Emergency Pushing of Code and Binaries

GRR offers functionality to deploy custom code or binaries to the whole fleet quickly. It goes without saying that this functinality can lead to problems and should therefore be used with care - we recommend using this as a last resort means in case things have gone terribly bad and not relying on this functionality for normal operations.

Binaries and python code can be pushed from the server to the clients to enable new functionality. The code that is pushed from the server must be signed by the corresponding private key for Client.executable_signing_public_key for python and binaries. These signatures will be checked by the client to ensure they match before the code is used.

What is actually sent to the client is the code or binary wrapped in a protobuf which will contain a hash, a signature and some other configuration data.

To sign code requires use of config_updater utility. In a secure environment the signing may occur on a different box from the server, but the examples below show the basic example.

Deploying Arbitrary Python Code.

To execute an arbitrary python blob, you need to create a file with python code that has the following attributes:

  • Code in the file must work when executed by exec() in the context of a running GRR client.
  • Any return data that you want sent back to the server can be stored encoded as a string in a variable called “magic_return_str”. Alternatively, GRR collects all output from print statements and puts them into the magic_return_string.

E.g. as a simple example. The following code modifies the clients poll_max setting and pings test.com.

import commands
status, output = commands.getstatusoutput("ping -c 3 test.com")
config_lib.CONFIG.Set("Client.poll_max", 100)
magic_return_str = "poll_max successfully set. ping output %s" % output

This file then needs to be signed and converted into the protobuf format required, and then needs to be uploaded to the data store. You can do this using the following command line.

grr_config_updater upload_python --file=myfile.py --platform=windows

The uploaded files live by convention in python_hacks<platform> and are viewable in the “Binaries” section of the Admin UI.

The ExecutePythonHack Flow is provided for executing the file on a client. This is visible in the Admin UI under Administrative flows if Advanced Mode is enabled.

Note: Specifying arguments to a PythonHack is possible as well through the py_args argument, this can be useful for making the hack more generic.

Deploying Executables.

The GRR Agent provides an ExecuteBinaryCommand Client Action which allows us to send a binary and set of command line arguments to be executed. Again, the binary must be signed using the executable signing key (config option PrivateKeys.executable_signing_private_key).

To sign an exe for execution use the config updater script.

db@host:$ grr_config_updater upload_exe --file=/tmp/bazinga.exe --platform=windows
Using configuration <ConfigFileParser filename="/etc/grr/grr-server.conf">
Uploaded successfully to /config/executables/windows/installers/bazinga.exe

This file can then be executed with the LaunchBinary flow which is in the Administrative flows if Advanced Mode is enabled.