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Version: v4.18

Deduplicate events

The deduplicate provides is a powerful mechanism to remove duplicate events in a pipeline.

There are numerous use cases for deduplication, such as reducing noise, optimizing costs and make threat detection and response more efficent. Read our blog post for high-level discussion.

Analyze unique host pairs

Let's say you're investigating an incident and would like get a better of picture of what entities are involved in the communication. To this end, you would like to extract all unique host pairs to identify who communicated with whom.

Here's how this looks like with Zeek data:

export
| where #schema == "zeek.conn"
| deduplicate id.orig_h, id.resp_h

Providing id.orig_h and id.resp_h to the operator restricts the output to all unique host pairs. Note that flipped connections occur twice here, i.e., A → B as well as B → A are present.

Remove duplicate alerts

Are you're overloaded with alerts, like every analyst? Let's remove some noise from our alerts.

First, let's check what our alert dataset looks like:

export
| where #schema == "suricata.alert"
| top alert.signature
| head 5
{
"alert.signature": "ET MALWARE Cobalt Strike Beacon Observed",
"count": 117369
}
{
"alert.signature": "SURICATA STREAM ESTABLISHED packet out of window",
"count": 103198
}
{
"alert.signature": "SURICATA STREAM Packet with invalid ack",
"count": 21960
}
{
"alert.signature": "SURICATA STREAM ESTABLISHED invalid ack",
"count": 21920
}
{
"alert.signature": "ET JA3 Hash - [Abuse.ch] Possible Dridex",
"count": 16870
}

Hundreds of thousands of alerts! Maybe I'm just interested in one per hour per host affected host pair? Here's the pipeline for this:

from /tmp/eve.json --follow
| where #schema == "suricata.alert"
| deduplicate src_ip, dest_ip, alert.signature --timeout 1 hour
| import

Produce a finite amount of retro lookups

The lookup operator offers automated live and retro matching. For every context update, it generates a point query to locate events with the given value. For frequent data points, e.g., the IP address 127.0.0.1, this can create a massive amount of retro hits.

The deduplicate operator can avoid potential overload and reduce retro matches to a constant number of hits. For example, to receive at most 100 hits from a retrospective lookup, use this pipeline:

lookup --retro feodo --field dest_ip
| deduplicate --limit 100 feodo.value