How to track user activity?

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# 1  
Old 04-18-2013
How to track user activity?

Hi All

Please can you help me with the following issue:

A certain vendor installed an application in which for a user to log in; the user must use a user created/predefined by the application. And because this application has more than one user its difficult to track who did what and when, because everybody log in with the same username.
What I did was to create individual users and copy the main application user profile to these userīs but this never work properly.
Please can you give some other ways to overcame this problem?

# 2  
Old 04-18-2013
So, are they defined individually on the operating system or just within the application? You don't give much of a clue as to how they access it. Is it a telnet/ssh application or some sort of browser based offering.

# 3  
Old 04-18-2013
How to track user activity


They are define individually on the operating system, and they are using putty (ssh or telnet)

# 4  
Old 04-18-2013
So, assuming that they have individual OS accounts, you should be able to see processes using variations of the ps command. Beyond that, you will have to discuss this with your software vendor. They may well have internal logging in place.

What sort of information are you after? It is just "When were they last logged on?" there are easy ways, such as the last command. If it is "What was the last value they altered within the application?" then that's a little bit bigger and it depends what logging is built in.

If they all share one OS login account, then that's a pretty bad design. You may be able to get some idea base on the address they connect from, but then the application logs will likely just all be a mush.

# 5  
Old 04-18-2013
How to track user activity

The issue is that management do not want people sharing passwords...
Yes we can use the

, but if one of them breaks the system, we will not know, because everybody is using the same username and same password...
# 6  
Old 04-18-2013
So, at least there is good management that they do not want people sharing an account. Can we assume that the password expire regularly too?

Anyway, a good trick to introduce is to edit the central profile that everyone runs as they log in. If you have /etc/profile.d, then create your own (world read/executable) script in there, but if not edit /etc/profile. You should read it carefully and add something like this where it will be run by everyone (e.g. before they are trapped in the application):-
who -u am i 2>/dev/null |\
        read realuser term a b c d e source        # get login user & IP/DNS
echo "`date +%Y_%m_%d@%H_%M_%S` $realuser $term $source">>/sec/loginlog/`id -un`
unset realuser term rest a b c d e source

.... and create a world writeable directory /sec/loginlog. The action of login will now write a history of usage and log the source in a file matching the userid. A periodic review of the files will point out if:-
  1. An account is not being used (file not created/updated)
  2. An account is being shared (multiple login sources)
  3. An account is being switched to by su (the username listed doesn't match the filename)

Does this address what you are looking for? I have had successful detections and can use it in reverse to placate auditors that all is well when there are no concerns.

of course, this might prove more difficult if there is a NAT involved or some sort of remote desktop (e.g. Citrix) where the source IP address may not be static.

I hope that this helps.

# 7  
Old 04-18-2013
How to track user activity

Hi Robin!

Thanks again, but I am bit relutante to edit the application main user as the vendor might complain... but I will try and test this scenario on a test environment.

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