Ensure events that modify the sudo log file are collected - auditctl

Warning! Audit Deprecated

This audit has been deprecated and will be removed in a future update.

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Monitor the sudo log file. If the system has been properly configured to disable the use of the su command and force all administrators to have to log in first and then use sudo to execute privileged commands, then all administrator commands will be logged to /var/log/sudo.log . Any time a command is executed, an audit event will be triggered as the /var/log/sudo.log file will be opened for write and the executed administration command will be written to the log.


Changes in /var/log/sudo.log indicate that an administrator has executed a command or the log file itself has been tampered with. Administrators will want to correlate the events written to the audit trail with the records written to /var/log/sudo.log to verify if unauthorized commands have been executed.


Edit or create a file in the /etc/audit/rules.d/ directory, ending in .rules extension, with the relevant rules to monitor events that modify the sudo log file.

# {
SUDO_LOG_FILE=$(grep -r logfile /etc/sudoers* | sed -e 's/.*logfile=//;s/,? .*//' -e 's/'//g')
[ -n '${SUDO_LOG_FILE}' ] && printf '
-w ${SUDO_LOG_FILE} -p wa -k sudo_log_file
' >> /etc/audit/rules.d/50-sudo.rules
|| printf 'ERROR: Variable 'SUDO_LOG_FILE_ESCAPED' is unset.

Merge and load the rules into active configuration:

# augenrules --load

Check if reboot is required.

# if [[ $(auditctl -s | grep 'enabled') =~ '2' ]]; then printf 'Reboot required to load rules
'; fi

Additional Information:

Potential reboot required

If the auditing configuration is locked (-e 2), then augenrules will not warn in any way that rules could not be loaded into the running configuration. A system reboot will be required to load the rules into the running configuration.

System call structure

For performance (man 7 audit.rules) reasons it is preferable to have all the system calls on one line. However, your configuration may have them on one line each or some other combination. This is important to understand for both the auditing and remediation sections as the examples given are optimized for performance as per the man page.

See Also