Hey for all you #infosec friends stuck with #ibm #qradar just like me, just remember it’s still better than having no #siem at all. Here my contribution to the community, a mega thread of qradar tips to improve your life
Qradar Tip #1
equals is case sensitive
username equals 'neonprimetime'
will not find 'Neonprimetime'
(notice the capital N)
from the GUI use contains to be case insensitive!
Qradar Tip #2
avoid using the GUI for filtering
instead teach yourself AQL
use the "Advanced Search" drop down
it's a powerful SQL-like language
that will allow you to performance tune queries
use complex boolean logic
and much more!
Qradar Tip #3
offenses will get purged after a period of time
configure the retention under system settings
or if it's a major incident use the "Actions->Protect"
to permanently save an offense so it never gets deleted
Qradar Tip #4
be aware qradar has a max number of offenses it will create
after that it just stops creating them
keep your queue below 2500
notice if one particular alert goes nuts it could prevent your SOC from seeing any new offenses
Qradar Tip #5
if you always filter on the same property (rules, reports, dashboards, aql) then index that field, if you don't index performance will be terrible (similar to indexing in a SQL db)
check the "Parse in advance for rules, reports, and searches" box
Qradar Tip #6
qradar coalescing is dangerous, you lose logs!
(event count > 1)
if event, ip, port & user match it collapses logs into 1 & you only see 1st one so you lose data in other logs like urls, process, etc.
Qradar Tip #7
reference sets are fast! it's like magic
want to search all 1000s of recent domain names from UrlHaus?
want to search 100s of Emotet C2 ip addresses all at once?
drop them all into a Reference Set & search
you will be surprised how fast it can be
Qradar Tip #8
the display drop down acts like a "group by"
its a super quick way to get a list of user
or a list of ip addresses
or a list of event names
you don't have to search->edit search, just use the display drop down instead
Qradar Tip #9
if you are not familiar with qradar
you may want to search by windows event ids such as 4688
problem is it seems dead slow event if indexed
a faster alernative is to find the QID (qradar id) instead
Qradar Tip #9
(continued) ... to find the QID a quick way i found is to click the "false positive" button
the QID will be displayed there
copy & paste it, return and search by QID instead of event id, the search will be indexed and much faster!
Qradar Tip #10
building new hunts/reports
don't search "last 24 hrs" as every time you update filters it'll re-runs the whole search due to the stop time changing
instead pick a start/end date so data is cached
this speeds up query building
Qradar Tip #11
if you need to search an unindexed field or use payload contains
1st prime it by running a larger indexed search against the same time frame
then re-run a 2nd search after adding your unindexed field
its actually faster to run 2 searches than 1!
Qradar Tip #12
if you want your offense to have pretty names such as Mitre Techniques
in rule response "dispatch a new event" with a the pretty name then under offense naming choose "should contribute" or "set or replace" the name
Qradar Tip #13
if you want qradar to only email you once a day per user for an offense
use the response limiter to configure that
there is a caveat however
if the response limiter is hit tip #12 will stop working and names gets ugly again
Qradar Tip #14
you probably knew that qradar does geo location if you hover over a remote ip
but did you know you can make it do the same thing for RFC 1918 internal private addresses?
just use the Country/Region drop down list on the Network Hierarchy screen
Qradar Tip #15
threat hunters will love using the QFlow feature
which allows you to display the first several bytes of requests & responses in the netflow / Network Hierarchy tab, real time packet viewing & even write alerts off them
Qradar Tip #16
did you know you can customize the right-click menu of some fields such as ip address
just modify the xml configuration on the qradar console
you can use the %IP% field for example to pass the IP address to other sites like Virus Total
Qradar Tip #17
on log activity tab the default columns displayed aren't helpful
instead of going Search->Edit search every single time
you may want fields like URL, process name, etc. to show by default
Do this by editing the column layout, then his Save Criteria
leave it as real time (streaming) then check "Set as Default"
Qradar Tip #18
you may want a different column layout per objective
example: proxy layout, sysmon layour, antivirus layout
on search->edit search under column definition
choose your columns, enter a custom name and save
now it'll be in the drop down to choose each time
Qradar Tip #19
vendor app packs can give you solutions quickly
apps can give you pre-built custom fields, rules, and reports
they may require heavy tuning & performance considerations for your environment
but it could be a good starting point
Qradar Tip #20
log sources create their own fields
problem: u end up w/ multiple fields for same data
ex: proxy url, sysmon url, edr url, waf url
this creates a nightmare for SOC to search
tip: consolidate related custom fields into a single field like 'url'
Qradar Tip #21
sometimes it's easier in excel or notepad++
if you just want to dump the raw logs to excel
use Actions -> Export to CSV -> Full Export (all columns)
and find the column named 'payloadAsUTF'
now you have the raw logs to mess around with
Qradar Tip #22
worried about access control?
use the admin -> user roles to limit which screens users can access
Qradar Tip #23
want to control who sees which log sources?
use the admin -> security profiles
in conjunction with the log source groups screen
to restrict which users can access which log sources
Qradar Tip #24
have compliance requirements for log retention?
or have disk space/performance issues?
use the event retention screen to auto purge logs
based on whatever simple or complex query you want!
Qradar Tip #25
is your assets tab / profiler filled with complete junk?
use the asset profiler configuration -> manage identity exclusions
to exclude those invalid ip addresses, hostnames, mac addresses, etc.
based off saved searches
Qradar Tip #26
similar to reference sets, sometimes its nice to group certain log sources together for rules and hunts
try using 'log source groups' instead of reference sets or massive "or" statements
example: if a rule only applies to domain controllers, DHCP servers, or your IDS appliances
Qradar Tip #27
if you have a single system sending multiple log source types
ex: server sends windows events, sql logs, web logs, and app logs
you may notice incorrect parsing, web logs treated as sql, etc.
if so you may need to adjust the Log "Parsing Order"
Qradar Tip #28
qradar has a built-in rule wizard filter that allows you to monitor when a log source stopped sending logs
this can be helpful for example to monitor critical systems like DCs & get alerted immediately if broken
"event(s) have not been detected"
Qradar Tip #29
if a log source is in an ERROR or WARN state
clicking into the log will show a RED or YELLOW banner at top indicate the reason for the error
Qradar Tip #30
only want your alert to fire if something happens multiple times and when certain fields match or mismatch?
use one of the many rule wizard filters for many times with some fields the same and some fields different
Qradar Tip #31
did you create a dashboard but it defaults to some ugly table/bar chart?
switch to time series, check the "capture time series data" box
then be patient and wait (many hours sometimes) for the data to cache into the graph
now you can time scroll
Qradar Tip #32
logs coming in as Universal DSM w/ unknown name
unable to search by ip, port, or username?
add a log source extension or custom Dsm
it's just a bunch of regex in XML
it will allow you to parse out those critical fields and make them searchable
Qradar Tip #33
did you run a long slow search a few hours ago?
do you need the results again but don't want to wait to re-run it?
goto Search -> Manage Search Results
find your search for hours ago
click the "COMPLETED" link
the cached results return instantly!
Qradar Tip #34
did you make changes such as add a new user, add a log source, add a subnet
but the changes haven't taken effect yet and can't figure out why?
it may be waiting for you to "Deploy Changes" from the admin tab
Qradar Tip #35
did you know every time you create a dashboard time series or report it's essentially created a database table & storing the data somewhere
you can manage those tables/data including disabling or deleting by going to "Aggregated Data Management"
Qradar Tip #36
historical quirk to be aware of
i've seen issues with deleting an admin user
if they were the owner of a critical dashboard, rule, report, etc. it could break it
so at least initially its safer to "Disable" a termed user instead of "Delete"
Qradar Tip #37
are you trying to manipulate the Magnitude to adjust queue priorities?
i don't have good news for your here
"Magnitude calculations are proprietary to QRadar"
using the Magnitude adjustment rules & fields don't seem to make much impact
we use our SOAR platform to prioritize instead
Qradar Tip #38
be careful after applying updates, DSM or app pack updates, etc.
qradar like to change regexes or disable your custom events properties
when that happens your rules break
monitor the 'last modified date' on custom event properties to find these anomalies
Qradar Tip #39
qradar actually audits itself!
you can write reports and rules to monitor qradar itself
such as who performed a search, who logged in, who added a user, etc.
Qradar Tip #40
avoid custom event properties for an entire log source type
instead be specific, choose a event name or category for each custom event property to avoid parsing overhead
Qradar Tip #41
qradar log sources like to break together in groups
a good example is all qradar JDBC connections dropping at once during an update
use the log sources screen and sort by Last Event Time to look for such anomalies
Qradar Tip #42
getting crushed by EPS, FPS, cpu, or licensing issues?
use the log activity tab, group by log source type, log source, and event name to see the noisest log sources
such as a linux server set to debug syslogging
and start trimming your EPS
Qradar Tip #43
you can customize the offense close reasons for reporting/metrics purposes
under the actions->close
click the little edit icon (paper & pencil)
Qradar Tip #44
do you get emailed a report daily?
do you need an a copy of that report from several days ago but it's no longer in your inbox?
you can go to the reports screens, pull down the generated reports drop down, and find past reports to download
Qradar Tip #45
is your asset tab important & you can't lose the data?
consider occasionally exporting data (you can re-import later) or do db backups
many times during system/support issues i've seen the assets database get purged and start from scratch
Qradar Tip #46
event and flow direction are wonderful fields that allow you to identify if traffic is leaving the company, coming in, or traversing laterally based on your network hierarchy
L2L (local to local), L2R (local to remote), R2L (remote to local)
Qradar Tip #47
in AQL be careful, the like/ilike wildcard is a percent sign (%) , NOT AN ASTERICK!
Qradar Tip #48
in AQL, 'like' and 'matches' are case sensitive
'ilike' and 'imatches' are case insensitive
Qradar Tip #49
in AQL more of a regex reminder
but if you're looking for ends with '.exe' for example
if you're using 'ilike' , then do not escape the period
if you are using imatches then yes you must escape the period
Qradar Tip #50
in AQL the "in" keyword is nice and saves you a ton of "or" statements
Method in ('POST', 'GET', 'PUT')
Qradar Tip #51
single tick vs double quote
double quotes go around custom fields/properties like "URL" and "User Agent"
you can avoid double quotes if the custom field has no spaces in it
single ticks go around string constants like 'PUT', 'POST', 'GET' or renaming a column like 'Total'
Qradar Tip #52
in AQL, N/A = null !
a common mistake i see is people trying to do
username = 'N/A'
that won't work, you must do
username is null
Qradar Tip #53
sometimes logs/parsing are messed up & for example sourceip = destinationip
include/exclude these anomalies by comparing 2 different fields in AQL!
(you can't do that in the GUI rule wizard or add filter wizard)
sourceip != destinationip
a qradar regex / rule gotcha
qradar seems to strip out certain special characters such as a plus ('+') sign probably to prevent injection attacks
a side effect this has is if you write a regex in a rule with a plus sign
it looks like it disappears (even though it's actually there and the rule works)
Qradar Tip #55
AQL big performance tip
normally in the GUI if you edit your search it gives you a popup & cancels your 1st search
in AQL, if you hit search, edit your search, hit search again, edit your search, hit search
you just launched multiple searches in parallel!
in AQL hit cancel BEFORE editing your search!
Qradar Tip #56
AQL performance tip
i prefer where clauses with QID/devicetype/logsourceid over qidname(), logsourcename(), logsourcetypename()
performance seems many times better, especially if you are used to using like/matches
i memorize/have index of the ID numbers and just use them
Qradar Tip #56
if i don't know the qid/devicetype/logsourceid but i need it
i again find it faster to run 2 searches than 1
i 1st run a short (last 2 minutes) search to get the ids
then i run a 2nd search using the ids i found
Qradar Tip #57
AQL performance tip
my starting point in almost every search is devicetype (aka log source type)
if i need 4688 process creates by nature that search is slow cause it'd search all events (Linux, Firewall, Windows events)
so narrow your search down to the correct devicetype first
Qradar Tip #58
tired of clicking "View log activity" to drill into the details of a graph?
use AQL to build the query w/ CONCAT that shows all the data you need!
select concat(computer, ', ', username, ', ', url) as 'ComputerUsernameSite'
Qradar Tip #59
count is powerful to indicate how many times something happened
but UNIQUECOUNT() is even better!
it can tell you how many unique users, or ips, processes, or urls were seen
Qradar Tip #60
Qradar stores multiple time fields
starttime = time qradar received the log
endtime (aka Storage Time) = time qradar finished processing it
devicetime (aka Log Source Time) = time from the actual log
Qradar Tip #60
the time stamps are in integer format by default
you can sort them as normal using 'order by' and 'asc' or 'desc'
you can format them to display pretty with
dateformat(<field>, 'yyyy-MM-dd hh:mm a')
Qradar Tip #60
most important is devicetime (when event actually logged)
unfortunately qradar indexes "last 2 hours" & "start/stop" on the starttime field
tip: compare devicetime vs starttime or starttime vs endtime to find performance issues!
Qradar Tip #61
you can use the ever so powerful reference sets in AQL also!
REFERENCESETCONTAINS('reference set name', sourceip)
Qradar Tip #62
in AQL don't forget if aggregating (COUNT, SUM) to include your "group by" just like any SQL-like language
otherwise query will run but return unexpected results
select sourceip, UNIQUECOUNT(username) as 'Users' from events group by sourceip
Qradar Tip #63
sometimes certain fields are stupid long, perhaps legitimately or perhaps due to a parsing issue
you can use the STRLEN() function filter out or eliminate those long noisy fields
Qradar Tip #64
if you have your network hierarchy admin page configured
you can start searching for odd lateral movement
use the FULLNETWORKNAME() function against ip addresses
such as below seeing a workstation talking to a mobile device
Qradar Tip #65
you can search for odd connections to countries you don't do business in
use the sourcegeographiclocation and destinationgeographiclocation fields
Qradar Tip #66
if you expand the "Current Statistics" link on the log screen
it shows interesting stats like how many records were returned, how much data (MB or GB) were searched, and how long it took
Qradar Tip #67
my plug for AQL. learn it!
Search -> Edit Search is a slow nightmare
anytime you change column layout, add/remove column, sort by, etc. you get full screen refresh
just learn AQL!
adjust columns, sort/filter w/out leaving the screen!
Qradar Tip #68
don't forget Qradar has a full API available
just append "/api_doc" to the end of your qradar url instance
start reading up on it
then move to writing your python scripts and get out of the GUI completely
Qradar Tip #69
you can execute sample API requests right from the GUI
and learn what the CURL statements would look like, etc.
just append '/api_doc' to the end of your url again and drill into the different areas
Qradar Tip #70
manage who or what can access your API with the "Authorized Services" admin screen
If you got this far and read all tips, thank you!
I hope this helps you, my #infosec friends, to improve your experience with #ibm #qradar #siem