Wilson Mar bio photo

Wilson Mar


Email me Calendar Skype call

LinkedIn Twitter Gitter Instagram Youtube

Github Stackoverflow Pinterest

Analyze without agents

US (English)   Español (Spanish)   Français (French)   Deutsch (German)   Italiano   Português   Estonian   اَلْعَرَبِيَّةُ (Egypt Arabic)   中文 (简体) Chinese (Simplified)   日本語 Japanese   한국어 Korean


Here are my notes toward building an “unsupervised” machine-learning framework to identify patterns in various logs.

Logs are produced by programs:

https://sematext.github.io/logagent-js/parser/ detects log formats based on a pattern library (yaml file) and converts it to a JSON Object.


Commercial vendors include:

  • Splunk
  • QRadar (IBM)
  • ArcSight (Micro Focus/HP)
  • LogRhythm
  • McAfee Enterprise Security Manager
  • RSA Security Analytics
  • Sentinel (Microsoft)
  • Exabeam
  • Securonix
  • Rapid7
  • Grurucul
  • RSA
  • Fireeye

Strategy vs. Current Offering

In 2020 Forrester rated Microsoft as leading the market in strategy but rated IBM the strongest offering. Splunk is up there as well.


Microsoft’s Sentinel



The value to keeping logs is to provide insights to what is being logged.

That is usually about the pattern and anomalies of occurances over time.

SIEM systems collect and analyze logs over time to detect persistent threats.

System logs

Microsoft System Logs can be parsed using http://logparserplus.com/Article

Web server logs

Web servers such as Apache, IIS, NGINX, etc. store an entry for each HTTP and file (resource) query.

Apache and others create logs in a W3C-defined format.

A trivial sample is provided at data/apache.access.log.

A fuller example is provided at http://www.monitorware.com/en/logsamples/apache.php

A parser and model for the log file: See ApacheAccessLog.java.

See https://databricks.gitbooks.io/databricks-spark-reference-applications/content/logs_analyzer/chapter1/spark.html

A configuration file specifies what fields are output in the log.

https://github.com/rory/apache-log-parser is written in Python. http://codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/68846/someone-thinks-poorly-of-my-server-log-parser

https://awstats.sourceforge.io/ is written in Perl with an architecture that enables plug-ins for additional functionality.




MS Log Parser for SQL

Microsoft Log Parser provides SQL-like query access to text-based data such as log files, XML files and CSV files, as well as key data sources on the Windows® operating system such as the Event Log, the Registry, the file system, and Active Directory®. It was created for Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional Edition.

$31 http://lizard-labs.com/log_parser_lizard.aspx provides a GUI to the command-line access to a “Swiss Army Knife”


  • https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/carlosag/2010/03/25/analyze-your-iis-log-files-favorite-log-parser-queries/

  • https://blog.codinghorror.com/microsoft-logparser/

  • http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/forensic-log-parsing-microsofts-logparser

  • https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee692659.aspx

  • https://www.codeproject.com/articles/13504/simple-log-parsing-using-ms-log-parser-in-c-ne

  • Microsoft Log Parser Toolkit: A Complete Toolkit for Microsoft’s by Gabriele Giuseppini, Mark Burnett

  • https://www.simple-talk.com/blogs/using-logparser-part-1/

QUESTION: Its equivalent for Linux?

Perfmon logs

MS PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs)


It makes use of PowerShell v2.0 or greater which uses Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1

Custom application logs

Code to output logs


Log gathering

Due to their size, systems “rotate” logs, meaning new file names are created when the allocated disk space for each file is used.


Log parsing


More on Security

This is one of a series on Security in DevSecOps:

  1. SOC2
  2. FedRAMP
  3. CAIQ (Consensus Assessment Initiative Questionnaire) by cloud vendors

  4. Git Signing
  5. Hashicorp Vault
  6. OPA (Open Policy Agent)

  7. WebGoat known insecure PHP app and vulnerability scanners
  8. Test for OWASP using ZAP on the Broken Web App

  9. Encrypt all the things

  10. AWS Security (certification exam)
  11. AWS IAM (Identity and Access Management)

  12. Cyber Security
  13. Security certifications