Before proceeding on configuring Cuckoo, you’ll need to install some required software and libraries.

Installing Python libraries

Cuckoo host components are completely written in Python, therefore make sure to have an appropriate version installed. For the current release Python 2.7 is preferred.

Install Python on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install python

If you want to use the Django-based web interface, you’ll have to install MongoDB too:

$ sudo apt-get install mongodb

In order to properly function, Cuckoo requires SQLAlchemy and Python BSON to be installed.

Install with apt-get:

$ sudo apt-get install python-sqlalchemy python-bson

Install with pip:

$ sudo pip install sqlalchemy bson

There are other optional dependencies that are mostly used by modules and utilities. The following libraries are not strictly required, but their installation is recommended:

  • Dpkt (Highly Recommended): for extracting relevant information from PCAP files.
  • Jinja2 (Highly Recommended): for rendering the HTML reports and the web interface.
  • Magic (Optional): for identifying files’ formats (otherwise use “file” command line utility)
  • Pydeep (Optional): for calculating ssdeep fuzzy hash of files.
  • Pymongo (Optional): for storing the results in a MongoDB database.
  • Yara and Yara Python (Optional): for matching Yara signatures (release >=3.0).
  • Libvirt (Optional): for using the KVM machine manager.
  • Bottlepy (Optional): for using the or utility (release >=0.10).
  • Django (Optional): for using the web interface (release >=1.5).
  • Pefile (Optional): used for static analysis of PE32 binaries.
  • Volatility (Optional): used for forensic analysis on memory (release >=2.4)
  • MAEC Python bindings (Optional): used for MAEC reporting (use a release >=4.0, but <4.1).
  • Chardet (Optional): used for detecting string encoding.

Some of them are already packaged in Debian/Ubuntu and can be installed with the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install python-dpkt python-jinja2 python-magic python-pymongo python-gridfs python-libvirt python-bottle python-pefile python-chardet

Except for python-magic, python-dpkt and python-libvirt, the others can be installed through pip too:

$ sudo pip install jinja2 pymongo bottle pefile django chardet

To have MAEC support, you need to first install the Cybox and then the MAEC libraries:

$ sudo pip install cybox==
$ sudo pip install maec==

Yara and Pydeep will have to be installed manually, so please refer to their websites.

If you want to use KVM it’s packaged too and you can install it with the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-bin ubuntu-vm-builder bridge-utils

If you want to use XenServer you’ll have to install the XenAPI Python package:

$ sudo pip install XenAPI

Virtualization Software

Despite heavily relying on VirtualBox in the past, Cuckoo has moved on being architecturally independent from the virtualization software. As you will see throughout this documentation, you’ll be able to define and write modules to support any software of your choice.

For the sake of this guide we will assume that you have VirtualBox installed (which still is the default option), but this does not affect anyhow the execution and general configuration of the sandbox.

You are completely responsible for the choice, configuration and execution of your virtualization software, therefore please refrain from asking for help on it in our channels and lists: refer to the software’s official documentation and support.

Assuming you decide to go for VirtualBox, you can get the proper package for your distribution at the official download page. The installation of VirtualBox is outside the scope of this documentation, if you are not familiar with it please refer to the official documentation.

Installing Tcpdump

In order to dump the network activity performed by the malware during execution, you’ll need a network sniffer properly configured to capture the traffic and dump it to a file.

By default Cuckoo adopts tcpdump, the prominent open source solution.

Install it on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install tcpdump

Tcpdump requires root privileges, but since you don’t want Cuckoo to run as root you’ll have to set specific Linux capabilities to the binary:

$ sudo setcap cap_net_raw,cap_net_admin=eip /usr/sbin/tcpdump

You can verify the results of last command with:

$ getcap /usr/sbin/tcpdump
/usr/sbin/tcpdump = cap_net_admin,cap_net_raw+eip

If you don’t have setcap installed you can get it with:

$ sudo apt-get install libcap2-bin

Or otherwise (not recommended) do:

$ sudo chmod +s /usr/sbin/tcpdump

Please keep in mind that even the setcap method is definitely not perfectly safe if the system has other users which are potentially untrusted. We recommend to run Cuckoo on a dedicated system or a trusted environment where the privileged tcpdump execution is contained otherwise.

Installing Volatility

Volatility is an optional tool to do forensic analysis on memory dumps. In combination with Cuckoo, it can automatically provide additional visibility into deep modifications in the operating system as well as detect the presence of rootkit technology that escaped the monitoring domain of Cuckoo’s analyzer.

In order to function properly, Cuckoo requires at least version 2.3 of Volatility. You can get it from the official repository.

See the volatility documentation for detailed instructions on how to install it.