Comms Server


What is the Comms server ?

The communication or 'Comms' server allows multiple users to work simultaneously on a shared Maltego graph in real-time.

  • Users can interact over a built-in chat messenger as well as send links to selected portions of the graph.
  • Shared graphs are kept private with your session key that is used to encrypt the communication traffic with 128/256-bit AES.
  • Shared graph sessions work across all supported platforms (Maltego Classic, XL, CE and CaseFile).

How does a Comms server work?

Shared graphs are synchronized using the XMPP (Jabber) protocol so that the graph is never stored anywhere in the 'cloud'. It is only stored on the machines of the users sharing a graph. Communication is encrypted with TLS and 128-bit AES using the session key generated for that shared graph. With some Java configuration, 256-bit encryption can also be used.

Setting Up Your Server

Maltego servers require some initial setup and the fundamentals are described in the following sections

Basic Requirements

Maltego servers are based on an Ubuntu LTS server image (currently 12.04.3). A requirement for running your own Maltego server is that you understand Linux. For more information about Ubuntu server edition please visit the site https://www.ubuntu.com/server.

Virtual Image Format

Maltego servers are delivered as virtual images that can be downloaded from your Server Portal account. They are provided as a VMWare Configuration File (.vmx) .If you want to use the image with other virtual machine providers (like ESXi) you’ll need to convert it using the respective converters.

Server Requirements

The virtual server requires at least 2GB of RAM, but the more the merrier (as this is a 32-bit server more than 4GB of RAM would be an overkill). This is the only real requirement in terms of hardware. Most current processors will have more than enough processing power. 25GB of disk space should be more than enough space for the server. 

Logging into the Server Image

Boot up the server image.

If it asks if the machine has been moved or copied, click "I Copied It" and your VM software will continue to boot up the image.

If the server cannot connect to any virtual devices, tell it not to attempt connections in the future.

Once the server image has been booted you can access the server with the following credentials (via the VMWare console or via SSH):

ubuntu login: maltego
password: tasx

IP Addresses

The collaboration server will automatically start up when the image boots.

By default the server is configured to use DHCP. If you want to give the server a static IP address you will need to manually set that up. Once you’ve set up an IP address you will be able to access the server via SSH.

Now that your server is running type "ifconfig" to get the IP address of the server.

Connection to the Server from the Maltego Client

Once we have the servers IP address we can connect to it from the client. From the Maltego home page, click on the "Collaboration" tab in the top ribbon bar. Click "Share New Graph".

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Configure the session name you would like to use, as well as the security key for other users to enter the session. The security key is used to encrypt the session using 128-bit AES.

 

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Under the "Server" tab, select "Paterva (Private)" and enter the server's IP address which we found with the "ifconfig" command earlier. In this case our comms server is running on the IP "10.77.0.105"

 

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Click "Connect". The client should then successfully connect to the server, and open a collaboration graph.

More information about using shared graphs in the Maltego client can be found in the Maltego user guide.



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