System Moduleedit

This functionality is experimental and may be changed or removed completely in a future release. Elastic will take a best effort approach to fix any issues, but experimental features are not subject to the support SLA of official GA features.

The system module collects various security related information about a system. All datasets send both periodic state information (e.g. all currently running processes) and real-time changes (e.g. when a new process starts or stops).

The module is fully implemented for Linux. Some datasets are also available for macOS (Darwin) and Windows.

How it worksedit

Each dataset sends two kinds of information: state and events.

State information is sent periodically and (for some datasets) on startup. A state update will consist of one event per object that is currently active on the system (e.g. a process). All events belonging to the same state update will share the same UUID in event.id.

The frequency of state updates can be controlled for all datasets using the state.period configuration option. Overrides are available per dataset. The default is 12h.

Event information is sent as the events occur (e.g. a process starts or stops). All datasets are currently using a poll model to retrieve their data. The frequency of these polls is controlled by the period configuration parameter.

Configuration optionsedit

This module has some configuration options for controlling its behavior. The following example shows all configuration options with their default values for Linux.

It is recommended to configure some datasets separately. See below for a sample suggested configuration.

- module: system
  datasets:
    - host
    - process
    - socket
    - user
  period: 10s
  state.period: 12h
  user.detect_password_changes: true
period
The frequency at which the datasets check for changes. For most datasets - esp. process and socket - a shorter period is recommended.
state.period
The frequency at which the datasets send full state information. This option can be overridden per dataset using {dataset}.state.period.
user.detect_password_changes
If the user dataset is configured and this option is set to true, Auditbeat will read password information in /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow to detect password changes. A hash will be kept locally in the beat.db file to detect changes between Auditbeat restarts. The beat.db file should be readable only by the root user and be treated similar to the shadow file itself.

Suggested configurationedit

Processes and sockets can be short-lived, so the chance of missing an update increases if the polling interval is too large.

On the other hand, host and user information is unlikely to change frequently, so a longer polling interval can be used.

- module: system
  datasets:
    - host
    - user
  period: 1m
  user.detect_password_changes: true

- module: system
  datasets:
    - process
    - socket
  period: 1s

Example configurationedit

The System module supports the common configuration options that are described under configuring Auditbeat. Here is an example configuration:

auditbeat.modules:
- module: system
  datasets:
    - host    # General host information, e.g. uptime, IPs
    - process # Started and stopped processes
    - socket  # Opened and closed sockets
    - user    # User information

  # How often datasets send state updates with the
  # current state of the system (e.g. all currently
  # running processes, all open sockets).
  state.period: 12h

  # Enabled by default. Auditbeat will read password fields in
  # /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow and store a hash locally to
  # detect any changes.
  user.detect_password_changes: true

Datasetsedit

The following datasets are available: