Ok, it’s been a while since we last written anything close to being technical, so let’s quickly get to it.

Many times, we would like to get some quick testing done on an Alienvault box but we don’t have any at hand. Some of these tests are for example, to validate a plugin you just wrote, or to check on a config that you would want to implement for your client but don’t want to test it there. There are many scenarios where you’d just want to fire up a simple box and do some testing. One way is to set up an Alienvault in your office and a couple of servers to run as test systems. A simple VPN in and voila, you are done. But what if you wanted to simulate logs, but don’t have the necessary systems to do so, or rather not change any production systems you have at hand?

One way is to install Alienvault on virtualbox on your laptop, and either simulate logs from other VMs to it, or just get your host laptop to send the guest Alienvault logs. Virtualbox is probably the easiest way to get it done. You don’t need to set it up as an extremely powerful system, since mostly you would be doing testing on it. For me, simply using it for plugin verification, decoder, rules set up and simple log testing was enough. I set the VM up for 2 processors, 8GB RAM, 30GB storage (fixed) and downloaded the OSSIM image to set it up.

To further simplify, we followed this excellent tutorial here. Kudos to the writer for the details. So the idea was two fold, to get our host talking to OSSIM and for OSSIM to be able to go to the internet. The trickiest part of this relatively simple setup is to get the networking sorted.

OSSIM allows two interfaces to be setup in theory – whereby one is used for management interface and the other for log collections. The slight difference here is that I’ve set up the eth0 as ‘bridged adapter’ and selected my laptop’s wireless adapter, and in theory this should allow internet access as required. The second adapter in theory, wouldn’t really be needed, as it’s generally used if you are accessing it from internally (let’s say you set up Virtualbox in a separate box and you access it from an internal network). But because I am building it all in one (everything in a single laptop), I don’t need that second interface as I can just access my management interface through my logging interface. So go ahead and just set up eth0 as bridge and later on, assign the IP to be the same network as your laptop’s network.

The strange thing you may experience from time to time is that you may not be able to SSH into your OSSIM for some reason. It could be an IP conflict or your ARP needs to be updated, especially if you have other systems with the same IP. So you could try just pinging from the server to the host, and host to the server and that may resolve that issue.

Now you are done, go ahead and access your OSSIM. In our next article, we can start a very simple tutorial of setting up a MYSQL database (also within the same laptop), writing a log file to a file and getting Alienvault to pick up the log file via HIDS.