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InTrust 11.3.1 - Searching for Events in Repository Viewer

Configuring the Result Layout

You can set up event display in the right pane exactly the way you want your search results to be presented, using sorting and grouping.

Organizing the Grid

The default event view in Repository Viewer is a grid, and the default grid layout is a table, where the columns are named after event fields.

You can snap the column names together like building blocks, vertically as well as horizontally, to make compact layouts instead of using a plain table. The grid will use your block layout for every event it displays.

You may want to hide the fields you do not need or display the blocks that you want to work with. For that, click the icon next to the leftmost block name and change the selection in the Field Chooser toolbar. The following fields are available:

  • Normalized event fields
  • Regular event fields (available in the Primary set and under All)
  • Insertion strings
  • Named insertion strings
  • Resolved insertion strings

For details about the fields, see Filter Parameters.

Grouping

Repository Viewer supports multi-level grouping of events, so that you can organize the results in tree-like views using any criteria. For example, you can group events by log, then by event ID, and then by user.

To use multi-level grouping, In the Events pane, drag column names from the event list to the area above the event grid. The event list changes accordingly.

Sorting

To sort the results by a particular field, click that field's block in the grid. Clicking a block repeatedly toggles between ascending and descending order.

Items are sorted by name. However, for groups you also have the option of sorting items by count. To enable it, right-click the block you need in the grouping area and select Sort by count.

This option is set independently for each grouping level.

Hiding and Unhiding Events

Hiding and unhiding events is useful when you need to repeatedly locate specific events in the same pool of audit data. This does not change your list of search results, but only specifies which parts of it are shown. It is quicker than redefining search filters and redoing searches every time, and if you are using a custom search, it helps you avoid modifying it.

To configure a view filter, use the controls underneath the column names in the event view: click the operator icon to select the operator, and specify the value to filter by. For details about operators, see the Filter Parameters topic.

Using Pie Charts and Column Graphs

Pie charts and column graphs are graphical alternatives to the grid-based textual representation of search results.

An event list can use multi-level grouping, but pie charts and column graphs work only if single-level grouping is used. In addition, the charts are most informative when they have only a few elements to display. Otherwise, the visual clutter can make them useless.

To switch to a non-default event view, select the Pie Chart or Column Graph tab.

Saving the Results

In any event view, you can export the currently displayed events to a file. For that, click Report | Save Report button. In the save dialog box, you have the options of saving the current view "as is" or running a fresh search without an item limit and possibly with more recent results.

The Report drop-down menu also contains scheduling options. For details about scheduled reporting, see Reporting on Events Using Repository Viewer.

Case Study: Forensic Analysis of Active Directory Tampering

This example is based on an actual investigation, but the details have been changed. In the example environment, a business-critical server named acc05 hosts the payroll in a network share. Access to the share is controlled through share permissions. Only the members of the Finance and Accounting Active Directory group have read and write access.

Jake, the investigator, has grounds to suspect that some of the payroll files have been tampered with, and needs to perform forensic analysis. Here is how he does it using InTrust-collected audit data from the Security log and Change Auditor File Access Audit event log:

  1. 1. The starting point is the acc05 computer where the breach supposedly happened. In Repository Viewer, Jake runs a search that shows events from the computer for the past 24 hours. The filter parameters are as follows:
    • Computer: “acc05”
    • When: “Last 1 day”
  1. He groups the results by Who then by What, and checks who accessed the share. In the Where From field, he spots an IP address that needs looking into.
  2. Jake checks what else was done from the same IP address. For that, he runs a new search with the Any Field parameter set to the suspicious IP address. He finds out that a logon to a domain controller from the suspicious IP address occurred under an administrator account. Jake notes the time of the logon.
  3. He then finds out what the administrator account did after the logon to the domain controller. For that, he runs a new search with the Who parameter set to the administrator account name and the When parameter set to after the logon.
  4. It turns out that the impersonator cleared the Security log in an attempt to cover the tracks. However, the events from the log were not lost, because the InTrust agent on the domain controllers was running with log backup enabled.
  5. It also turns out that user david_shore was added to the Finance and Accounting Active Directory group and removed from it shortly afterwards. This is the apparent intruder. To confirm it, Jake checks if this account did anything to the payroll files.
  6. He runs a new search with the following parameters:
    • Computer: “acc05”
    • When: “Last 1 day”
    • Who: “david_shore”
  1. The search turns up changes to the payroll files. This is clear evidence of a breach, and the perpetrator is now known.
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