Sigma rules are loaded into ElastAlert 2 to monitor incoming logs for suspicious or noteworthy activity. Active sigma rules generate alerts that can then be found in Alerts.


Sigma is a generic and open signature format that allows you to describe relevant log events in a straightforward manner. The rule format is very flexible, easy to write and applicable to any type of log file. The main purpose of this project is to provide a structured form in which researchers or analysts can describe their once developed detection methods and make them shareable with others. Sigma is for log files what Snort is for network traffic and YARA is for files.

Managing Existing Sigma Rules

You can manage existing Sigma rules via Detections. There are two ways to do so:

  • From the main Detections interface, you can search for the desired detection and click the binoculars icon.

  • From the Alerts interface, you can click an alert and then click the Tune Detection menu item.

Once you’ve used one of these methods to reach the detection detail page, you can check the Status field in the upper-right corner and use the slider to enable or disable the detection.


To tune the detection:

  • click the TUNING tab

  • click the blue + button

  • select the type of tuning (Custom Filter)

  • enter your custom filter in the Custom Filter field

  • click the CREATE button to create and enable the Override


Custom Filters are Sigma Search Identifiers and will be applied like so: "($ORIGINAL_CONDITION) and not 1 of sofilter*"

For example, suppose that you have an Intrusion Detection Honeypot node installed with the HTTP webserver enabled. Your nightly vulnerablity scan is connecting to it and generating an alert from the Security Onion IDH - HTTP Access detection. To filter out connection attempts from this scanner, you would add the following Custom Filter to this detection:


Once you save this filter, it is enabled by default for this detection. Clicking on the Detection Source tab and then on Convert will show you what the new EQL query looks like, which should include a filter for the IP address.

For more information on Sigma rule syntax, please see the Sigma documentation at

Adding New Sigma Rules

To add a new Sigma rule, go to the main Detections page and click the blue + button between Options and the query bar. A form will appear where you will:

  • click the Language drop-down and select Sigma

  • optionally specify a license

  • add the signature

  • click the CREATE button and the detection should deploy to your grid at the next 15-minute cycle


Sigma Configuration

  • Navigate to Administration –> Configuration.

  • At the top of the page, click the Options menu and then enable the Show all configurable settings, including advanced settings. option.

  • Navigate to soc –> config –> server –> modules –> elastalertengine.

Once you’ve reached this location, here are some common settings.

Sigma Update Frequency

By default, Security Onion checks for new Sigma rules every 24 hours. You can change this value at elastalertengine –> communityRulesImportFrequencySeconds.

Sigma Packages

You can choose from different Sigma packages:

You can modify this setting via elastalertengine –> sigmaRulePackages.

Custom Sigma Repositories

You can configure Security Onion to pull Sigma rules from custom git repos via elastalertengine –> rulesRepos –> default.

Repos can be accessed via https or from the local filesystem. For example: