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Audit configuration

ReadonlyREST can collect audit events containing information about a request and how the system has handled it and send them to configured outputs. Here is an example of the data points contained in each audit event. We can leverage all this information to build interesting Kibana dashboards, or any other visualization.
{
"error_message": null,
"headers": [
"Accept",
"Authorization",
"content-length",
"Host",
"User-Agent"
],
"acl_history": "[[::LOGSTASH::->[auth_key->false]], [kibana->[auth_key->false]], [::RO::->[auth_key->false]], [::RW::->[kibana->true, indices->true, auth_key->true]]]",
"origin": "127.0.0.1",
"final_state": "ALLOWED",
"task_id": 1158,
"type": "SearchRequest",
"req_method": "GET",
"path": "/readonlyrest_audit-2017-06-29/_search?pretty",
"indices": [
"readonlyrest_audit-2017-06-29"
],
"@timestamp": "2017-06-30T09:41:58Z",
"content_len_kb": 0,
"error_type": null,
"processingMillis": 0,
"action": "indices:data/read/search",
"matched_block": "::RW::",
"id": "933409190-292622897#1158",
"content_len": 0,
"user": "simone"
}

Configuration

The audit collecting by default is disabled. To enable it, you need to add audit.enabled: true and optionally configure the audit.outputs. In the outputs array, you can define i.a. where the audit events should be sent. The currently supported output types are:
  • index - similarly to Logstash it writes audit events in the documents stored in the ReadonlyREST audit index
  • log - it allows you to collect audit events using the Elasticsearch logs and format them with the help of features that log4j2 enables. You can configure multiple outputs for audit events. When the audit is enabled, at least one output has to to be defined. If you omit outputs definition, the default index output will be used.
Here is an example of how to enable audit events collecting with all defaults:
readonlyrest:
audit:
enabled: true
access_control_rules:
- name: Kibana
type: allow
auth_key: kibana:kibana
verbosity: error
- name: "::RO::"
auth_key: simone:ro
kibaba:
access: ro
You can also use multiple audit outputs, e.g.
readonlyrest:
audit:
enabled: true
outputs: [ index, log ]
...
When you want to have more control over the audit outputs, the extended outputs format is for you. For example, you can disable given output by adding enabled: false to the output config:
readonlyrest:
audit:
enabled: true
outputs:
- type: index
- type: log
enabled: false # by default is true
...
The other settings, specific to the type of audit outputs, are mentioned in the next sections.

The 'index' output specific configurations

Custom audit indices name and time granularity

By default ReadonlyREST audit index name template is readonlyrest_audit-YYYY-MM-DD. You can customize the name template using the index_template settings.
Example: tell ROR to write on the monthly index.
readonlyrest:
audit:
enabled: true
outputs:
- type: index
index_template: "'custom-prefix'-yyyy-MM" # <--monthly pattern
...
⚠️IMPORTANT: notice the single quotes inside the double quoted expression. This is the same syntax used for Java's SimpleDateFormat.

Custom audit cluster

It's possible to set a custom audit cluster responsible for audit events storage. When a custom cluster is specified, items will be sent to defined cluster nodes instead of the local one.
readonlyrest:
audit:
enabled: true
outputs:
- type: index
cluster: ["https://user1:password@auditNode1:9200", "https://user2:password@auditNode2:9200"]
...
Setting audit.cluster is optional, it accepts non empty list of audit cluster nodes URIs.

The 'log' output specific configurations

The log output uses a dedicated logger to write the audit events to the Elasticsearch log at INFO level.
To make ReadonlyREST start adding the audit events to the Elasticsearch log, all you have to do is add "log" as one of the outputs, e.g:
readonlyrest:
audit:
enabled: true
outputs: # you can use also 'outputs: [ log ]'
- type: log
...

Custom logging settings

If you want to control the logging process of audit events, you can do it via the $ES_PATH_CONF/config/log4j2.properties. Here is an example config with the default logger name, with a separate log file, and configured rolling:
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.type = RollingFile
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.name = readonlyrest_audit_rolling
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.fileName = ${sys:es.logs.base_path}${sys:file.separator}readonlyrest_audit.log
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.layout.type = PatternLayout
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.layout.pattern = [%d{ISO8601}] %m%n
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.filePattern = readonlyrest_audit-%i.log.gz
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.policies.type = Policies
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.policies.size.type = SizeBasedTriggeringPolicy
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.policies.size.size = 1GB
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.strategy.type = DefaultRolloverStrategy
appender.readonlyrest_audit_rolling.strategy.max = 4
logger.readonlyrest_audit.name = readonlyrest_audit # required logger name, must be the same as the one defined in `readonlyrest.yml`
logger.readonlyrest_audit.appenderRef.ror_audit.ref = readonlyrest_audit_rolling
logger.readonlyrest_audit.additivity = false # set to false to use only desired appenders
All settings are up to you. The only required entry is the logger name logger.{your-logger-name}.name = {your-logger-name}. The default logger name is the readonlyrest_audit.
If you want to set a custom logger name for the log output, add the logger_name setting for the given output:
readonlyrest:
audit:
enabled: true
outputs:
- type: log
logger_name: custom-logger-name
...

Extending audit events

The audit events are JSON documents describing incoming requests and how the system has handled them. To create such events, we use a serializer, which is responsible for the event's serialization and filtering. The example event is in default format and was produced by the default serializer (tech.beshu.ror.audit.instances.DefaultAuditLogSerializer). You can use any of the predefined serializers or use a custom one.
For example, if you want to add the request content to the audit event then an additional serializer is provided. This will add the entire user request within the content field of the audit event. To enable, configure the serializer parameter as below.
readonlyrest:
audit:
enabled: true
outputs:
- type: index
serializer: tech.beshu.ror.requestcontext.QueryAuditLogSerializer
# in case when the `log` type is used
- type: log
serializer: tech.beshu.ror.requestcontext.QueryAuditLogSerializer
...

Custom audit event serializer

You can write your own custom audit events serializer class, add it to the ROR plugin class path and configure it through the YAML settings.
We provided 2 project examples with custom serializers (in Scala and Java). You can use them as an example to write yours in one of those languages.

Create custom audit event serializer in Scala

  1. 1.
    git clone [email protected]:sscarduzio/elasticsearch-readonlyrest-plugin.git
  2. 2.
    Install SBT
    https://www.scala-sbt.org/download.html
  3. 3.
    Find and go to: elasticsearch-readonlyrest-plugin/custom-audit-examples/ror-custom-scala-serializer/
  4. 4.
    Create own serializer:
    • from scratch (example can be found in class ScalaCustomAuditLogSerializer)
    • extending default one (example can be found in class ScalaCustomAuditLogSerializer)
  5. 5.
    Build serializer JAR:
    sbt assembly
  6. 6.
    Jar can be find in:
    elasticsearch-readonlyrest-plugin/custom-audit-examples/ror-custom-scala-serializer/target/scala-2.13/ror-custom-scala-serializer-1.0.0.jar

Create custom audit event serializer in Java

  1. 1.
    git clone [email protected]:sscarduzio/elasticsearch-readonlyrest-plugin.git
  2. 2.
    Install Maven
    https://maven.apache.org/install.html
  3. 3.
    Find and go to: elasticsearch-readonlyrest-plugin/custom-audit-examples/ror-custom-java-serializer/
  4. 4.
    Create own serializer:
    • from scratch (example can be found in class JavaCustomAuditLogSerializer)
    • extending default one (example can be found in class JavaCustomAuditLogSerializer)
  5. 5.
    Build serializer JAR:
    mvn package
  6. 6.
    Jar can be find in:
    elasticsearch-readonlyrest-plugin/custom-audit-examples/ror-custom-java-serializer/target/ror-custom-java-serializer-1.0.0.jar

Configuration

  1. 1.
    mv ror-custom-java-serializer-1.0.0.jar plugins/readonlyrest/
  2. 2.
    Your config/readonlyrest.yml should start like this
    readonlyrest:
    audit:
    enabled: true
    outputs:
    - type: index
    serializer: "JavaCustomAuditLogSerializer" # when your serializer class is not in default package, you should use full class name here (eg. "tech.beshu.ror.audit.instances.QueryAuditLogSerializer")
  3. 3.
    Start elasticsearch (with ROR installed) and grep for:
    [2023-03-26T16:28:40,471][INFO ][t.b.r.a.f.d.AuditingSettingsDecoder$] Using custom serializer: JavaCustomAuditLogSerializer