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AlienVault® USM Appliance™

Microsoft DNS Server through NXLog

When you configure Microsoft DNS Server to send log data to USM Appliance, you can use the Microsoft DNS Server NXLog plugin to translate the raw log data into normalized events for analysis.

Device Details
Vendor Microsoft
Device Type DNS Server
Connection Type Syslog
Data Source Name windns-nxlog
Data Source ID 1689

Integrating Microsoft DNS Server and NXLog

Before you configure Microsoft Windows DNS Server to send logs to USM Appliance through NXLog, you need to enable debug logging on the DNS server.

Configure DNS Server Debug Logging

To enable DNS server debug logging

  1. From the Windows Start Menu, select All Programs > Administrative Tools > DNS.
  2. From the console tree, right-click the applicable DNS server, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Debug Logging tab.

    Windows DNS Server Debug Logging

  4. Select Log packets for debugging.

    The most useful debug logging output comes from selecting at least three options:

    • One option under Packet direction
    • One option under Transport protocol
    • At least one more option in another category
  5. (Optional) In addition to selecting events for the DNS debug log file, you can specify the file name, location, and a maximum file size for the file. However, in most cases, the default selections are adequate.
  6. (Optional) Consider limiting the traffic captured by applying filters:

    1. Select Filter packets by IP address.
    2. Add the appropriate IP addresses by clicking Filter.

    Warning: Do not select the Details option, because it produces logs in multi-line format instead of single-line, which the USM Appliance plugins cannot process.

Configure NXLog on Windows

To send log data through NXLog to USM Appliance

  1. If not done already, download nxlog.conf, and then place it in the conf directory of your NXLog installation. Depending on which version you use, the directory can be C:\Program Files (x86)\nxlog\conf for the 32-bit version or C:\Program Files\nxlog\conf for the 64-bit version.

    Note: This step overwrites the default nxlog.conf file. You may want to back up the original copy before placing the one provided by AlienVault.

  2. Open the nxlog.conf file in a text editor.
  3. Update the ROOT path of your NXLog installation.

    1. Locate the following lines

      #define ROOT C:\Program Files\nxlog

      #define ROOT C:\Program Files (x86)\nxlog

    2. Uncomment the path that matches the NXLog installation on your Windows machine.
  4. Enter the USM Appliance Sensor IP address.

    1. Locate the following line

      define OUTPUT_DESTINATION_ADDRESS <USM-Appliance-Sensor-IP>

    2. Replace <USM-Appliance-Sensor-IP> with the IP address of the USM Appliance All-in-One or USM Appliance Sensor that will receive the Windows events.
  5. Uncomment the section between DNS-NXLOG and /DNS-NXLOG.

    Important: Only remove the first # symbol in each line when uncommenting the sections. The remaining # symbol indicates that the line is either a comment or optional.

  6. In addition, uncomment the following lines, above the DHCP-NXLOG section:

    #<Extension json>

    # Module xm_json

    #</Extension>

  7. Save the file.
  8. Start or restart the NXLog service.

Plugin Enablement

For plugin enablement information, see Enable Plugins.

If enabling the plugin on assets, you will find it listed as Microsoft : DNS Server : NXLog.

Enabling the windns-nxlog plugin from asset

Additional Resources and Troubleshooting

NXLog documentation on forwarding and storing logs

For troubleshooting, refer to the vendor documentation:

NXLog documentation on troubleshooting