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Vsftpd Log Question

9:13 pm on Jul 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I believe that my server admin has been lifting logs from my server. Can someone please explain what is happening in these three entries (particularly the last one):

Wed Jun 2 05:12:11 2010 1 217 /var/log/apache2/ssl_request_log-20100528.gz b _ o r ftpmurmy ftp 0 * c
Wed Jun 2 05:18:20 2010 1 217 /var/log/apache2/ssl_request_log-20100528.gz b _ o r ftpmurmy ftp 0 * c
Wed Jun 2 05:18:29 2010 1 217 /var/log/apache2/ssl_request_log-20100528.gz b _ i r ftpmurmy ftp 0 * c

(I went over the IP address with to protect identity)
10:24 pm on July 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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b _ o

First letter: transfer mode
a = ascii
b = binary

A letter in this position would indicate any special operations, like gzipping or tarring the data on-the-fly. "_", meaning "no special operation".

Second letter: transfer direction
i = input (= upload = FTP PUT)
o = output (FTP GET)

r ftpmurmy

Third letter: access mode
a = anonymous
g = guest user
r = regular user

After this letter is the username of the person performing the operation.

ftp 0 * c

"ftp 0 *": service name, authentication method and authentication user id (if applicable). These are not configurable in vsftpd, so this is a constant string that carries no useful information. It is there only to match wuftpd log format.

The last letter: completion status
c = completed
i = interrupted (transfer failed)


What has happened is he took a copy of the ssl_request_log-20100528.gz file... twice... then uploaded one back and reaplced the one he took.

Depending on his role it could just be that he is archiving your logs and taking a copy for backup. I am not sure why he would PUT the file back. He could have modified it for less than pure reasons.

I don't know your relationship or dynamics so it is hard to say what his intentions are.
7:09 am on July 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Worth mentioning is that 217 is the length of the up/downloaded file. The file size hasn't changed between download and upload. That is no guarantee that nothing inside the logfile has changed, but it doesn't seem that full lines have been added or removed.
9:09 am on July 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your assessment guys. I am now certain that they have been lifting our access logs, although I now understand that there is nothing sinister in these particular entries which ive discovered relate to something else.