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Netfilter is a framework provided by the Linux kernel that offers various functions and operations for packet filtering, network address translation, and port translation.

The firewall ruleset might be configured by using several user-space tools such as iptables or nftables or even with high level configuration tools such as firewalld, UFW or ferm. The framework also provides several ways to log events (LOG, NFLOG, ULOG, etc.).

In this example, we only cover the iptables syntax and the basic LOG targets that sends messages to your local syslog server.

The only requirement from SEKOIA.IO’s perspective is that your iptables uses the following prefix: IPTables/XXX: (XXX is user configurable and represents the action, could be Dropped for example).


This setup guide will show you how to forward your Linux firewall logs to SEKOIA.IO by means of an Rsyslog transport channel. On most linux servers, two packages need to be installed: rsyslog and rsyslog-gnutls.

Download the certificate

In order to allow the connection of your rsyslog server to the SEKOIA.IO intake, please download the SEKOIA.IO intake certificate:

$ wget -O /etc/rsyslog.d/SEKOIA-IO-intake.pem

Configure Netfilter

The first step is to configure Netfilter to log the awaited trafic. For example, if you want to only allow HTTP and HTTPS trafic and log everything else, you could use the following iptables commands:

# Create a chain that logs packets and then drops them.
$ iptables -N DROP_LOGGING
$ iptables -A DROP_LOGGING -m limit --limit 60/min -j LOG --log-prefix "IPTables/Dropped: " --log-level 4
$ iptables -A DROP_LOGGING -j DROP

# Allow established communications.
$ iptables -A INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT

# Allow HTTP communications.
$ iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 80,443 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

# Log and drop everything else.
$ iptables -A INPUT -j DROP_LOGGING

Configure the Rsyslog server

You can configure your Rsyslog server to forward your iptables logs to SEKOIA.IO.

Open or create a new Netfilter configuration file for rsyslog:

sudo vim /etc/rsyslog.d/11-netfilter.conf

Then paste the following configuration:

# Define the SEKIOA-IO intake certificate
$DefaultNetstreamDriverCAFile /etc/rsyslog.d/SEKOIA-IO-intake.pem

# Configure up the network ssl connection
$ActionSendStreamDriver gtls # use gtls netstream driver
$ActionSendStreamDriverMode 1 # require TLS for the connection
$ActionSendStreamDriverAuthMode x509/name # server is authenticated

# Template definition [RFC5424](
# IMPORTANT: don't forget to set your intake key in the template
template(name="SEKOIAIONetfilterTemplate" type="string" string="<%pri%>1 %timestamp:::date-rfc3339% %hostname% %app-name% %procid% LOG [SEKOIA@53288 intake_key=\"YOUR_INTAKE_KEY\"] %msg%\n")

# Send your Netfilter events to SEKOIA.IO intake servers under SEKOIAIONetfilterTemplate template
if $programname == "kernel" and  $msg contains "IPTables/"  then @@(o);SEKOIAIONetfilterTemplate

In the above template instruction, please replace YOUR_INTAKE_KEY variable with your intake key.

Restart rsyslog

$ sudo service rsyslog restart

Enjoy your events

Go to the events page to watch your incoming events.

Further Reading