Malcolm uses OpenSearch and OpenSearch Dashboards for data storage, search and visualization, and Logstash for log processing. Because these tools are data agnostic, Malcolm can be configured to accept various host logs and other third-party logs sent from log forwaders such as Fluent Bit and Beats. Some examples of the types of logs these forwarders might send include:
- System resource utilization metrics (CPU, memory, disk, network, etc.)
- System temperatures
- Linux system logs
- Windows event logs
- Process or service health status
- Logs appended to textual log files (e.g.,
tail-ing a log file)
- The output of an external script or program
- Messages in the form of MQTT control packets
- many more...
The types of third-party logs and metrics discussed in this document are not the same as the network session metadata provided by Arkime, Zeek and Suricata. Please refer to the Malcolm Contributor Guide for information on integrating a new network traffic analysis provider.
- Configuring Malcolm
- Fluent Bit
- Data Format and Visualization
- Document Indices
The environment variables in
docker-compose.yml for configuring how Malcolm accepts external logs are prefixed with
FILEBEAT_TCP_…. These values can be specified during Malcolm configuration (i.e., when running
./scripts/install.py --configure), as can be seen from the following excerpt from the Installation example:
… Expose Logstash port to external hosts? (y/N): y … Expose Filebeat TCP port to external hosts? (y/N): y 1: json 2: raw Select log format for messages sent to Filebeat TCP listener (json): 1 Source field to parse for messages sent to Filebeat TCP listener (message): message Target field under which to store decoded JSON fields for messages sent to Filebeat TCP listener (miscbeat): miscbeat Field to drop from events sent to Filebeat TCP listener (message): message Tag to apply to messages sent to Filebeat TCP listener (_malcolm_beats): _malcolm_beats …
The variables corresponding to these questions can be found in the
filebeat-variables section of
FILEBEAT_TCP_LISTEN- whether or not to expose a Filebeat TCP input listener to which logs may be sent (the default TCP port is
5045: you may need to adjust your firewall accordingly)
FILEBEAT_TCP_LOG_FORMAT- log format expected for logs sent to the Filebeat TCP input listener (
FILEBEAT_TCP_PARSE_SOURCE_FIELD- source field name to parse (when
json) for logs sent to the Filebeat TCP input listener
FILEBEAT_TCP_PARSE_TARGET_FIELD- target field name to store decoded JSON fields (when
json) for logs sent to the Filebeat TCP input listener
FILEBEAT_TCP_PARSE_DROP_FIELD- name of field to drop (if it exists) in logs sent to the Filebeat TCP input listener
FILEBEAT_TCP_TAG- tag to append to events sent to the Filebeat TCP input listener
These variables' values will depend on your forwarder and the format of the data it sends. Note that unless you are creating your own Logstash pipeline, you probably want to choose the default
FILEBEAT_TCP_TAG in order for your logs to be picked up and ingested through Malcolm's
In order to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of your data, Malcolm's default (set via the
BEATS_SSL environment variable in
docker-compose.yml) is to require connections from external forwarders to be encrypted using TLS. When
./scripts/auth_setup is run, self-signed certificates are generated which may be used by remote log forwarders. Located in the
filebeat/certs/ directory, the certificate authority and client certificate and key files should be copied to the host on which your forwarder is running and used when defining its settings for connecting to Malcolm.
Fluent Bit is a fast and lightweight logging and metrics processor and forwarder that works well with Malcolm. It is well-documented, supports a number of platforms including Linux, Microsoft Windows, macOS (either built via source or installed with Homebrew) and more. It provides many data sources (inputs).
fluent-bit-setup.sh is a Bash script to help install and configure Fluent Bit on Linux and macOS systems. After configuring Malcolm to accept and parse forwarded logs as described above, run
fluent-bit-setup.sh as illustrated in the examples below:
$ ~/Malcolm/scripts/third-party-logs/fluent-bit-setup.sh 0 ALL 1 InstallFluentBit 2 GetMalcolmConnInfo 3 GetFluentBitFormatInfo 4 CreateFluentbitService Operation: 0 Install fluent-bit via GitHub/fluent install script [Y/n]? y ================================ Fluent Bit Installation Script ================================ This script requires superuser access to install packages. You will be prompted for your password by sudo. … Installation completed. Happy Logging! Choose input plugin and enter parameters. Leave parameters blank for defaults. see https://docs.fluentbit.io/manual/pipeline/inputs 1 collectd 2 cpu 3 disk 4 docker 5 docker_events 6 dummy 7 dummy_thread 8 exec 9 fluentbit_metrics 10 forward 11 head 12 health 13 http 14 kmsg 15 mem 16 mqtt 17 netif 18 nginx_metrics 19 node_exporter_metrics 20 opentelemetry 21 proc 22 prometheus_scrape 23 random 24 serial 25 statsd 26 stdin 27 syslog 28 systemd 29 tail 30 tcp 31 thermal Input plugin: 2 cpu Interval_Sec: 10 cpu Interval_NSec: cpu PID: Enter Malcolm host or IP address (172.16.0.20): 172.16.0.20 Enter Malcolm Filebeat TCP port (5045): 5045 Enter fluent-bit output format (json_lines): json_lines Nest values under field: cpu Add "module" value: cpu /usr/local/bin/fluent-bit -R /etc/fluent-bit/parsers.conf -i cpu -p Interval_Sec=10 -o tcp://172.16.0.20:5045 -p tls=on -p tls.verify=off -p tls.ca_file=/home/user/Malcolm/filebeat/certs/ca.crt -p tls.crt_file=/home/user/Malcolm/filebeat/certs/client.crt -p tls.key_file=/home/user/Malcolm/filebeat/certs/client.key -p format=json_lines -F nest -p Operation=nest -p Nested_under=cpu -p WildCard='*' -m '*' -F record_modifier -p 'Record=module cpu' -m '*' -f 1 Configure service to run fluent-bit [y/N]? y Enter .service file prefix: fluentbit_cpu Configure systemd service as user "user" [Y/n]? y [sudo] password for user: Created symlink /home/user/.config/systemd/user/default.target.wants/fluentbit_cpu.service → /home/user/.config/systemd/user/fluentbit_cpu.service. ● fluentbit_cpu.service Loaded: loaded (/home/user/.config/systemd/user/fluentbit_cpu.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled) Active: active (running) since Tue 2022-08-09 09:19:43 MDT; 5s ago Main PID: 105521 (fluent-bit) Tasks: 5 (limit: 76711) Memory: 24.7M CPU: 8ms CGroup: /firstname.lastname@example.org/app.slice/fluentbit_cpu.service └─105521 /usr/local/bin/fluent-bit -R /etc/fluent-bit/parsers.conf -i cpu -p Interval_Sec=10 -o tcp://172.16.0.20:5045 -p tls=on -p tls.verify=off -p tls.ca_fil… Aug 09 09:19:43 localhost fluent-bit: Fluent Bit v1.9.6 … Aug 09 09:19:43 localhost fluent-bit: [2022/08/09 09:19:43] [ info] [output:tcp:tcp.0] worker #0 started Aug 09 09:19:43 localhost fluent-bit: [2022/08/09 09:19:43] [ info] [output:tcp:tcp.0] worker #1 started
$ bash fluent-bit-setup.sh 0 ALL 1 InstallFluentBit 2 GetMalcolmConnInfo 3 GetFluentBitFormatInfo 4 CreateFluentbitService Operation: 0 Install fluent-bit via Homebrew [Y/n]? y ==> Downloading https://ghcr.io/v2/homebrew/core/fluent-bit/manifests/1.9.6 … Choose input plugin and enter parameters. Leave parameters blank for defaults. see https://docs.fluentbit.io/manual/pipeline/inputs 1 collectd 2 dummy 3 dummy_thread 4 exec 5 fluentbit_metrics 6 forward 7 head 8 health 9 http 10 mqtt 11 nginx_metrics 12 opentelemetry 13 prometheus_scrape 14 random 15 serial 16 statsd 17 stdin 18 syslog 19 tail 20 tcp Input plugin: 14 random Samples: 10 random Interval_Sec: 30 random Internal_NSec: Enter Malcolm host or IP address (127.0.0.1): 172.16.0.20 Enter Malcolm Filebeat TCP port (5045): 5045 Enter fluent-bit output format (json_lines): json_lines Nest values under field: random Add "module" value: random /usr/local/bin/fluent-bit -R /usr/local/etc/fluent-bit/parsers.conf -i random -p Samples=10 -p Interval_Sec=30 -o tcp://172.16.0.20:5045 -p tls=on -p tls.verify=off -p tls.ca_file=/Users/user/forwarder/ca.crt -p tls.crt_file=/Users/user/forwarder/client.crt -p tls.key_file=/Users/user/forwarder/client.key -p format=json_lines -F nest -p Operation=nest -p Nested_under=random -p WildCard='*' -m '*' -F record_modifier -p 'Record=module random' -m '*' -f 1 Configure service to run fluent-bit [y/N]? n
fluent-bit-setup.ps1 is a PowerShell script to help install and configure Fluent Bit on Microsoft Windows systems.
PS C:\work> .\fluent-bit-setup.ps1 Download fluent-bit Would you like to download fluent-bit (zip) to C:\work? [Y] Yes [N] No [?] Help (default is "Y"): y Select input plugin (https://docs.fluentbit.io/manual/pipeline/inputs): 1. dummy 2. dummy_thread 3. fluentbit_metrics 4. forward 5. nginx_metrics 6. opentelemetry 7. prometheus_scrape 8. random 9. statsd 10. tail 11. tcp 12. windows_exporter_metrics 13. winevtlog 14. winlog 15. winstat Make a selection: 13 Enter parameters for winevtlog. Leave parameters blank for defaults. see https://docs.fluentbit.io/manual/pipeline/inputs winevtlog Channels: Application,Security,Setup,Windows PowerShell winevtlog Interval_Sec: winevtlog Interval_NSec: winevtlog Read_Existing_Events: winevtlog DB: winevtlog String_Inserts: winevtlog Render_Event_As_XML: winevtlog Use_ANSI: Enter Malcolm host or IP address: 172.16.0.20 Enter Malcolm Filebeat TCP port (5045): 5045 Enter fluent-bit output format (json_lines): json_lines Nest values under field (winevtlog): winevtlog Add "module" value (winevtlog): winevtlog C:\work\bin\fluent-bit.exe -c "C:\work\winevtlog_172.16.0.20_1660062217.cfg" Install fluent-bit Service Install Windows service for winevtlog to 172.16.0.20:5045? [Y] Yes [N] No [?] Help (default is "N"): Y Enter name for service: fluentbit_winevtlog Enter account name to run service (DOMAIN\user): DOMAIN\user Status Name DisplayName ------ ---- ----------- Stopped fluentbit_winev... fluentbit_winevtlog Start fluent-bit Service Start Windows service for winevtlog to 172.16.0.20:5045? [Y] Yes [N] No [?] Help (default is "Y"): y Status Name DisplayName ------ ---- ----------- Running fluentbit_winev... fluentbit_winevtlog
In contrast to Fluent Bit, Beats forwarders write to Malcolm's Logstash input over TCP port 5044 (rather than its Filebeat TCP input). Answer
Y when prompted
Expose Logstash port to external hosts? during Malcolm configuration (i.e., when running
./scripts/install.py --configure) to allow external remote Beats forwarders to send logs to Logstash.
filebeat.inputs: - type: log paths: - /home/user/logs/*.log processors: - add_tags: tags: [_malcolm_beats] output.logstash: hosts: ["172.16.0.20:5044"] ssl.enabled: true ssl.certificate_authorities: ["/home/user/Malcolm/filebeat/certs/ca.crt"] ssl.certificate: "/home/user/Malcolm/filebeat/certs/client.crt" ssl.key: "/home/user/Malcolm/filebeat/certs/client.key" ssl.supported_protocols: "TLSv1.2" ssl.verification_mode: "none"
The important bits to note in this example are the settings under
output.logstash (including the TLS-related files described above in Configuring Malcolm) and the
_malcolm_beats value in
tags: unless you are creating your own Logstash pipeline, you probably want to use
_malcolm_beats in order for your logs to be picked up and ingested through Malcolm's
beats pipeline. This parts should apply regardless of the specific Beats forwarder you're using (e.g., Filebeat, Metricbeat, Winlogbeat, etc.).
Most Beats forwarders can use processors to filter, transform and enhance data prior to sending it to Malcolm. Consult each forwarder's documentation to learn more about what processors are available and how to configure them. Use the Console output for debugging and experimenting with how Beats forwarders format the logs they generate.
Because Malcolm could receive logs or metrics from virtually any provider, Malcolm most likely does not have prebuilt dashboards and visualizations for your third-party logs. Luckily, OpenSearch Dashboards provides visualization tools that can be used with whatever data is stored in Malcolm's OpenSearch document store. Here are some resources to help you get started understanding OpenSearch Dashboards and building custom visualizations for your data:
- OpenSearch Dashboards in the Malcolm documentation
- OpenSearch Dashboards documentation
- Kibana User Guide (OpenSearch Dashboards is an open-source fork of Kibana, so much of its documentation also applies to OpenSearch Dashboards)
- Search Queries in Arkime and OpenSearch
Third-party logs ingested into Malcolm as outlined in this document will be indexed into the
malcolm_beats_* index pattern (unless you've created your own Logstash pipeline), which can be selected in the OpenSearch Dashboards' Discover view or when specifying the log source for a new visualization.
Because these documents are indexed by OpenSearch dynamically as they are ingested by Logstash, their component fields will not show up as searchable in OpenSearch Dashboards visualizations until its copy of the field list is refreshed. Malcolm periodically refreshes this list, but if fields are missing from your visualizations you may wish to do it manually.
After Malcolm ingests your data (or, more specifically, after it has ingested a new log type it has not seen before) you may manually refresh OpenSearch Dashboards's field list by clicking Management → Index Patterns, then selecting the index pattern (
malcolm_beats_*) and clicking the reload 🗘 button near the upper-right of the window.