Monitoring Network Traffic with Sysmon and Splunk

Every IT guy has a set of tools that they use every day. One of mine is sysinternals. It’s a set of Windows utilities made available by Microsoft that do a whole slew of things. You can install them with chocolatey (another in my toolset) or downloaded and unpacked from their website. If you use Windows and this toolset isn’t in your arsenal, maybe it’s time.

Back in August, I got a request from one of our engineers asking me if we had any plans to support the collection of Sysmon data. Sysmon is a Windows system service (yes, another agent) that logs system activity to the Windows Event Log. However, it places all the important stuff in the …

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Smart AnSwerS

Hello, and welcome to the debut of Smart AnSwerS, a weekly blog series featuring posts from Splunk Answers on trending issues, interesting use cases, and more!

For the last couple of months, I’ve been reviewing incoming content on Answers and selecting high-value postings to summarize and email weekly to my compadres on the mighty Splunk Support team. Pretty quickly, we realized that this information wasn’t just useful to Support–it is useful to everyone who uses Splunk–so here we are. This first installment is a bit of a best-of from the previous emails, but look for a new blog post each week chock full of specially-curated Answers for you to expand your brainmeats with.

Answers? What’s that?

If you aren’t familiar with Splunk

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Splunk App for SharePoint goes Open Source

For about the last year, I’ve been working on an update to the Splunk App for SharePoint. But it isn’t the one you would expect. I’ve been working to open source the app. At the end of the day the best person to write an IT Operations app for Splunk is the person who is intimately involved in the running of the workload. Today, we are flicking the switch and opening up the project. We are allowing you to directly file bugs and feature requests; we are allowing you to submit code; and we are encouraging you to get involved in the project.

So, how can you do this. Firstly, you will want to have some sort of test environment. …

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The Bank of Splunk

Spend by City

No, we’re not diversifying into a financial services company…

I recently received a letter from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. If you’re reading from the US, they perform many of the same duties as the Internal Revenue Service. Thankfully it wasn’t a demand for unpaid taxes, but a breakdown of how my taxes had been spent over the previous year on things like education and welfare.

For a long time I’ve wanted to quantify my monthly financial accounts, similar to this letter, starting from when I first opened my bank account. Unfortunately in the UK we don’t have a product that works like MINT to do this just yet… but we do have Splunk.

Using Splunk I’ve now started to track …

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Introducing the new Splunk App for AWS

Today we’re excited to announce the release of a fully re-written and much expanded Splunk App for AWS. Get it here and gain immediate operational assurance and visibility for your AWS-hosted infrastructure.

What’s new with the app?

  •  Works with Splunk Add-on for Amazon Web Services
  • New dashboards and visualizations for AWS Cloudtrail
  • New alerts for AWS CloudTrail
  • New dashboards and visualizations for AWS Config
  • Billing Reports provided by Splunk Add-on for Amazon Web Services

AWS CloudTrail
AWS CloudTrail records user API activity and related events for your AWS account. Using the <Splunk Add-on for Amazon Web Services> you can retrieve details about the actions made by the caller, including the caller’s identity, the time of the call, the request …

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Machines, People, and Categories, Oh My!

Let’s say you’re working with Enterprise Security and you need to figure out how to put more devices into the asset and identity correlation framework. Here are some resources to get you started!

There are two useful types of data to integrate: lists of assets or identities, and attributes of assets or identities. In both cases, it may also be interesting to enable ad hoc, real-time queries of your data source for individual terms.

A list can be dumped from a directory, systems management tool, asset discovery system, or the like. These are typically accessed via DB Connect or Splunk Support for Active Directory. Other ways to get at this data include modular inputs to query web-based APIs. …

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Protocol Data Inputs

It must have been about a year ago now that I was talking with a Data Scientist at a Splunk Live event about some of the quite advanced use cases he was trying to achieve with Splunk. That conversation seeded some ideas in my mind , they fermented for a while as I toyed with designs , and over the last couple of months I’ve chipped away at creating a new Splunk App , Protocol Data Inputs (PDI).

So what is this all about ? Well to put it quite simply , it is a Modular Input for receiving data via a number of different protocols, with some pretty cool bells and whistles.

pdi

 

So let’s break down some of …

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Splunk 6.2 Feature Overview: Perfmon Delocalization

Last week, I covered the XML Event Logs – an awesome feature that will reduce your data ingest, increase the fidelity of the data that is stored and allow us to work with localized data. Today, I want to discuss another localization feature – or at least a delocalization feature – perfmon.

Prior to Splunk 6.2, Windows perfmon was always collected localized. If you wanted the % Processor Time counter, you had to specify the localized version of this. If you were running on a french version of Windows, you would have to specify object=Processeur and counter=”% Temps Processeur” in both your inputs.conf and searches. Given that there are over 30 different localized versions of Windows, this really meant that …

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Splunk 6.2 Feature Overview: XML Event Logs

We’ve been (rightly) criticized for a couple of things in recent years. Firstly, when you configure a Windows Event Log, it’s too big. This is because we combine the event log object with the message from the locale-specific DLL and that includes a bunch of common explanatory text. I don’t really need to know what a login really means (to the tune of 1K of data ingest) every time someone logs in, especially when these events are happening hundreds of times a minute. Secondly, our event log extractions are for US/English only. Got German Windows? Sorry – our extractions don’t work for that. Finally, we discard the additional data that is provided in the event log object. A primary example …

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What can you get for $10.74 / hour ?

Why $10.74 you may ask? Well, that’s the minimum hourly wage in San Francisco (at least as of this writing Nov 2014) …

With that out of the way let’s see what else you could get for $10.74/hour …

  • you could rent a “deluxe” bicycle and tour SF for ~$9/hour, but don’t forget to add the tax ;)
  • you could rent a car from one of the car sharing companies in SF and tour the entire Bay Area …
  • you also have enough dough to pay for Hunk on a 14 node EMR cluster

Let me expand on that last item a bit: you can get over 10 years of Splunk’s experience in working with machine data, packaged up, configured and …

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