Disable Default Rules
Even though Falco provides a quite powerful default ruleset, you sometimes need to disable some of these default rules since they do not work properly in your environment. Luckily Falco offers you multiple possibilities to do so.
Via existing Macros
Most of the default rules offer some kind of
user_* macros which are already part of the rule conditions. These
user_* macros are usually set to
(always_true) which basically enables or disables the regarding rule. Now if you want to disable a default rule (e.g.
Read sensitive file trusted after startup), you just have to override the rule's
user_* macro (
user_known_read_sensitive_files_activities in this case) inside your custom Falco configuration.
Example for your custom Falco configuration (note the
- macro: user_known_read_sensitive_files_activities condition: (always_true)
Please note again that the order of the specified configuration file matters! The last defined macro with the same name wins.
Via Falco Parameters
Falco offers the following parameters to limit which default rules should be enabled/used and which not:
-D <substring> Disable any rules with names having the substring <substring>. Can be specified multiple times. -T <tag> Disable any rules with a tag=<tag>. Can be specified multiple times. Can not be specified with -t. -t <tag> Only run those rules with a tag=<tag>. Can be specified multiple times. Can not be specified with -T/-D.
These parameters can also be specified as Helm chart value (
extraArgs) if you are deploying Falco via the official Helm chart.
Via Custom Rule Definition
Last but not the least, you can just disable a rule that is enabled by default using the
enabled: false rule property.
This is especially useful for rules which do not provide a
user_* macro in the default condition.
Ensure that the custom configuration file loads after the default configuration file. You can configure the right order using multiple
-r parameters, directly inside the falco configuration file
rules_file. If you are using the official Helm chart, then configure the order with the
For example to disable the
User mgmt binaries default rule in
/etc/falco/falco_rules.yaml define a custom rule in
- rule: User mgmt binaries enabled: false
At the same time, disabled rules can be re-enabled by using the
enabled: true rule property. For instance, the
Change thread namespace rule in
/etc/falco/falco_rules.yaml that is disabled by default, can be manually enabled with:
- rule: Change thread namespace enabled: true
As of 0.6.0, rules have an optional set of tags that are used to categorize the ruleset into groups of related rules. Here's an example:
- rule: File Open by Privileged Container desc: Any open by a privileged container. Exceptions are made for known trusted images. condition: (open_read or open_write) and container and container.privileged=true and not trusted_containers output: File opened for read/write by privileged container (user=%user.name command=%proc.cmdline %container.info file=%fd.name) priority: WARNING tags: [container, cis]
In this case, the rule "File Open by Privileged Container" has been given the tags "container" and "cis". If the tags key is not present for a given rule or the list is empty, a rule has no tags.
Here's how you can use tags:
- You can use the
-T <tag>argument to disable rules having a given tag.
-Tcan be specified multiple times. For example, to skip all rules with the "filesystem" and "cis" tags you would run falco with
falco -T filesystem -T cis ....
-Tcan not be specified with
- You can use the
-t <tag>argument to only run those rules having a given tag.
-tcan be specified multiple times. For example, to only run those rules with the "filesystem" and "cis" tags, you would run falco with
falco -t filesystem -t cis ....
-tcan not be specified with
-D <pattern>(disable rules by rule name regex).
Tags for Current Falco Ruleset
We've also gone through the default ruleset and tagged all the rules with an initial set of tags. Here are the tags we've used:
|The rule relates to reading/writing files|
|The rule relates to any software/package management tool like rpm, dpkg, etc.|
|The rule relates to starting a new process or changing the state of a current process|
|The rule relates to databases|
|The rule only works outside of containers|
|The rule specifically relates to starting shells|
|The rule only works inside containers|
|The rule is related to the CIS Docker benchmark|
|The rule relates to management of users or changing the identity of a running process|
|The rule relates to network activity|
Rules can have multiple tags if they relate to multiple of the above. Every rule in the falco ruleset currently has at least one tag.
Ignored system calls
For performance reasons, some system calls are currently discarded before Falco processes them.
You can see the complete list by running falco with
If you'd like to run Falco against all events, including system calls in the above list,
you can run Falco with the
For more information, see supported events.
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