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PrivateServer provides a generic interface for Security Information Event management (SIEM), that can be extended to support different SIEM products.

We currently have a connector for HP ArcSight product to monitor security of internal IT assets and trigger proper alarms whenever required. They require that

is properly integrated and could report in real-time any relevant security event to their infrastructure.

Security events are stored in

's operational database and sent to local syslog daemon, which in turn can forward them to HP ArcSight.

Events are formatted according to CEF specification. It's also possible to log security events locally, in case they cannot be sent to point of delivery.


Here some terms used within ArcSight;

  • Application: SW component intended to perform core business functionality
  • Application Security Configuration Parameter: any configuration item with direct impact on application's security
  • Application Security Configuration Target Value: the value of Application Security Configuration Parameter
  • Application Security Event: any distinct, time-limited, identifiable activity with direct impact on Application's security
  • Application Security Event Message:  the technical log generated by an Application in reaction to Application Security Event
  • Monitoring: near real-time validation of Application Security Event Messages, against defined level of escalation (Alert, Record, Log)
  • Application Security Scenario: identify patterns with respect to defined conditions and trigger action
  • Application Security Scenario Exception: any exception to define scenario
  • Escalation level:
    • Alert: requires immediate escalation and quick evaluation
    • Record: to be included in a report for frequent review
    • Log: to be logged with less frequent review

List of events

Here follows the list of generated and logged events.

Event CodeEvent Name
CC01Application configuration change
CC02Security configuration change
LL01Successful User Login
LL02Successful User Logoff
LL03User Login failure
LL04Password change success
LL05Password change failure
PA01Successful privileged operation access
PA02Failed privileged operation access
SA01Add User
SA02Amend User
SA03Delete User
SA04New Profile
SA05Amend Profile
SA06Delete Profile
SA07Password reset
SA08Lock user
SA09Unlock User
SS01Application Start
SS02Application Stop
SS03Application Data Dump
SS04Application Data Restore
SS05Logging Change
VU01Add SIP user
VU02Edit SIP user
VU03Delete SIP user
VU04Activation link sent
VU05SIP user activated
VU06SIP user new license activated

Pluggable SIEM manager

Given that different customers can have different SIEM systems and/or requirements, we provide a modular and configurable architecture in

, to be able to customize these behaviors.

The default implementation generated event in CEF format (suitable for HP ArcSight) and, if properly configured, can send them to local rsyslog daemon.

SIEM configuration is available only via manual file editing.

Sender configuration

Sending CEF events works this way: the application servr collects events from event database and logs it using log4j. The logging framework sends events to local rsyslogd daemon, which forward them to remote host, usually ArcSight or another CEF compatible SIEM manager.

Log4j configuration

Edit file /data/shared/privateserver/Config.groovy and insert following snipped:

Code Block
import log4j.appender.CustodianDailyRollingFileAppender
// standard configuration to send security events to local rsyslog daemon
log4j = {
    appenders {
        appender    new log4j.appender.AdvSyslogAppender(
                name:      "arcsyslog",
                layout:    pattern(conversionPattern: '%m'),
                facility:  "local7",
                tag:       "Privateserver",
                threshold: org.apache.log4j.Level.INFO,
                header:    true,
                timeZone:  "Europe/Rome"
        appender new CustodianDailyRollingFileAppender(name:'logFile',
                layout: pattern(conversionPattern:'%d [%t] %-5p %c{2} %x - %m%n'),
                compressBackups : 'true',
                maxNumberOfDays : '7')
    root {
        error 'logFile'
    info arcsyslog: "privateserver.siem.CEFSender", additivity : false

Once you're done just save the file and restart tomcat service so that it loads new configuration:

Code Block
systemctl restart tomcat

Rsyslogd configuration

In order to use syslog to receive and forward security events, some changes are required on

's syslog configuration /etc/rsyslog.conf. Open the file and add lines as in following steps:


Message format and priority are fixed and defined.

  1. You first need to enable syslog so to listen on UDP port 514:

    Code Block
    # Provides UDP syslog reception
    $UDPServerRun 514

  2. Configure template format:

    Code Block
    $template EVSSFormat,"<%pri%>%timestamp% %hostname% %syslogtag%%msg%\n"

  3. Redirect all events to a local file (this step is optional and often used for debugging purpose):

    Code Block
    local7.INFO						/var/log/arcsight.log;EVSSFormat

  4. Disable boot logging by commenting this line:

    Code Block
    # Save boot messages also to boot.log
    #local7.*                                                /var/log/boot.log

  5. Redirect also all the events to a remote host (please note that "remote-host" has to be changed in actual host's name or IP address to make this work):


    Be aware that also remote port 514 has to be checked as a valid one. You better receive remote host configuration parameters and then apply them into rsyslog configuration file

    Code Block
    local7.INFO @@remote-host:514;EVSSFormat


    Please take note that @@ means TCP connection, as @ is for UDP one


If you configure both forwarding and logging to local files, it is suggested to put forwarding statement AFTER local file statement: if for some reasons, forwarding does not work, you will still have immediate logging on local file. The opposite order could introduce some delay.

Once you're done just save and close /etc/rsyslog.conf. Now you can restart rsyslog so that it loads new configuration:

Code Block
systemctl restart rsyslog


Here is a list of all available syslog property

Customer specific formatter configuration

Security event formatter takes many information as inputs and emits one string containing properly formatted event, ready to be forwarded to SIEM. For specific customers' needs,

can develop some custom formatter/filters.

If you own yours custom formatter, then you need to enable it appending the following line to file /data/privateserver/Config.groovy so to specify actual formatter class:

Code Block
  privateserver.siem.formatter = privateserver.siem.CEFCustomFormatter