Osquery is a tool that lets developers treat an operating system as a relational database. It lets developers write SQL queries with which it can explore various aspects of the operating systems. With SQL tables, developers can represent abstract concepts starting from running processes and file hashing to kernel modules, plugins and hardware events. A more practical example is using the SQL query to find out the IP address of the hostname and likewise.
In fact, Osquery has come from Facebook that was primarily designed to ask IT infrastructure questions starting from intrusion detection to system information. In the process the security is not compromised and whether the system turns vulnerable.
What Can You Do With Osquery?
There are a plethora of things you can do with Osquery, and they are practically interesting and useful. Without Osquery, it was an uphill task to fetch critical data and perform tedious operations without any danger involved in the process.
You can list the users in the operating system, get all the details about the processes, ports used, list of logged users, just to name a few. With just ‘SELECT * FROM users;’, you can get the user list, and it is as simple as SQL queries that you are used to writing. Basically, Osquery works by taking advantage of the low-level operating system APIs, and it is a cross-platform system. This means you can monitor your Windows and MacOS clients at the same time.
You can define Osquery as an operating system instrumentation framework. It is applicable for Windows, OS X, and Linux. The basic application of it is generating operating system related analytics and monitoring performance. You can also schedule the queries to be executed across the entire operating system framework. There is a daemon to collect all the query results and generate logs. By this way, you can get insights into the security aspects, performance, configuration changes, the state of the entire system.
Osquery comes with native packages for all operating systems that it supports. There is enough documentation available so that you can create custom packages and deploy them comfortably. There are various interfaces to integrate into the infrastructure, and the codebase is modular in nature.
When you are Osquery, you must be aware of Osquery injection which is a vulnerability. It is closely relatable to SQL injection, and it is caused due to the misuse of a library. When user input is there in any part of a query, the attacker can get hold of the data very easily. You have the complete SQL power, and there are many built-in tables to take advantage of. You can also do diagnosis and troubleshooting and address the performance issues. Osquery is on its ways to become an essential part of every IT infrastructure.