Understanding the Unix policy auditing on OSSEC

OSSEC’s policy monitor allows you to verify that all your systems conform to a set of policies regarding configuration settings and applications usage. They are configured centrally on the ossec server and pushed down to the agents. It also checks if a system in in compliance with the CIS Security Benchmarks and VMware security hardening guidelines.

The following systems are tested for the CIS and VMware guidelines:

Receiving Audit and Application alerts via Email

By default, both the policy auditing and application checks are logged as level 3, so you will not receive any e-mail alerts with the original configuration.

If you wish to receive e-mail alerts for any (or both of the two) types of events, you need to create local rules with a higher severity or with the alert_by_email option set.

Example1: Sending e-mail for every Audit event

Add to your local_rules.xml the following:

  <rule id="512" level="9" overwrite="yes">
    <match>^System Audit</match>
    <description>System Audit event.</description>

Listing entries per agent

To control the policy database, use the ‘’‘rootcheck_control’‘’ tool.

This page was originally authored by Daniel Cid for the OSSEC wiki.