# quick audit rules for sanity check

Most of the time when I really want to figure out what is going on deep within a piece of software I break out strace and capture all the gory detail. Unfortunately it isn't always that easy to manipulate and run something from the command line but I have found that some simple uses of the audit daemon can give you great insight without having to dig too deep.

## Example Problem

I have a script, switch.py, I want to call via a bound key sequence from i3 window manager. However, I notice that nothing happens when I press the key sequence. Is the script failing or is the script not getting called at all? auditd and auditctl can help us figure this out.

## Using audit

To take advantage of system auditing the daemon must be up and running:

# systemctl status auditd.service | grep active
Active: active (running) since Sun 2015-01-25 13:56:27 EST; 1 day 9h ago


You can then add a watch for read/write/execute/attribute accesses on the file:

# auditctl -w /home/dustymabe/.i3/switch.py -p rwxa -k 'switchtest'
# auditctl -l
-w /home/dustymabe/.i3/switch.py -p rwxa -k switchtest


Notice the usage of the -k option to add a key to the rule. This means any events that match the rule will be tagged with this key and can be easily found. Any accesses will be logged and can be viewed later by using ausearch and aureport. After putting the rules in place in another terminal I accessed the file as a normal user:

$pwd /home/dustymabe$ cat  .i3/switch.py
... contents of file ...
\$ ls .i3/switch.py
.i3/switch.py


Then I was able to use a combination of ausearch and aureport to easily see who accessed the file and how it was accessed:

# ausearch -k switchtest --raw | aureport --file

File Report
===============================================
# date time file syscall success exe auid event
===============================================
1. 01/26/15 22:59:26 .i3/switch.py 2 yes /usr/bin/cat 1000 1299
2. 01/26/15 23:00:19 .i3/switch.py 191 no /usr/bin/ls 1000 1300


Awesome.. So with auditing working now all I have to do is press the key sequence to see if my script is getting called?? Turns out it was being called:

# ausearch -k switchtest --raw | aureport --file

File Report
===============================================
# date time file syscall success exe auid event
===============================================
1. 01/26/15 22:59:26 .i3/switch.py 2 yes /usr/bin/cat 1000 1299
2. 01/26/15 23:00:19 .i3/switch.py 191 no /usr/bin/ls 1000 1300
10. 01/26/15 23:38:15 /home/dustymabe/.i3/switch.py 59 yes /usr/bin/python2.7 1000 1326
11. 01/26/15 23:38:15 /home/dustymabe/.i3/switch.py 89 no /usr/bin/python2.7 1000 1327
12. 01/26/15 23:38:15 /home/dustymabe/.i3/switch.py 2 yes /usr/bin/python2.7 1000 1328
13. 01/26/15 23:38:15 /home/dustymabe/.i3/switch.py 2 yes /usr/bin/python2.7 1000 1329
14. 01/26/15 23:38:15 /home/dustymabe/.i3/switch.py 2 yes /usr/bin/python2.7 1000 1330
15. 01/26/15 23:38:15 /home/dustymabe/.i3/switch.py 2 yes /usr/bin/python2.7 1000 1331


So that enabled me to concentrate on my script and find the bug that was lurking within :)

Have fun auditing!
Dusty