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9.2. SELinux and journald

In systemd, the journald daemon (also known as systemd-journal) is the alternative for the syslog utility, which is a system service that collects and stores logging data. It creates and maintains structured and indexed journals based on logging information that is received from the kernel, from user processes using the libc syslog() function, from standard and error output of system services, or using its native API. It implicitly collects numerous metadata fields for each log message in a secure way.
The systemd-journal service can be used with SELinux to increase security. SELinux controls processes by only allowing them to do what they were designed to do; sometimes even less, depending on the security goals of the policy writer. For example, SELinux prevents a compromised ntpd process from doing anything other than handle Network Time. However, the ntpd process sends syslog messages, so that SELinux would allow the compromised process to continue to send those messages. The compromised ntpd could format syslog messages to match other daemons and potentially mislead an administrator, or even worse, a utility that reads the syslog file into compromising the whole system.
The systemd-journal daemon verifies all log messages and, among other things, adds SELinux labels to them. It is then easy to detect inconsistencies in log messages and prevent an attack of this type before it occurs. You can use the journalctl utility to query logs of systemd journals. If no command-line arguments are specified, running this utility lists the full content of the journal, starting from the oldest entries. To see all logs generated on the system, including logs for system components, execute journalctl as root. If you execute it as a non-root user, the output will be limited only to logs related to the currently logged-in user.
Example 9.2. Listing Logs with journalctl
It is possible to use journalctl for listing all logs related to a particular SELinux label. For example, the following command lists all logs logged under the system_u:system_r:policykit_t:s0 label:
~]# journalctl _SELINUX_CONTEXT=system_u:system_r:policykit_t:s0
Oct 21 10:22:42 localhost.localdomain polkitd[647]: Started polkitd version 0.112
Oct 21 10:22:44 localhost.localdomain polkitd[647]: Loading rules from directory /etc/polkit-1/rules.d
Oct 21 10:22:44 localhost.localdomain polkitd[647]: Loading rules from directory /usr/share/polkit-1/rules.d
Oct 21 10:22:44 localhost.localdomain polkitd[647]: Finished loading, compiling and executing 5 rules
Oct 21 10:22:44 localhost.localdomain polkitd[647]: Acquired the name org.freedesktop.PolicyKit1 on the system bus Oct 21 10:23:10 localhost polkitd[647]: Registered Authentication Agent for unix-session:c1 (system bus name :1.49, object path /org/freedesktop/PolicyKit1/AuthenticationAgent, locale en_US.UTF-8) (disconnected from bus)
Oct 21 10:23:35 localhost polkitd[647]: Unregistered Authentication Agent for unix-session:c1 (system bus name :1.80 [/usr/bin/gnome-shell --mode=classic], object path /org/freedesktop/PolicyKit1/AuthenticationAgent, locale en_US.utf8)

For more information about journalctl, see the journalctl(1) manual page.