dae9a58 Apr 7, 2013
@firnsy @binf
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I. Summary
The database output plug-in enables snort to log to
- Postgresql,
- MySQL,
# Currently unsupported.
# - any unixODBC database,
# - MS SQL Server and
# - Oracle.
This README contains some quick information about how to set up and
configure database logging with in snort. More complete and
update to date documentation about this plugin can be found at:
Questions or comments about the database plugin can be directed to
Roman Danyliw <> or to the snort-users mailing
II. Database Setup
To get this plug-in working you must have a database set up and
configured properly. Take the the following steps to get things
1) Install MySQL, Postgresql, Oracle, MS SQL Server or
(unixODBC + some other RDBMS)
MySQL =>
Postgresql =>
# Currently Unsupported
# unixODBC =>
# Oracle =>
# SQL Server =>
2) Follow directions from your database vendor to be sure your
RDBMS is properly configured and secured.
3) Follow directions from your vendor to create a database for
MySQL example
% echo "CREATE DATABASE snort;" | mysql -u root -p
4) Create a user that has privileges to INSERT and SELECT
on that database.
- First create a user - for this example we will use "snortusr"
- now grant the right privileges for that user
> grant INSERT,SELECT on snort.* to snortusr@localhost;
- In addition, grant that user the UPDATE privilege on the
'sensor' table
> grant INSERT,SELECT,UPDATE on snort.sensor to snortusr@localhost;
5) Build the structure of the database according to files supplied
with snort in the "schemas" directory as the user created in
step 4.
Do this while in the snort source directory.
% mysql -D snort -u root -p < ./schemas/create_mysql
For Postgresql
% psql snort < ./schemas/create_postgresql
For Oracle
The file "./schemas/create_oracle.sql" contains the database
For MS SQL Server
The file "./schemas/create_mssql" contains the database
If you are using unixODBC, be sure to properly configure and
test that you can connect to your data source (DSN) with isql
before trying to run snort.
For RDBMS other than MySQL and Postgresql that are accessed
through ODBC you will need to create the database
structure yourself because data types vary for different
databases. You will need to have the same column names and
functionality for each column as in the mysql and
postgresql examples. The mysql file is the best example to
follow since it is optimized (given that mysql supports tiny
ints and unsigned ints). I intend to document this process
better in the future to make this process easier.
As you create database structure files for new RDBMS mail
them in so they can be included as part of the distribution.
III. Plugin Configuration
You must add some information to the snort configuration file
to enable database logging. The configuration file distributed
with snort has some sample configuration lines.
The configuration line will be of the following format:
output database: [log | alert], [type of database], [parameter list]
[log | alert] - specify log or alert to connect the database
plugin to the log or alert facility. In most cases you will
likely want to use the log facility.
[type of database] - You must supply the type of database. The
possible values are mysql, postgresql, odbc, mssql, and oracle.
[parameter list] - The parameter list consists of key value
pairs. The proper format is a list of key=value pairs each
separated a space.
The only parameter that is absolutely necessary is "dbname".
All other parameters are optional but may be necessary
depending on how you have configured your RDBMS.
dbname - the name of the database you are connecting to
host - the host the RDBMS is on
port - the port number the RDBMS is listening on
user - connect to the database as this user
password - the password for given user
sensor_name - specify your own name for this snort
sensor. If you do not specify a name one will be
generated automatically.
encoding - Because the packet payload and option data is
binary, there is no one simple and portable way to
store it in a database. BLOBS are not used because they
are not portable across databases. So I leave the
encoding option to you. You can choose from the
following options. Each has its own advantages and
hex: (default) Represent binary data as a hex string.
storage requirements - 2x the size of the binary
searchability....... - very good
human readability... - not readable unless you
are a true geek
requires post processing
base64: Represent binary data as a base64 string.
storage requirements - ~1.3x the size of the binary
searchability....... - impossible without post
human readability... - not readable
requires post processing
ascii: Represent binary data as an ascii string. This is
the only option where you will actually loose data.
Non ascii data is represented as a ".". If you choose
this option then data for ip and tcp options will
still be represented as "hex" because it does not
make any sense for that data to be ascii.
storage requirements - Slightly larger than the
binary because some characters
are escaped (&,<,>)
searchability....... - very good for searching for
a text string
impossible if you want to
search for binary
human readability... - very good
detail - How much detailed data do you want to store? The options
full: (default) log all details of a packet that
caused an alert (including ip/tcp options and
the payload)
fast: log only a minimum amount of data. You severely
limit the potential of some analysis
applications if you choose this option, but
this is still the best choice for some
applications. The following fields are logged
- (timestamp, signature, source ip,
destination ip, source port, destination
port, tcp flags, and protocol)
ignore_bpf - Do we want to create a new sensor definition every time
the BPF filter is changed? The options are:
[no|0]: (default) Create a new sensor definition if BPF
filter has been modified
[yes|1]: Ignore the BPF part when looking for the server
connection_limit <integer>: default 10 - The maximum number of time that barnyard2 will tolerate a transaction faillure and or
database connection failure.
reconnect_sleep_time <integer> : default 5 - The number of seconds to sleep betwen connection retry.
disable_signature_reference_table - Tell the output plugin not to synchronize the sig_reference table in the schema.
This option will speedup the process, especialy if you use sid-msg.mapv2 file or
have alot of signature already in databases.
(Make sure that you do not need that information before enablign this)
ssl_key - the name of the SSL key file to use for establishing a secure
ssl_cert - the path of the SSL certificate file to user for establishing
a secure connection.
ssl_ca - the path to a file that contains a list of trusted SSL CAs.
ssl_ca_path - The path to a directory that contains trusted SSL CA
certificates in PEM format.
ssl_cipher - A list of allowable ciphers to user for SSL encryption. For
greatest portability, the cipher list should be of one or more
cipher namges, separated by colons. Examples:
If no cipher in the list is supported, SSL connections will not work.
ssl_mode - SSL requirement for connection to the postgresql server
[disable]: will attempt only an unencrypted SSL connection.
[allow]: will negotiate, trying first a non-SSL connection, then
if it fails, tryin an SSL connection.
[prefer]: (default) will negotiate, trying first an SSL
connection, then if that fails, trying a regular
non-SSL connection.
[require]: will try only an SSL connection.
The configuration I am currently using is MySQL with the database
name of "snort". The user "snortusr@localhost" has INSERT and SELECT
privileges on the "snort" database and requires a password of
"xyz". The following line enables snort to log to this database.
output database: alert, mysql, dbname=snort user=snortusr host=localhost \
IV. Changelog
2002-10-16: Escape the signature name before trying to write it to the
signature.sig_name field
2002-10-14: Transaction abstraction functions (Begin/Commit/Rollback)
Fixed transaction SQL for MS-SQL
Fixed incorrect return value for MS-SQL Insert()
2002-10-12: Fixed (PostgreSQL) sensor initialization to the sensor table
by setting a default last_cid value
Fixed schema detection bug on MS-SQL enabled builds
2002-09-17: Make sure that a packet payload larger than those supported
in the SQL INSERT are properly terminated
2002-09-12: Made the updating of the sensor.last_cid more efficient by
only storing the new cid value at shutdown
2002-09-05: Added ignore_bpf option <>
2002-09-03: New schema v106
The database now remembers the last used cid for a given sensor
(via the sensor.last_cid field). Cids will no longer ever
be re-used (even if an alert are deleted).
2002-08-13: Fixed logic to detect the DB schema version correctly when support
for MS-SQL and another database are present
2002-08-12: Fixed length bug in code that generates the SQL INSERT statement
into signature table
2002-06-05: Fixed memory leak occurring when a signature is seen for the
first time (Dirk Geschke)
2002-04-13: Fixed memory leak with query results structure under PostgreSQL
2002-04-15: Detect and use correct OCI library (v8 or 9) (Chad Kreimendahl)
Improved debugging messages on Oracle connection failure
(Imran Smith)
2002-02-28: New schema v105
Added support for native Oracle date format
2002-01-16: Fixed double-free of signature if it could not be inserted into
the database
2002-01-13: Properly escaped database fields with a quote character
2001-10-23: Truncate reference names larger than the underlying database
schema will support
2001-10-04: Catch condition where the iphdr is NULL
2001-09-26: New schema v104
2001-09-06: Made Oracle error reporting more verbose
2001-08-29: Properly chose unique signatures from the database using
the signature name, ID, and revision number
2001-08-28: Cleaned up semi-colon use in SQL for Oracle
2001-08-11: Made ODBC error reporting more verbose
Incorporated changes to create_oracle.sql from Andrew Stubbs
Chris Reid contributed MSSQL support! Sweet!
Fixed a couple FatalError() calls that should have been
ErrorMessage() calls.
2001-06-15: New schema v103
Removed support for schema v0, v100-v102
Removed duplicate logging of IP addresses as 4-byte octets
Removed classification level priorities
Removed classification description from schema
Removed hard-coded classifications from the create_* scripts.
Classification information is now logged like a reference;
on the first instance of a rule, log its classification
Added support for the 'priority', 'rev', 'sid' rule options
2001-02-16: Added "INSERT DELAYED" for MySQL
2001-01-18: Incorporated fragment logging patch.
2000-12-31: Incorporated Oracle Patch.
2000-10-05: Created README.database and removed documentation from
2000-10-03: Added sensor_name configuration option
2000-09-29: Added configuration option enabling user to connect
the plugin to the alert or log facility
Changed name from spo_log_database to spo_database
Removed all old references to the log facility
Fixed a logic error that prevented messages from
the portscan preprocessor to be logged.
2000-08-24: Fixed the full logging of tcp fields
Added encoding and detail to sensor table
Added escaping for the ascii character '
Added hex binary logging support
Added detail and encoding to sensor table
Slightly changed data table to make more sense
Added encoding option so you can select hex, base64,
or ascii for logging binary data
Added the "detail" option so you can choose between
full and fast logging.
2000-08-23: A lot of code cleanup.
Added linked list to store queries before they are
Added all tcp, udp, and icmp fields
Added support for tcp and ip options
Added support for logging the packet payload
2000-08-14: Added usage, very verbose error messages and other
small fixes. No real functional changes. This update
is focused on making the plugin easier to install
and configure.
2000-06-06: Multiple instantiations is now working
2000-06-06: Added restart and cleanexit functions
2000-06-02: Bugfixes, better error reporting
2000-05-09: Bugfixes, documentation fixes, and added some
better error reporting
2000-04-13: Bugfixes
2000-04-03: Updated database structure
2000-03-28: Added unixODBC support
Added MySQL support
Changed database structure
2000-03-08: Added new table "sensor" and a new field to event
table to represent the sensor
2000-03-08: Added locking on inserts to eliminate concurrency
2000-03-08: Changed "type" and "code" in icmphdr to int2 instead
of char
2000-03-01: Added extra argument to RegisterOutputPlugin
2000-02-28: First release
V. Changelog of Database schema
2002-09-03 -- v106
+ ALL: added sensor.last_cid to store the last used cid for a
given sid
2002-02-28 -- v105
+ ORACLE: event.timestamp redefined as a DATE
2001-09-26 -- v104
+ ALL: enlarged reference.reg_tag field ( TEXT or VARCHAR(100) )
2001-06-15 -- v103
+ ALL: removed 4-octet representation from iphdr
+ ALL: removed all classification/priority definitions from the
DDL scripts
+ ALL: added support for signature priorities, ID, and revision ID
2001-05-12 -- v102
+ ALL: added support for signature classification
2001-05-07 -- v101
+ POSTGRESQL: fixed bug from v100 to properly define event.signature
2001-03-16 -- v100
+ ALL: normalization of the signature representation
+ ALL: created schema table to self-document the schema version
+ ALL: added support for signature references
2000-02-08 -- v0
+ initial release