Bug #2494


Invalid Base64 payload for filemd5 alerts

Added by Mikael Keri about 6 years ago. Updated 11 months ago.

Target version:
Affected Versions:


Per previous conversation, Peter suggested that I open a new one for this issue.

Summary of the issue: While using a blacklist, containing hashes to be blocked using the filemd5 keyword. At times the payload, if enabled in base64 format is not seen as valid (base64 format).
If I manually try to decode it using: base64 -d (-D macos) tempfile, the following error is shown: "invalid input". This issue have not been seen with any other typs of alerts.

If I enable Suricata to drop the payload as ascii (payload-printable) the full payload is shown without errors for the same files.

Due to the nature of the blacklist it's mostly checksum for PE files, but during tests I have gotten the same issue with plain html files as well

OS: Ubuntu 16.04
Suricata 4.0.4 (PPA) in IPS mode

Attached is a pcap of the alert with the corresponding malicious file in the pcap (you can carve the file if you need to re-run the test, it's a live malware so don't run it =)) also a plain html file (part of the default page for Apache) testfile that generates the same error

Steps to re-create the issue:

  • One Ubuntu VM with Suricata 4.0.4 (PPA)
  • Install Apache, move the attached html file (testfile) to /var/www/html
  • Enable eve logging with base64 payload set to enabled (payload: yes)
  • Include the rule set files.rules in suricata.yaml
  • Create a rule like this: drop http any any -> any any (msg:"Blacklisted File Blocked"; flow:established; filemd5:bl.md5; classtype:misc-activity; sid:666; rev:1;) in /etc/suricata/rules/files.rule
  • Hash a file (for example the testfile attached (10f7309902d8b2c1d801440302baf76e), that you can upload to your monitored asset
  • Include the file hash in the bl.md5 file
  • Start Suricata with: suricata --simulate-ips -c /etc/suricata/suricata.yaml -i ens33
  • Curl/Wget down the file <IP>/testfile
  • Review the eve log and copy the base64 payload to a file
  • Run base64 -d (or -D) <filename>


testfile (10.6 KB) testfile Plain HTML Mikael Keri, 04/19/2018 01:42 PM
log.pcap.1524141868 (132 KB) log.pcap.1524141868 Pcap (contains live malware) use a BPF filter to remove the SSH noise Mikael Keri, 04/19/2018 01:44 PM
Actions #1

Updated by Andreas Herz about 6 years ago

  • Assignee set to OISF Dev
  • Target version set to TBD
Actions #2

Updated by Philippe Antoine 11 months ago

  • Status changed from New to Closed

Does not reproduce on 7.0.0-rc2 (there was jsonbuilder in between)

Running suricata -c suricata.yaml -k none -r log.pcap.1524141868 -l log -S files.rules

with suricata.yaml having base64 payload set to enabled (payload: yes)

I can then do jq -r 'select(.payload) | .payload' log/eve.json | base64 -D without base64 decoding errors

Actions #3

Updated by Victor Julien 11 months ago

Thanks for confirming. Can you turn it into a SV test?


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