Friday, December 07, 2007

Again, On Criticality of Logs

I just wanted to highlight two pieces that, again, speak (No, scream! In fact, S-C-R-EA-M!) about the important of logs. Yes, my readers don't need additional motivation to take logs seriously, but these are just too cool to pass.

First is the interview with some convicted attacker, who said: 'Moore said it would have been easy for IT and security managers to detect him in their companies' systems ... if they'd been looking. The problem was that, generally, no one was paying attention.

"If they were just monitoring their boxes and keeping logs, they could easily have seen us logged in there," he said, adding that IT could have run its own scans, checking to see logged-in users. "If they had an intrusion detection system set up, they could have easily seen that these weren't their calls."'

Amen to that, many of the successful and then-undetected attacks are due to stupidity, incompetence which pretty much equate to bad "risk management" decisions (for whatever meaning of "risk"). Why? 'Cause lacking logs and ignoring logs is indeed stupid!

Second, is my comment on the TJX case, which kinda follows the same idea: 'Dr. Anton Chuvakin, a security expert with LogLogic, said TJX didn't have decent logs. "What took TJX months was looking at all their systems and determining who took what data, from where, where it was sent, etc. The investigation took them months. They likely didn't have any logs, because they had to do system forensics rather than log analysis to arrive at their conclusions about who stole the data and how. If they had collected and analyzed log data centrally, the investigation would have been a piece of cake," he said in an e-mailed comment to'

Indeed, doing disk forensics to know who did what is waaaaaaaaaaaay more painful than checking reliable logs. Save yourself by logging, then saving and reviewing the logs!

So, one more time (not the last, mind you!):

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Dr Anton Chuvakin