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A Fast (and safe) parser for the Windows XML Event Log (EVTX) format

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omerbenamram/evtx

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EVTX

A cross-platform parser for the Windows XML EventLog format



Features

  • 🔒 Implemented using 100% safe rust - and works on all platforms supported by rust (that have stdlib).
  • ⚡ Fast - see benchmarks below. It's faster than any other implementation by order(s) of magnitude!
  • 🚀 Multi-threaded.
  • ✨ Supports XML and JSON outputs, both being directly constructed from the token tree and independent of each other (no xml2json conversion is performed!)
  • ⛏️ Supports some basic recovery of missing records/chunks!
  • 🐍 Python bindings are available as well at https://github.com/omerbenamram/pyevtx-rs (and at PyPi https://pypi.org/project/evtx/)

Installation (associated binary utility):

  • Download latest executable release from https://github.com/omerbenamram/evtx/releases
    • Releases are automatically built for for Windows, macOS, and Linux. (64-bit executables only)
  • Build from sources using cargo install evtx

evtx_dump (Binary utility):

The main binary utility provided with this crate is evtx_dump, and it provides a quick way to convert .evtx files to different output formats.

Some examples

  • evtx_dump <evtx_file> will dump contents of evtx records as xml.
  • evtx_dump -o json <evtx_file> will dump contents of evtx records as JSON.
  • evtx_dump -f <output_file> -o json <input_file> will dump contents of evtx records as JSON to a given file.

evtx_dump can be combined with fd for convenient batch processing of files:

  • fd -e evtx -x evtx_dump -o jsonl will scan a folder and dump all evtx files to a single jsonlines file.
  • fd -e evtx -x evtx_dump '{}' -f '{.}.xml will create an xml file next to each evtx file, for all files in folder recursively!
  • If the source of the file needs to be added to json, xargs (or gxargs on mac) and jq can be used: fd -a -e evtx | xargs -I input sh -c "evtx_dump -o jsonl input | jq --arg path "input" '. + {path: \$path}'"

Note: by default, evtx_dump will try to utilize multithreading, this means that the records may be returned out of order.

To force single threaded usage (which will also ensure order), -t 1 can be passed.

Example usage (as library):

use evtx::EvtxParser;
use std::path::PathBuf;

fn main() {
    // Change this to a path of your .evtx sample. 
    let fp = PathBuf::from(format!("{}/samples/security.evtx", std::env::var("CARGO_MANIFEST_DIR").unwrap())); 
    
    let mut parser = EvtxParser::from_path(fp).unwrap();
    for record in parser.records() {
        match record {
            Ok(r) => println!("Record {}\n{}", r.event_record_id, r.data),
            Err(e) => eprintln!("{}", e),
        }
    }
}

The parallel version is enabled when compiling with feature "multithreading" (enabled by default).

Performance benchmarking

When using multithreading - evtx is significantly faster than any other parser available. For single core performance, it is both the fastest and the only cross-platform parser than supports both xml and JSON outputs.

Performance was benched on my machine using hyperfine (statistical measurements tool).

I'm running tests on a 12-Core AMD Ryzen 3900X.

Tests are running under WSL2, on a linux filesystem (so there shouldn't be any overhead incurred from reading windows mounts).

Libraries benched:

evtx (1 thread) evtx (8 threads) evtx (24 threads) libevtx (C) velocidex/evtx (go) golang-evtx (uses multiprocessing) python-evtx (CPython 3.7.6) python-evtx (PyPy 7.3.0)
30MB evtx (XML) 1.155 s ± 0.008 s 277.4 ms ± 5.8 ms 177.1 ms ± 4.5 ms 4.509 s ± 0.100 s No support No support 4m11.046s (ran once) 1m12.828s (ran once)
30MB evtx (JSON) 1.631 s ± 0.006 s 341.6 ms ± 7.3 ms 207.2 ms ± 7.2 ms No support 5.587 s ± 0.086 s 2.216 s ± 0.027 s No support No support

Note: numbers shown are real-time measurements (time it takes for invocation to complete). user-time measurements are higher when more using multithreading/multiprocessing, because of the synchronization overhead.

With 8 threads - evtx is more than 650x faster than python-evtx when dumping xml logs.

With maximum viable threads (number of logical cores) - evtx is about 8-10x faster golang-evtx. Both implementations utilize similar multithreading strategies.

Caveats

  • Currently unimplemented:
    • CDATA nodes.
    • EVTHandle node type.

If the parser errors on any of these nodes, feel free to open an issue or drop me an email with a sample.

License

Licensed under either of

at your option.

Contribution

Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.

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A Fast (and safe) parser for the Windows XML Event Log (EVTX) format

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Apache-2.0, MIT licenses found

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