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CrowdStrike Falcon - Installation Instructions

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Prerequisites

Manual Installation

  1. Get an installer from our MIT IS&T CrowdStrike Falcon product page (This installer is provisioned for use at MIT. Do not attempt to download directly from CrowdStrike.)
  2. Launch the downloaded file
    • On Windows the name will be like FalconSensorWinOS.exe
    • On OSX the name will be like FalconSensorMacOSX.pkg
    • On Linux the name will be like CrowdStrike_LinuxDeb_x86.tar.gz or CrowdStrike_LinuxRPM_x86.tar.gz depending on the distribution
      • Do not attempt to install the package directly.  Extract the package and use the provided installer.
      • For example:
        $ sudo tar xvzf CrowdStrike_LinuxDeb_<version>.tar.gz
        $ cd CrowdStrike; sudo ./MIT-CrowdStrike-Install-Deb.sh
  3. Accept the Falcon License Agreement
  4. When prompted, click Yes or enter your computer password, to give the installer permission to run.
    • On macOS 10.13 High Sierra and greater, you may get a "System Extension Blocked" message. To enable CrowdStrike, you must approve the kernel extension from CrowdStrike in the Security & Privacy pane of the Mac OS System Preferences.
    • On macOS 10.14 Mojave and greater, you will need to provide full disk access to the installer to function properly. Open System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Full Disk Access. Click the plus sign.
      • Version 5 - Browse to /Library/CS. Add falcon.
      • Version 6 - Open System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Full Disk Access.
        • macOS Big Sur - Check the box next to "Agent" which will already be listed but unchecked.
        • macOS Catalina - Check the box next to "Falcon.app" which will already be listed but unchecked. You may need to restart after installing CrowdStrike before Falcon.app shows up in the Full Disk Access list.
      • Additionally, on macOS 11 Big Sur, you will need to allow Falcon to filter network content.
      • Reboot your Mac after these changes.

You are done! After installation, the sensor will run silently.

Normal operation

When installation is finished,(on Windows you will not be notified when the install is finished) the sensor runs silently. If it sees clearly malicious programs, it can stop the bad programs from running. If it sees suspicious programs, IS&T's Security team will contact you.

To confirm the sensor is installed and running properly:

  • Windows
    • Navigate to the command line and type:
      sc query csagent
      Look for the STATE: RUNNING statement in the response: 

      SERVICE_NAME: csagent
      TYPE : 2FILE_SYSTEM_DRIVER
      STATE : 4 RUNNING
      (STOPPABLE, NOT_PAUSABLE, IGNORES_SHUTDOWN)
      WIN32_EXIT_CODE : 0 (0x0)
      SERVICE_EXIT_CODE : 0 (0x0)
      CHECKPOINT : 0x0
      WAIT_HINT : 0x0

  • Mac OS
    • Navigate to the Terminal command line and type:
      sysctl cs
      You should see a lot of useful information, including:
      • cs.version - your currently installed sensor version
      • cs.sensorid - your unique sensor id
    • Version 4.18.8013 and above:
      • Network information previously obtained by executing sysctl cs.comms is now obtained by executing sudo /Library/CS/falconctl stats
      • The output of  sudo /Library/CS/falconctl stats will provide more detailed information including connection state to the CrowdStrike cloud.

        Cloud Info
            Host: ts01-b.cloudsink.net
            Port: 443
            State: connected

    • Version 6.11 and above:
      • The Falcon binary now lives in the applications folder at /Applications/Falcon.app
      • The output of sudo /Applications/Falcon.app/Contents/Resources/falconctl stats will provide more detailed information including connection state to the CrowdStrike cloud.
         
  • Linux
    • Use one of the following commands to verify the service is running
      • $ sudo ps -e | grep falcon-sensor
        108019 ? 00:00:58 falcon-sensor
      • $ sudo systemctl is-active falcon-sensor
        active
      • $ sudo service falcon-sensor status
        Redirecting to /bin/systemctl status falcon-sensor.service
        ? falcon-sensor.service - CrowdStrike Falcon Sensor
        Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/falcon-sensor.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
        Active: active (running) since Thu 2019-10-31 11:00:47 EDT; 11min ago
        Process: 108012 ExecStart=/opt/CrowdStrike/falcond (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
        Process: 108010 ExecStartPre=/opt/CrowdStrike/falconctl -g --cid (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
        Main PID: 108016 (falcond)
        CGroup: /system.slice/falcon-sensor.service
        ??108016 /opt/CrowdStrike/falcond
        ??108019 falcon-sensor

Can it be uninstalled?

In order to uninstall current versions of CrowdStrike, you will need to obtain a maintenance token, which is unique to each system.  To obtain this token, email security@mit.edu from your MIT account stating that you need a maintenance token to uninstall CrowdStrike.  You will also need to provide your machine name in order for the Security team to find you token.  If you have it, including an IP address is also helpful.   Once you have this token, you may proceed with the below instructions.

  • Windows
    • Go to the Control Panels, select Uninstall a Program, and select CrowdStrike Falcon Sensor
  • Mac OS
    This depends on the version of the sensor you are running. You can check using the sysctl cs command mentioned above, but unless you are still using Yosemite you should be on 4.x at this point.  Note for those unfamiliar with sudo that you will be prompted for a password, which is the password for the account you are logged in as, to allow the command to run with elevated privilege.
    • Sensor version 5.x and below, navigate to the Terminal command line and type:
      sudo /Library/CS/falconctl uninstall -t token-from-security-team
    • Sensor version 6.x and above, navigate to the Terminal command line and type:
      sudo /Applications/Falcon.app/Contents/Resources/falconctl uninstall -t token-from-security-team
    • You can also unload/load the sensor if you think you are having problems:
      sudo /Library/CS/falconctl load
      sudo /Library/CS/falconctl unload -t token-from-security-team
  • Linux
    • sudo service falcon-sensor stop
    • Remove the package using the appropriate rpm or deb package command. The package name will be like falcon-sensor-4.18.0-6403.el7.x86_64

More information

If you have any questions about CrowdStrike, please contact the IS&T Security team at security@mit.edu

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members


Last Modified:

January 26, 2021

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