Install a Cuckoo Sandbox in 12 steps


Recently, I was participating in an online malicious file detection project, and we used the Cuckoo sandbox as part of it. During the installation of Cuckoo sandbox, I found the process is very tedious and unfriendly for automatic deployment of engineering projects. Also, by searching the Internet, I didn’t find any useful references can quickly improve the deployment steps. After some practice, I have summarized a relatively simple method that can deploy a Cuckoo sandbox in 12 steps. Today, I decided to make it public.

Preparatory works

Before installing Cuckoo, we need to prepare a Cuckoo Agent, which is a Windows virtual machine based on VitualBox. Of course, you needn’t remake it, just use this ova file I have prepared:Agent.ova

It is noteworthy that I completed the installation on version of Ubuntu 18.04.5 Desktop, the Cuckoo sandbox is the version of 2.0.7. If everything goes well, the following method should also support version of Ubuntu Server.

Start installation

step 1: Install system updates and update system dependencies after installing Ubuntu

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

step 2: Install basic system dependencies by Cuckoo required (if iptables-persistent configuration GUI window pops up, keep the default selection and go on)

sudo apt-get install -y virtualbox vim curl net-tools htop python python-pip python-dev libffi-dev libssl-dev python-virtualenv python-setuptools python-magic python-libvirt ssdeep libjpeg-dev zlib1g-dev swig mongodb postgresql libpq-dev build-essential git libpcre3 libpcre3-dev libpcre++-dev libfuzzy-dev automake make libtool gcc tcpdump dh-autoreconf flex bison libjansson-dev libmagic-dev libyaml-dev libpython2.7-dev tcpdump apparmor-utils iptables-persistent

step 3: Update PIP and install Python dependencies

sudo pip install --upgrade pip
sudo pip install -U gdown==3.10.0 sqlalchemy==1.3.3 pefile==2019.4.18 pyrsistent==0.17.0 dpkt==1.8.7 jinja2==2.9.6 pymongo==3.0.3 bottle yara-python==3.6.3 requests==2.13.0 python-dateutil==2.4.2 chardet==2.3.0 setuptools psycopg2 pycrypto pydeep distorm3 cuckoo==2.0.7 weasyprint==0.36 m2crypto openpyxl ujson pycrypto pytz pyOpenSSL

step 4: Uninstall Werkzeug and reinstall (Werkzeug has a version update which leads to incompatibility with Cuckoo 2.0.7)

sudo pip uninstall werkzeug && sudo pip install werkzeug==0.16.1

step 5: Install pySSDeep, yara and volatility

git clone && cd pySSDeep && sudo python build && sudo python install
wget && tar -xzvf v3.7.1.tar.gz && cd yara-3.7.1 && sudo ./ && sudo ./configure --with-crypto --enable-cuckoo --enable-magic && sudo make && sudo make install
git clone && cd volatility && sudo python build && sudo python install

step 6: Configure tcpdump and system DNS

sudo aa-disable /usr/sbin/tcpdump && sudo setcap cap_net_raw,cap_net_admin=eip /usr/sbin/tcpdump
sudo sed -i "s/" /etc/resolv.conf

step 7: Start MongoDB service and initialize Cuckoo, pull community signatures

sudo service mongodb start && cuckoo && cuckoo community

step 8: Use VboxManage to create a hostonly ethernet adapter vboxnet0, and modify the default storage directory and permission for virtual machine files

vboxmanage hostonlyif create && vboxmanage hostonlyif ipconfig vboxnet0 --ip --netmask
sudo mkdir /data && sudo mkdir /data/VirtualBoxVms && sudo chmod 777 /data/VirtualBoxVms
vboxmanage setproperty machinefolder /data/VirtualBoxVms

step 9: Import Agent.ova, boot up to take a snapshot, and add to Cuckoo

vboxmanage import ~/Downloads/Agent.ova && vboxmanage modifyvm "Agent" --name "cuckoo1" && vboxmanage startvm "cuckoo1" && sleep 1m
vboxmanage snapshot "cuckoo1" take "snap1" && vboxmanage controlvm "cuckoo1" poweroff
cuckoo machine --delete cuckoo1 && cuckoo machine --add cuckoo1 --platform windows --snapshot snap1

step 10: Configure iptables to enable IP forwarding

sudo iptables -A FORWARD -i vboxnet0 -s -m conntrack --ctstate NEW -j ACCEPT && sudo iptables -A FORWARD -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT && sudo iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE
sudo vim /etc/sysctl.conf        # Open net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1
sudo sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.conf && sudo netfilter-persistent save

step 11: Modify the Cuckoo configuration file, open MongoDB and VirusTotal

vim ~/.cuckoo/conf/reporting.conf        # Change mongodb status from off to on
vim ~/.cuckoo/conf/processing.conf       # Change virustotal status from off to on

step 12: Run Cuckoo

cuckoo web -H -p 8000

Thus far, We have successfully installed a Cuckoo sandbox. We can submit sample files to Cuckoo through web service on port 8000.


Finally, I wrote the above process into a shell script to automate the installation of Cuckoo sandbox.

You just need to prepare a clean Ubuntu and run following command:

bash <(curl -sS -L

Perhaps it’s the best script to install Cuckoo today?

The code is here: AutoDeployCuckoo

* Reproduced this article please indicate the original source and author