NVIDIA DOCA YARA Inspection Application Guide

This guide provides YARA inspection implementation on top of NVIDIA® BlueField® DPU.

YARA inspection monitors all processes in the host system for specific YARA rules using the DOCA App Shield library.

This security capability helps identify malware detection patterns in host processes from an independent and trusted DPU. This is an innovative Intrusion Detection System (IDS) as it is designed to run independently on the DPU's Arm cores without hindering the host.

This DOCA App Shield based application provides the capability to read, analyze, and authenticate the host (bare metal/VM) memory directly from the DPU.

Using the library, this application scans host processes and looks for pre-defined YARA rules. After every scan iteration, the application indicates if any of the rules matched. Once there is a match, the application reports which rules were detected in which process. The reports are both printed to the console and exported to the DOCA Telemetry Service (DTS) using inter-process communication (IPC).

This guide describes how to build YARA inspection using the DOCA App Shield library which leverages DPU abilities such as hardware-based DMA, integrity, and more.

Warning

As the DOCA App Shield library only supports the YARA API for Windows hosts, this application can only be used to inspect Windows hosts.

The host's involvement is limited to generating the required ZIP and JSON files to pass to the DPU. This is done before the app is triggered, when the host is still in a "safe" state.

Generating the needed files can be done by running DOCA App Shield's doca_apsh_config.py tool on the host. See DOCA App Shield for more info.

system-design-diagram-version-1-modificationdate-1702941546460-api-v2.png

The user creates the ZIP and JSON files using the DOCA tool doca_apsh_config.py and copies them to the DPU.

The application can report YARA rules detection to the:

  • File

  • Terminal

  • DTS

application-architecture-diagram-version-1-modificationdate-1702941546960-api-v2.png

  1. The files are generated by running doca_apsh_config.py on the host against the process at time zero.

  2. The following steps recur at regular time intervals:

    1. The YARA inspection app requests a list of all apps from the DOCA App Shield library.

    2. The app loops over all processes and checks for YARA rules match using the DOCA App Shield library.

    3. If YARA rules are found (1 or more), the YARA attestation app reports results with a timestamp and details about the process and rules to:

      • Local telemetry files – a folder and files representing the data a real DTS would have received

        Warning

        These files are used for the purpose of this example only as normally this data is not exported into user-readable files.

      • DOCA log

      • DTS IPC interface (even if no DTS is active)

  3. The App Shield agent exits on first YARA rule detection.

This application leverages the following DOCA libraries:

Refer to their respective programming guide for more information.

  • The application is only available on Ubuntu 22.04 environments

  • The application only supports the inspection of Windows hosts

Installation

Refer to the NVIDIA DOCA Installation Guide for Linux for details on how to install BlueField-related software.

Prerequisites

  1. Configure the BlueField's firmware

    1. On the BlueField system, configure the PF base address register and NVME emulation. Run:

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      dpu> mlxconfig -d /dev/mst/mt41686_pciconf0 s PF_BAR2_SIZE=2 PF_BAR2_ENABLE=1 NVME_EMULATION_ENABLE=1

    2. Perform a graceful shutdown and cold boot from the host. Run:

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      host> ipmitool power cycle

      Note

      These configurations can be checked using the following command:

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      dpu> mlxconfig -d /dev/mst/mt41686_pciconf0 q | grep -E "NVME|BAR"

  2. Download target system (host/VM) symbols.

    • For Ubuntu:

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      host> sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ddebs.list << EOF deb http://ddebs.ubuntu.com/ $(lsb_release -cs) main restricted universe multiverse deb http://ddebs.ubuntu.com/ $(lsb_release -cs)-updates main restricted universe multiverse deb http://ddebs.ubuntu.com/ $(lsb_release -cs)-proposed main restricted universe multiverse EOF host> sudo apt install ubuntu-dbgsym-keyring host> sudo apt-get update host> sudo apt-get install linux-image-$(uname -r)-dbgsym

    • For CentOS:

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      host> yum install --enablerepo=base-debuginfo kernel-devel-$(uname -r) kernel-debuginfo-$(uname -r) kernel-debuginfo-common-$(uname -m)-$(uname -r)

    • No action is needed for Windows

  3. Perform IOMMU passthrough. This stage is only needed on some of the cases where IOMMU is not enabled by default (e.g., when the host is using an AMD CPU).

    Warning

    Skip this step if you are not sure whether you need it. Return to it only if DMA fails with a message in dmesg similar to the following:

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    host> dmesg [ 3839.822897] mlx5_core 0000:81:00.0: AMD-Vi: Event logged [IO_PAGE_FAULT domain=0x0047 address=0x2a0aff8 flags=0x0000]

    • Locate your OS's grub file (most likely /boot/grub/grub.conf, /boot/grub2/grub.cfg, or /etc/default/grub) and open it for editing. Run:

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      host> vim /etc/default/grub

    • Search for the line defining GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT and add the argument iommu=pt. For example:

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      GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="iommu=pt <intel/amd>_iommu=on"

    • Run:

      Warning

      Prior to performing a power cycle, make sure to do a graceful shutdown.

      • For Ubuntu:

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        host> sudo update-grub host> ipmitool power cycle

      • For CentOS:

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        host> grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg host> ipmitool power cycle

      • For Windows targets: Turn off Hyper-V capability.

  4. The DOCA App Shield library uses hugepages for DMA buffers. Therefore, the user must allocate 42 huge pages.

    1. Run:

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      dpu> nr_huge=$(cat /sys/devices/system/node/node0/hugepages/hugepages-2048kB/nr_hugepages) nr_huge=$((42+$nr_huge)) echo $nr_huge | sudo tee -a /sys/devices/system/node/node0/hugepages/hugepages-2048kB/nr_hugepages

    2. Create the ZIP and JSON files. Run:

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      target-system> cd /opt/mellanox/doca/tools/ target-system> python3 doca_apsh_config.py <pid-of-process-to-monitor> --os <windows/linux> --path <path to dwarf2json executable or pdbparse-to-json.py> target-system> cp /opt/mellanox/doca/tools/*.* <shared-folder-with-baremetal> dpu> scp <shared-folder-with-baremetal>/* <path-to-app-shield-binary>

      If the target system does not have DOCA installed, the script can be copied from the BlueField.

      The required dwaf2json and pdbparse-to-json.py are not provided with DOCA.

      Warning

      If the kernel and process .exe have not changed, there no need to redo this step.

Application Execution

The YARA inspection application is provided in both source and binary forms, and the binary is located under /opt/mellanox/doca/applications/yara_inspection/bin/doca_yara_inspection.

  1. Application usage instructions:

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    Usage: doca_yara_inspection [DOCA Flags] [Program Flags]   DOCA Flags: -h, --help Print a help synopsis -v, --version Print program version information -l, --log-level Set the (numeric) log level for the program <10=DISABLE, 20=CRITICAL, 30=ERROR, 40=WARNING, 50=INFO, 60=DEBUG, 70=TRACE> --sdk-log-level Set the SDK (numeric) log level for the program <10=DISABLE, 20=CRITICAL, 30=ERROR, 40=WARNING, 50=INFO, 60=DEBUG, 70=TRACE> -j, --json <path> Parse all command flags from an input json file   Program Flags: -m, --memr <path> System memory regions map -f, --vuid VUID of the System device -d, --dma DMA device name -o, --osym <path> System OS symbol map path -t, --time <seconds> Scan time interval in seconds

    Note

    This usage printout can be printed to the command line using the -h (or --help) options:

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    /opt/mellanox/doca/applications/yara_inspection/bin/doca_yara_inspection -h

    Note

    For additional information, refer to section "Command Line Flags".

  2. CLI example for running the application on the BlueField:

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    /opt/mellanox/doca/applications/yara_inspection/bin/doca_yara_inspection -m mem_regions.json -o symbols.json -f MT2125X03335MLNXS0D0F0VF1 -d mlx5_0 -t 3

    Warning

    All used identifiers (-f and -d flags) should match the identifier of the desired devices.

Command Line Flags

Flag Type

Short Flag

Long Flag

Description

General flags

h

help

Prints a help synopsis

v

version

Prints program version information

l

log-level

Set the log level for the application:

  • DISABLE=10

  • CRITICAL=20

  • ERROR=30

  • WARNING=40

  • INFO=50

  • DEBUG=60

  • TRACE=70 ( requires compilation with TRACE log level support )

N/A

sdk-log-level

Sets the log level for the program:

  • DISABLE=10

  • CRITICAL=20

  • ERROR=30

  • WARNING=40

  • INFO=50

  • DEBUG=60

  • TRACE=70

j

json

Parse all command flags from an input JSON file

Program flags

m

memr

Path to the pre-generated mem_regions.json file transferred from the host

f

pcif

System PCIe function vendor unique identifier (VUID) of the VF/PF exposed to the target system. Used for DMA operations.

To obtain this argument, run:

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target-system> lspci -vv | grep "\[VU\] Vendor specific:"

Example output:

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[VU] Vendor specific: MT2125X03335MLNXS0D0F0 [VU] Vendor specific: MT2125X03335MLNXS0D0F1

Two VUIDs are printed for each DPU connected to the target system. The first is of the DPU on pf0 and the second is of the DPU on port pf1.

The VUID of a VF allocated on PF0/1 is the VUID of the PF with an additional suffix, VF<vf-number>, where vf-number is the VF index +1.

For example, for the output in the example above:

  • PF0 VUID = MT2125X03335MLNXS0D0F0

  • PF1 VUID = MT2125X03335MLNXS0D0F1

  • VUID of VF0 on PF0 = MT2125X03335MLNXS0D0F0VF1

VUIDs are persistent even on reset.

d

dma

DMA device name to use

o

osym

Path to the pre-generated symbols.json file transferred from the host

t

time

Number of seconds to sleep between scans

Note

Refer to DOCA Arg Parser for more information regarding the supported flags and execution modes.


Troubleshooting

Refer to the NVIDIA DOCA Troubleshooting Guide for any issue encountered with the installation or execution of the DOCA applications .

In addition to providing the application in binary form, the installation also includes all of the application sources and compilation instructions so as to allow modifying the sources and recompiling the application. For more information about the applications, as well as development and compilation tips, refer to the DOCA Applications page.

The sources of the application can be found under the /opt/mellanox/doca/applications/yara_inspection/src directory.

Recompiling All Applications

The applications are all defined under a single meson project, so the default compilation recompiles all the DOCA applications.

To build all the applications together, run:

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cd /opt/mellanox/doca/applications/ meson /tmp/build ninja -C /tmp/build

Note

doca_yara_inspection is created under /tmp/build/yara_inspection/src/.


Recompiling Only the Current Application

To directly build only the YARA inspection application:

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cd /opt/mellanox/doca/applications/ meson /tmp/build -Denable_all_applications=false -Denable_yara_inspection=true ninja -C /tmp/build

Note

doca_yara_inspection is created under /tmp/build/yara_inspection/src/.

Alternatively, one can set the desired flags in the meson_options.txt file instead of providing them in the compilation command line:

  1. Edit the following flags in /opt/mellanox/doca/applications/meson_options.txt:

    • Set enable_all_applications to false

    • Set enable_yara_inspection to true

  2. Run the following compilation commands :

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    cd /opt/mellanox/doca/applications/ meson /tmp/build ninja -C /tmp/build

    Note

    doca_yara_inspection is created under /tmp/build/yara_inspection/src/.

Troubleshooting

Refer to the NVIDIA DOCA Troubleshooting Guide for any issue encountered with the compilation of the application .

  1. Parse application argument.

    1. Initialize arg parser resources and register DOCA general parameters.

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      doca_argp_init();

    2. Register application parameters.

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      register_apsh_params();

    3. Parse the arguments.

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      doca_argp_start();

  2. Initialize DOCA App Shield lib context.

    1. Create lib context.

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      doca_apsh_create();

    2. Set DMA device for lib.

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      open_doca_device_with_ibdev_name(); doca_apsh_dma_dev_set();

    3. Start the context

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      doca_apsh_start(); apsh_system_init();

  3. Initialize DOCA App Shield lib system context handler.

    1. Get the representor of the remote PCIe function exposed to the system.

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      open_doca_device_rep_with_vuid();

    2. Create and start the system context handler.

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      doca_apsh_system_create(); doca_apsh_sys_os_symbol_map_set(); doca_apsh_sys_mem_region_set(); doca_apsh_sys_dev_set(); doca_apsh_sys_os_type_set(); doca_apsh_system_start();

  4. Telemetry initialization.

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    telemetry_start();

    1. Initialize a new telemetry schema.

    2. Register YARA type event.

    3. Set up output to file (in addition to default IPC).

    4. Start the telemetry schema.

    5. Initialize and start a new DTS source with the gethostname() name as source ID.

  5. Loop until YARA rule is matched.

    1. Get all processes from the host.

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      doca_apsh_processes_get();

    2. Check for YARA rule identification and send a DTS event if there is a match.

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      doca_apsh_yara_get(); if (yara_matches_size != 0) { /* event fill logic doca_telemetry_source_report(); DOCA_LOG_INFO(); sleep();

  6. Telemetry destroy.

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    telemetry_destroy();

  7. YARA inspection clean-up.

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    doca_apsh_system_destroy(); doca_apsh_destroy(); doca_dev_close(); doca_dev_rep_close();

  8. Arg parser destroy.

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    doca_argp_destroy();

  • /opt/mellanox/doca/applications/yara_inspection/src

© Copyright 2023, NVIDIA. Last updated on Feb 9, 2024.