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Practical UNIX and Internet Security, 3rd Edition by Alan Schwartz, Gene Spafford, Simson Garfinkel

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Designing a Site-Wide Log Policy

This section provides suggestions for designing a comprehensive log policy for use at your own site.

Where to Log

Because the syslog facility provides many different logging options, this gives individual sites flexibility in setting up their own logging. Different kinds of messages can be handled in different ways. For example, most users won’t want to be bothered with most log messages. On the other hand, auth.crit messages should be displayed on the system administrator’s screen (in addition to being recorded in a file). This section describes a few different approaches.

Logging to a printer

If you have a printer you wish to devote to system logging, you can connect it to a terminal port and specify that port name in the /etc/syslog.conf file.

For example, you might connect a special-purpose printer to the port /dev/ttya. You can then log all messages from the authorization system (such as invalid passwords) by inserting the following line in your syslog.conf file:

auth.*                 /dev/ttya

A printer connected in such a way should only be used for logging. We suggest using progressive display printers (e.g., dot-matrix printers), if possible, rather than laser printers, because progressive display printers allow you to view the log line by line as it is written, rather than waiting until an entire page is completed.

Logging to a hardcopy device is a very good idea if you think that your system is being visited by unwelcome intruders on a regular basis. ...

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