstat -planet | grep node


This architecture is made possible by the efforts of an ever-growing list of amazing people. Look around our Github to see the whole list.