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Using Elasticsearch as a database for IntelMQ

If you wish to run IntelMQ with Elasticsearch or full ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) it is entirely possible. This guide assumes the reader is familiar with basic configuration of ELK and does not aim to cover using ELK in general. It is based on the version 6.8.0 (ELK is a fast moving train therefore things might change). Assuming you have IntelMQ (and Redis) installation in place, lets dive in.

Configuration without Logstash

This case involves two steps:

  1. Configure IntelMQ to output data directly into Elasticsearch.

  2. Configure Elasticsearch for ingesting the inserted data.


This section of the documentation is currently incomplete and will be updated later.

Configuration with Logstash

This case involves three steps:

  1. Configuring IntelMQ to output data to Redis.

  2. Configure Logstash to collect data from Redis and insert them into Elasticsearch.

  3. Configure Elasticsearch for ingesting the inserted data.

Each step is described in detail in the following sections.

Configuring IntelMQ

In order to pass IntelMQ events to Logstash we will utilize already installed Redis. Add a new Redis Output Bot to your pipeline. As the minimum fill in the following parameters: bot-id, redis_server_ip (can be hostname) , redis_server_port, redis_password (if required, else set to empty!), redis_queue (name for the queue). It is recommended to use a different redis_db parameter than used by the IntelMQ (specified as source_pipeline_db , destination_pipeline_db and statistics_database).

Example values:

bot-id: redis-output
redis_server_port: 6379
redis_db: 4
redis_queue: logstash-queue


You will not be able to monitor this redis queue via IntelMQ Manager.

Configuring Logstash

Logstash defines pipelines as well. In the pipeline configuration of Logstash you need to specify where it should look for IntelMQ events, what to do with them and where to pass them.


This part describes how to receive data from Redis queue. See the example configuration and comments below:

input {
  redis {
    host => ""
    port => 6379
    db => 4 
    data_type => "list"
    key => "logstash-queue"
  • host - same as redis_server_ip from the Redis Output Bot
  • port - the redis_server_port from the Redis Output Bot
  • db - the redis_db parameter from the Redis Output Bot
  • data_type - set to list
  • key - same as redis_queue from the Redis Output Bot


You can use environment variables for the Logstash configuration, for example host => "${REDIS_HOST:}". The value will be taken from the environment variable $REDIS_HOST. If the environment variable is not set then the default value of will be used instead.

Filter (optional)

Before passing the data to the database you can apply certain changes. This is done with filters. See an example:

filter {
  mutate {
    lowercase => ["", "classification.identifier"]
    remove_field => ["__type", "@version"]
  date {
    match => ["time.observation", "ISO8601"]


It is recommended to use the date filter: generally we have two timestamp fields - time.source (provided by the feed source this can be understood as when the event happened; however it is not always present) and time.observation (when IntelMQ collected this event). Logstash also adds another field @timestamp with time of processing by Logstash. While it can be useful for debugging, I recommend to set the @timestamp to the same value as time.observation.


It is not recommended to apply any modifications to the data (within the mutate key) outside of the IntelMQ. All necessary modifications should be done only by appropriate IntelMQ bots. This example only demonstrates the possibility.


The pipeline also needs output, where we define our database (Elasticsearch). The simplest way of doing so is defining an output like this:

output {
  elasticsearch {
    hosts => ["", ""]
    index => "intelmq-%{+YYYY.MM}"
  • hosts - Elasticsearch host (or more) with the correct port (9200 by default)
  • index - name of the index where to insert data


Authors experience, hardware equipment and the amount of events collected led to having a separate index for each month. This might not necessarily suit your needs, but it is a suggested option.


By default the ELK stack uses insecure HTTP. It is possible to setup Security for secure connections and basic user management. This is possible with the Basic (free) licence since versions 6.8.0 and 7.1.0.

Configuring Elasticsearch

Configuring Elasticsearch is entirely up to you and should be consulted with the official documentation. What you will most likely need is something called index template mappings. IntelMQ provides a tool for generating such mappings. See ElasticMapper Tool.


Default installation of Elasticsearch database allows anyone with cURL and connection capability to have administrative access to the database. Make sure you secure your toys!