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I’m running a Vyatta vyatta router at home - in my opinion it’s pretty near “enterprise grade”, and I’m running the Community/Core (read: no-cost and almost all Free) on commodity hardware with great performance. Granted, I’m still on the older version (5 as opposed to the current 6) since an upgrade will require total downtime and a spare set of SCSI disks for the machine it’s on, but it still works quite well. Today I decided to enable the Snort IDS on the box. It actually worked quite well (albeit stuck at older rules until I upgrade to Vyatta VC6) and didn’t put much more load on the box. For the time being I decided to just have it alert on problems and not drop anything, as I’m getting pretty high false positives and the older Vyatta version doesn’t seem to have a way to disregard rules.

My biggest complaint was that Vyatta didn’t see fit to allow alerts by syslog. I’m not a big fan of keeping information like IDS logs stuck on the router - I don’t like logging in to it any more than I have to, it doesn’t have much storage, and I’d also like to keep stuff like this in a more secure location. Through a bit of digging, I found the /opt/vyatta/share/perl5/VyattaSnortConfig.pm Perl module which generates the Snort config file from Vyatta’s CLI stuff. Looking through the Perl code, I found the definition of the snort.conf output statements:

my $output_def =<<EOD;
  output alert_unified: alert, limit $log_limit
  output log_null
EOD

I simply added a line output alert_syslog: log_local3 log_notice after the output alert_unified line.

my $output_def =<<EOD;
  output alert_unified: alert, limit $log_limit
  output alert_syslog: log_local3 log_notice
  output log_null
EOD

I then went into Vyatta configuration and changed a rule from alert to pass, committed, changed back, committed, and /etc/snort/snort.conf now had my syslog lines. I’m now getting snort alerts to local3 in syslog, which is fed to my centralized log server. My next project is to find or write something which will parse these logs, generate a daily summary email, and maybe check them hourly and alert on any big changes. I also might just cron an emailing of the output from Vyatta’s show ips summary command. So far I have over 11,000 events logged in about 12 hours.


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