twpolicy - Tripwire policy file reference
The policy file describes system objects to be monitored by Tripwire, and specifies what
properties for each object should be collected and stored in the database file. Each
object in the policy file is associated with a property mask, which describes what changes
to the file or directory Tripwire should monitor, and which ones can safely be ignored.
By customizing the various aspects of the policy file, the system administrator can very
closely control how Tripwire checks the integrity of any system.
During installation, an encoded and signed policy file (tw.pol) will be created in the
/etc/tripwire directory, and a plain text copy of this policy file (twpol.txt) will be
generated in the same directory. An additional text file (policyguide.txt) illustrates
all of the features of the policy language. Both of the text files are heavily commented
and can be used as a reference during policy file creation.
A new policy file is first created using the twadmin --create-polfile command. With this
command, the user can designate an existing plain text file as the current policy file.
Using the current site key and passphrase, the new configuration file is encoded, signed
Once the initial policy file has been generated, any changes should be made with the trip-
wire --update-policy command, rather than by simply overwriting the policy file with the
twadmin --create-polfile command. This is an important distinction--when a new policy
file is created, the Tripwire database must be re-initialized. If an intruder has modi-
fied files since the last integrity check, these changes will not be detected, and will be
included as part of the new "baseline" database.
COMPONENTS OF THE POLICY FILE
The basic components of policy files are comments, rules, directives, and variables. Each
of these components is described in greater detail below.
In a policy file, any text following a '#', up to the next line break, is considered a
# This is a comment.
/bin -> $(ReadOnly); # A comment can go here, too.
Policy rules determine whether and to what extent Tripwire will check particular files and
directories. There are two kinds of policy rules recognized by Tripwire:
1) Normal rules define which properties of a particular file or directory tree Tripwire
2) Stop points tell Tripwire not to scan a particular file or directory.
The format for a normal rule is:
object_name -> property_mask;
where the object_name is the fully qualified pathname for a directory or file, and prop-
erty_mask specifies what properties of an object to examine or ignore. The '->' token
separates the pathname and the property mask. Whitespace must separate the object name
and '->' token. A semicolon must terminate the rule. If the pathname specified is a
directory, the directory and all of its descendants will be scanned with the indicated
property mask. If the pathname refers to an individual file, only that file will be
scanned with the specified property mask. Examples:
# Defines Tripwire behavior for entire /bin directory tree.
/bin -> $(ReadOnly);
# Defines Tripwire behavior for a single file. In this case,
# Tripwire watches for all properties of hostname.hme0.
/etc/hostname.hme0 -> $(IgnoreNone) -ar;
# Scan the entire /etc directory tree using mask1, except the
# file /etc/passwd, which should be scanned using mask2.
/etc -> $(mask1);
/etc/passwd -> $(mask2);
Only one rule may be associated with any given object. If any object has more than one
rule in a policy file, Tripwire will print an error message and exit without scanning any
files. For example:
# This is an example of an illegal construct.
/usr/bin -> $(mask3);
/usr/bin -> $(mask4);
In this document, policy file objects are fully qualified pathnames of files and directo-
ries. Environment variables are not allowed for security reasons. Examples:
/etc # valid object name.
/etc/passwd # valid object name.
$HOME # not valid.
Property masks designate which Tripwire properties of a given object should be examined.
A property mask consists of a series of single-character symbols, each of which may be
preceded by an optional plus or minus sign. Each character symbol stands for a particular
Tripwire property to be examined during integrity checking. If the character is preceded
by a plus, checking is done for that property; if preceded by a minus, checking is not
done for that property. For example:
+p # compare permissions.
-p # ignore permissions.
Each rule in the policy file must have a property mask. Examples:
/etc -> $(IgnoreAll); #valid property mask.
/etc -> +p-p; #valid property mask.
/etc -> ; #invalid property mask.
Characters in a property mask without a preceding plus or minus sign are assumed to be
plus. If a property is not specified in the property mask, it is ignored, which is equiv-
alent to turning it off with the minus sign. Examples:
# Examine permissions and link count.
# All three of the following are equivalent.
Characters used in property masks, with descriptions:
- Ignore the following properties
+ Record and check the following properties
a Access timestamp
b Number of blocks allocated
c Inode timestamp (create/modify)
d ID of device on which inode resides
g File owner's group ID
i Inode number
l File is increasing in size (a "growing file")
m Modification timestamp
n Number of links (inode reference count)
p Permissions and file mode bits
r ID of device pointed to by inode
(valid only for device objects)
s File size
t File type
u File owner's user ID
C CRC-32 hash value
H Haval hash value
M MD5 hash value
S SHA hash value
Stop points are used to specify specific files or directories that Tripwire should not
scan. The syntax for stop points is:
! object_name ;
# The directory /etc/init.d will not be scanned.
/etc -> $(ReadOnly);
# Scan all of /etc, but do not scan two particular
# files in the /etc hierarchy.
Rule attributes work with normal rules to modify their behavior or provide additional
information. Multiple attributes can be assigned to each rule. Rule attributes are not
case-sensitive. Rule attributes may be applied to a single rule using the following syn-
object_name -> property_mask (rule attribute = value);
/usr/lib -> $(ReadOnly) (emailto = firstname.lastname@example.org, severity = 80);
#This rule will notify the admin if any violations of the
#rule occur and designate the severity as 80.
Rule attributes can also be specified for a group of rules, using the format:
(emailto = email@example.com, severity = 80)
/usr/lib -> $(ReadOnly);
is equivalent to the attribute example above.
The following four rule attributes are supported by Tripwire:
rulename The rulename attribute is used to associate a rule or set of rules with a
specific name. In a report file, this name will be associated with viola-
tions to the specified rule. This feature is useful if you want to track
certain objects within a large Tripwire database. For instance, if you as-
sociate the rule name "watchme" with important files, you can sort through
the Tripwire report using "watchme" as a sorting key.
/etc -> +ug (rulename=watchme);
emailto The emailto attribute associates one or more email addresses with a rule or
group of rules. When an integrity check is run with the --email-report
option and a rule is violated, a report of that violation will be sent to
the specified email address(es), using the report format specified by the
EMAILREPORTLEVEL variable in the configuration file.
/etc -> +ug (firstname.lastname@example.org);
To specify multiple email addresses, include them as a quoted, semicolon-
/etc -> +ug (emailto="email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org");
severity The severity attribute associates a numeric severity level with a rule.
When Tripwire is run in Integrity Checking mode, it is possible to specify
that only rules exceeding a certain severity level are used. The default
severity level is 0, and values can range from 0 to 1,000,000.
/etc -> +ug (severity=50);
recurse The recurse attribute specifies how a rule will scan directories. Valid
values for recurse are true, false, or a number from -1 to 1,000,000. If
recurse is set to true (or -1), tripwire will recursively scan the entire
contents of the directory (both files and subdirectories). When recurse is
set to false (or 0), and the rule refers to a directory, Tripwire will scan
the inode of the directory but none of the files or subdirectories con-
tained therein. For positive recurse value n, the rule will monitor all
objects up to n levels below the start point. Stop points within the
recursed directory still apply, and will prevent the specified file or
directory from being scanned.
When a rule refers to a file, specifying the recurse attribute has no
effect--files will be scanned no matter what value is given for recurse.
The default value for recurse is true.
/etc -> +ug (recurse=2);
Tripwire supports a small number of directives that allow conditional interpretation of
the policy file and certain diagnostic and debugging operations. The primary purpose of
directives is to support sharing of a policy file among multiple machines. Directives use
the following syntax:
@@ directive_name [arguments]
Where the directive name is one of the directives listed below:
@@section # Designates a section of the policy file.
@@ifhost # Allow conditional interpretation
@@else # of the policy file.
@@print # Print a message to standard output.
@@error # Print a message to standard output and then exit.
@@end # Marks the logical end-of-file.
The @@section directive is used to designate sections of the policy file that are OS-spe-
cific. With Tripwire 2.3.1, valid arguments for the @@section directive are FS and
GLOBAL. If no @@section directive is specified, FS will be assumed. If the argument to
the @@section directive is either NTFS or NTREG (which have meaning only on Windows NT
systems), Tripwire will skip all policy file text down to the next valid @@section direc-
tive. Any other argument will cause an error.
The @@ifhost, @@else, and @@endif directives are used to allow conditional interpretation
of the policy file. With the @@ifhost directive, multiple hostnames can be expressed as
arguments, but they must be separated by an '||', interpreted as the logical 'OR'. This
example illustrates how one might employ directives to use one policy file with multiple
@@ifhost spock || kirk
/bin -> $(ReadOnly);
@@ifhost chekov || uhura
/usr/bin -> +pinug;
/usr/bin -> +pinugsmC;
The @@print and @@error directives are intended for debugging and remote diagnostics. The
syntax for these commands is:
The @@print directive prints string to stdout, while the @@error directive prints string
to stdout and causes the calling program to exit with a non-zero status.
The @@end directive marks the end of the policy file. Any text appearing after this
directive will be ignored by Tripwire.
For user convenience, Tripwire's policy file supports variables for string substitution.
Variables can be defined anywhere between rules. The syntax for variable definition is:
variable = value;
Variable substitution is legal anywhere that a string could appear. The syntax for vari-
able substitution is:
$( variable )
Examples of variable definition and variable substitution on the left, right, and both
sides of rules. Note that variable names are case sensitive.
param1 = +SMCH; # Set variable param1.
dir1 = /etc/inet; # Set variable dir1.
DIR1 = /etc/init.d; # Variables are case sensitive.
$(dir1) -> +tbamc; # Left hand substitution.
/etc/inet -> $(param1); # Right hand substitution.
$(DIR1) -> $(param1); # Double substitution.
A number of variables are predefined by Tripwire and may not be changed. These variables
represent different ways that files can change, and can be used on the right side of rules
to design a policy file quickly.
ReadOnly ReadOnly is good for files that are widely available but are intended to be
Dynamic Dynamic is good for monitoring user directories and files that tend to be
dynamic in behavior.
Growing The Growing variable is intended for files that should only get larger.
Device Device is good for devices or other files that Tripwire should not attempt
IgnoreAll IgnoreAll tracks a file's presence or absence, but doesn't check any other
IgnoreNone IgnoreNone turns on all properties and provides a convenient starting point
for defining your own property masks. (For exam-
ple, mymask = $(IgnoreNone) -ar;)
This man page describes Tripwire 2.3.1.
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this man page provided the
copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.
Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this man page under the
conditions for verbatim copying, provided that the entire resulting derived work is dis-
tributed under the terms of a permission notice identical to this one.
Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this man page into another
language, under the above conditions for modified versions, except that this permission
notice may be stated in a translation approved by Tripwire, Inc.
Copyright 2000 Tripwire, Inc. Tripwire is a registered trademark of Tripwire, Inc. in the
United States and other countries. All rights reserved.
twintro(8), tripwire(8), twadmin(8), twprint(8), siggen(8), twconfig(4), twfiles(5)
1 July 2000 TWPOLICY(4)