Building an Irrigation Power Controller

To complement the Raspberry Pi based Garden Controller I’ve designed and built, I decided to separate the irrigation valve and pump control onto a separate project and circuit board in order to make it more generically applicable. My intent is to make this Power Controller useful for any designer that has a computer capable of I2C communication.

Since this new Power Controller will be a generic controller that uses I2C communication, provides 24VAC for irrigation valves and also control of external power relays for two pumps, it needs to provide all it’s own power versus only relying on a 3.3v feed from the I2C host. I decided this will be the initial feature set:

  • Overall
  • Control of and power for five (5) standard 24VAC irrigation valves
  • Control of two (2) external 12VDC relays to drive 120VAC pumps (or any supply voltage controlled by the 12VDC relays)
  • Three (3) general purpose I/O lines, programmable for input or output
  • Optional AC frequency sense output to host computer
  • Inputs
  • 1x 120VAC xxA
  • 1x 3.3v I2C control bus (SCL, SDA)
  • 3x 5v generic I/O lines
  • Outputs
  • 5VDC 200mA max external
  • 12VDC 26mA max external
  • 5x 24VAC direct drive for valves
  • 2x 12VDC external relay for pump control
  • 3.3v interrupt line to host computer for AC frequency sensing

3D PCB View

PowerController v2.4.1 Board

Design and Prototype

I used Kicad schematic and PCB design tools to begin building a dedicated power controller board. Found there was a trade off between having all of the switching and power functions on the single board versus moving the 120VAC switching off board to dedicated power relays. Given the possible high VAC current requirement for switching pumps, I found using the external relays allowed me to substantially reduce the PCB size and width of traces. At the same time, using a transformer that could supply 24VAC directly to the irrigation valves would enable a compact design with minimal external components to the controller board. To offer maximum flexibility, I chose to add the ability to use a small number of the GPIO lines for either input or output along with a modest amount of external 3.3v, 5v and 12v power. The GPIO controller I chose was the MCP230017 which includes a built in I2C interface and two banks of 8 individually addressable I/O lines.

Due to the best valve relay choice and the fact that most of the external sensors I wanted to use, I chose to drive the MCP23017 at 5v although seems possible to also drive at 3.3v. For I2C and interrupt line to host interfaces I included 3.3v – 5v level converters.

v2.4.1 Schematic

For each of the relays we don’t need more than x mA so simple NPN 2N2222 transistors can be used to switch the relay coil voltage. Despite opting to use through-hole components versus surface mount so this board is easier to make for any hobbyists who use this design, I did want to reduce the component count and footprint where possible. Two areas include any pull-up or limiting resistors and all the kick-back diodes on all the switching transistors. DIP and SIP packages reduce both component count and board real estate.

Verification kick-back diodes working as intended

Power Supply Design

Since the Power Controller needs to provide power for the irrigation valves and external pump control relays, I started with the valve requirements. Need to have 24VAC available to drive up to five (5) valves. I chose to use professional grade RainBird x valves since I want reliable operation given the extensive irrigation I’m choosing to install. Given the in-rush and holding current required for each valve, the Hammond 183K24 transformer will suit given it’s 56VA maximum power factor.

Power Supply Specifications

  • Hammond 183K24 transformer 56VA max, 24VAC 2.33A max, 12VAC 4.66A max, 24VAC 2.33A max, 12VAC 4.66A max
  • 5VDC 400mA max 2W (200mA internal max, 200mA external max)
  • 12VDC  167mA max 2W (140mA internal max, 26mA external max)
  • 24VAC  1.5A at 5 valves, leaves 0.83A
  • Valve requirement is 0.3A in-rush, 0.23A holding current (5 valves = 1.5A in-rush, 1.15A holding current)
  • Valve power 24VAC x 1.5A = 36W (27.6W holding)

Output (Internal)

5VDC 400mA max

  ..  each relay 40mA .. 200mA all on x 5 VDC = 1W

  ..  200 mA max external supply = 2W

Output (External)

5x  24VAC xx A – direct drive for 24VAC valves

2x  12VDC xx A – indirect drive for external 12VDC 120VAC relays

1x  3.3v AC sense interrupt line

3x  5v I/O lines programmable input or output

External 120VAC relays

Tnisesm 2PCS Power Relay DC12V Coil, 30A SPDT(1NO 1NC) 120 VAC with Flange Mounting and 10 Quick Connect Terminals Wires Mini Relay NT90-DC12V-10X

  ..  70mA per coil .. 140mA x 12 VDC = 1.68W

Maximum power dissipation on LM340 without heatsink at 50C .. 2W

Other power dissipation guides: 10W enclosed, 20W vented with no heat sinks

Recommend no more than two (2) valves active simultaneously to limit dissipation in the enclosure that houses the PowerController.  Pumps can be run simultaneously with valves due to low current draw.

Printed Circuit Board Design

Imported the schematic design to the KiCad PCB Editor and was quickly able to setup board dimensions, component layout and solder zones. Chose a two layer board to keep costs down, even though I chose to use a PCB manufacturer stateside. OSHPark is a great organization to work with that produces top quality boards. General design guidelines I followed include assigning hot or neutral to each of the two layers as well as north-south or east-west paths. Even following those guidelines I did need to use a small number of vias to route a path across a layer’s traces.

Trace view of printed circuit board

I heavily used the KiCad PCB Editor 3D view feature to help validate component placement on the circuit board. Most of the components were sources from Mouser Electronics, which has links to component symbols and footprints usable with most electronic design software (EDS) packages including KiCad. Where there wasn’t a component library available, typically you can request a part library be created. Samac will generate a zip file that contains symbol, footprint and even 3D model.


Assembly of the board started with all the low profile components to make it easier to lay flat and hold the components in place while soldering.


Once all the low power components were installed I ran some simple bench tests by feeding 3.3v and 5v to the power via the I/O block intended to provide power output once the board is completed. Only the passive components were plugged into their respective sockets so voltage tests and relay tests could be done.

Both Valve 1 and Pump 1 were successfully activated via the manual test buttons. Since there wasn’t any high voltage or on-board power yet, I determined the Valve 1 test was successful by running a resistance check from V1+ terminal screw to a 24VAC FUSED pad and V1- terminal screw to a LV NEUT pad. All the other terminal screws were open/off to both their respective 24VAC and LV NEUT feeds.

Pump 1 activated by push button successfully provided 12VDC to the Pump 1 screw terminals.

Active Component Testing

I removed all power and installed the MCP23017 IC then connected the 3V3, SDA, SCL and GND terminal block pins to the test Raspberry Pi. I also ran 5VDC from the Raspberry to the 5VDC I/O terminal block since the power supply components are not soldered in yet.

Powered on the Raspberry Pi and saw the 3V3 and 5V LEDs light up. Ran an i2cdetect to test connection to the PowerController:

Power Controller Software

I chose to use the MCP23017 integrated GPIO controller due to the inclusive and compact hardware (simple single 20 pin DIP) and the extensive Python libraries available to simplify coding for status and control.

At I have developed a Python based control script
–i2caddress: I2C address of the PowerController board, default 0x24
–testcount: Number of test cycles to run, default 3
–testontime: On time for tests (sec), default 1
–syslog: Send syslog status messages
–testofftime: Off time for tests (sec), default 1
–verbose: Print progress messages
–relay: [‘valve1’, ‘valve2’, ‘valve3’, ‘valve4’, ‘valve5’, ‘pump1’, ‘pump2’, ‘test’, ‘all’]
Name of relay to operate on
–action: [‘on’, ‘off’]
Action to perform on relay. Note relay ‘all’ can only accept action ‘off’

While there is no limitation in the control script to prohibit multiple relays engaged at the same time, it is recommend to have no more than two (2) valves active simultaneously to limit heat dissipation in the enclosure that houses the PowerController.  Both pumps can be run simultaneously with valves due to low current draw of the control relays.

Nepal Trek Spring 2022 Tsum Valley

My brother John and I have joined a group of fellow trekkers that are undertaking a charity trip to the Tsum Valley in Nepal.

Help for the Tsum Valley

Our friends at the Compassion Project have visited Nepal and the Tsum Valley many times and have written books on the wonderful people and locale.  Coming to understand the challenges of training and retaining health care workers and teachers in the Tsum area resulted in our group deciding to not only do a spring 2022 trek through the Tsum Valley but also to raise funds to improve both health care and education opportunities.  Lacking viable healthcare and education forces Tsum residents to travel to larger towns or even to Kathmandu.  The travel is long, expensive and has long lasting negative effects on the Tsum community.  We have an opportunity to provide substantial help and improve the conditions of these Tsum residents.

We are raising funding for two primary goals:  Improve healthcare and also education opportunities for the Tsum Valley.  Specifically, healthcare funds go to: (1) purchasing medicine and medical supplies, and (2) nurse’s salary.  Education funds go to: (1) teacher’s salary, (2) school supplies, and most important (3) our hot lunch program where every student gets a healthy hot lunch at school.  It is difficult for the Tsum valley to recruit and retain both healthcare workers and teachers due to the rural nature.  This fundraising effort will encourage education of Tsum locals that wish to remain/return to Tsum, helping to improve the community.

We have setup a fund raising site on CanadaHelps to direct funds into the Compassion Project.

Annual Compassion Health Expenses USDAnnual Compassion Education Expenses USD
Staff (2x Health workers, 1x Office)$9,525Teacher$2,253
Medicine$4,500Hot Lunch Program$7,040
Office$1,300352/yr * 18 Students + staff
Transportation$1,500Cook / Grounds Manager$1,950
Monastery Care Taker$4,150School Supplies$1,000
Compassion Project Education
Compassion Project Medical

Fund raising goal: $8,000 Current funds raised: $2,850

About Tsum Valley

Tsum Valley is a sacred Tibetan Buddhist region and one of the hidden gems of Nepal. With the stunning backdrop of Sringi, Ganesh and Budda Himal mountain ranges, this serene valley is rich in ancient art, culture and religion. It is home to unique and important monasteries and trails are lined with artistic chortens and mani walls made of stone slabs inscribed with Buddhist prayers.

Trek Picture Gallery

Trek Timeline

Trek Day 1

Trek Day -1

We tried very hard to stay up and awake until at least 9:30 so we could adjust and were moderately successful. Didn’t wake up until 2am then realized it was unexpectedly quiet and peaceful. No street noise, no crowds, no air conditioners. Turns out we were on the far side of the Stupa from main Kathmandu and surrounded by the monastery that also houses the local Kathmandu Llama so very peaceful. Helps when you can look on the Llamas residence from your hotel!

Hit a local Momo (local appetizer like a dumpling) cafe for a quick lunch bite before visiting the Durbar Square next to several temples and the Palace Museum.

The temples and the palace sustained significant damage in the 2015 earthquake and several countries have provided funding and technical expertise to help repair the damage to these ancient buildings. Damage to the ancient intricately carved wood columns is being done by carefully removing the damaged sections and replacing with pieces hand carved to match the original damaged parts.

Trek Day -2

The 31 hours of travel from Texas to Kathmandu was not as rough as I would have expected. Qatar Airlines was a refreshing experience even though I have used business class internationally before. Doha Hamad International Airport was spacious and modern. The lounge was a pleasant upgrade and made the six hour layover go quickly. After a chaotic but simple immigration process we were met by Tanzin and Tashi within the huge throng of arrivals, piled into the car and off into the morning Kathmandu traffic.

Hotel is close to the largest Stupa temple in Kathmandu. After walking around the Boudha Stupa we got a car to Patan to see the temples and palace. The traffic and skilled driver navigation and negotiation of massive traffic was almost as fun as seeing the temples. In the palace there was a display of a couple dozen pictures of the various valleys and the devastating impact of climate change.

Trek -1 Week

  • Final pack! We ship out this week. Starting to get real. Looking forward to getting to Kathmandu. Even though we’ll be there a couple days ahead of the crew, we have lots lined up to see.

Trek -4 Weeks

  • Get final vaccines and obsess over equipment

Trek -5 Weeks

  • Finalize equipment and trial pack
  • Realize I’m probably not training enough

Trek -3 Months

  • Purchase most of my equipment (go REI and thank goodness for member dividends!)
  • Start pack and hill training
  • Obtain CDC recommended vaccinations

Trek -4 Months

  • Made the decision to join the Compassion Project Nepal Trek Spring 2022
  • Purchase airfare
  • Initial video conference calls with the organizer and trek group (10 of us)


Quotes that I’ve collected:

  • Rule 2: Stop getting distracted by things that have nothing to do with your goals. – Robert Downy Jr.
  • In God we trust. All others we verify. – US Airforce
  • Making a decision to live congruently with your values is not quitting. – Tony Robbins
  • Close some doors not because of pride incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere. – Paulo Coelho
  • Patience. Trust. Knowledge. Wisdom. Balance. Kanji tattoos I have and attributes I strived for during my MSc degree … and in life currently. – Allen Pomeroy
  • Workaround: Dont pound on the mouse like a wild monkey. – Sun Microsystems bug ticket
  • Definition of a security consultant: One who wont pass the buck … because he or she will refuse to accept it to begin with. – Jeff N
  • Securing an environment of Windows platforms from abuse – external or internal – is akin to trying to install sprinklers in a fireworks factory where smoking on the job is permitted. – Gene Spafford (to organizers of a workshop on insider misuse)
  • Security is always excessive until its not enough. – Robbie Sinclair, Head of Security, Country Energy, NSW Australia
  • Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius
  • Always tell the truth. Then you don’t have to remember anything. – Mark Twain

Executing an Effective Security Program

In today’s global Internet connected and reliant IT environment, the issue of corporate networks becoming compromised is a fact. Defense in depth is still and important design pattern, but organizations with even relatively mature capabilities are relying on detection since prevention is simply not enough anymore. Whereas several years ago we used to speak about prevention of externally facing application attacks through coding flaws that lead to SQL Injection and buffer overflow attacks, now successful attackers have moved onto the weakest link: users. Compromise of user credentials now comprises 96% of the successful attacks on organizations. Why go through the brute force and difficult path of application compromised when the attackers can simply conduct a successful spear phishing attack on individuals in the organization?

This is where advanced detection comes in. User and Entity Behavior Analysis leads to high quality alerts regarding anomalous behavior that is exhibited by accounts where the user has been successfully compromised. Same detection capability exists for detecting users that are exceeding their authority, typically classed as Insider Threat – as well the machine learning can also detect systems (entities) that are behaving in a way that is antithetical to it’s normal behavior. Think of Point of Sale or healthcare Internet of Things devices that have been compromised and there aren’t specific user identities that can be used to profile normal behavior.

Of all these technologies that can be deployed, the foundation must be a sound information security program that puts policies, standards, guidelines and procedures in place that authorizes and supports the controls. The Security, Cyber, and IA Professionals ( group have pulled together a concise document that outlines how to build an Effective Security Program.

Installation notes for ArcSight ESM 6.9.1 on CentOS 7.1


Installation of HPE ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager (ESM) 6.9.1 on CentOS 7.1 is substantially easier with engineering adding a “pre-installation” setup script to this version.  For a smooth installation, there are still a few steps we need to take .. outlined below.

  1. Base install of CentOS 7.1, minimal packages but add Compatibility Libraries. Be sure you use the CentOS-7-x86_64-Minimal-1503-01.iso revision since more recent releases of CentOS have other quirks that may make the ESM install or execution fail. Ensure /tmp has at least 5GB of free space and /opt/arcsight has at least 50GB of usable space – I’d suggest going with at least:
    • /boot – 500MB
    • / – 8GB+
    • swap – 6GB+
    • /opt – 85GB+
  2. Ensure some needed (and helpful) utilities are installed, since the minimal distribution does not include these and unfortunately the ESM install script just assumes they are there .. if they aren’t, the install will eventually fail.
    • yum install -y bind-utils pciutils tzdata zip unzip
    • Edit /etc/selinux/config and disable (or set to permissive) .. the CORR storage engine install will fail with “enforcing” mode of SElinux.  I’ll update this at some point with how to leave SElinux in enforcing mode.
    • Disable the netfilter firewall (again, at some point I’ll update this with the rules needed to leave netfilter enabled).
    • systemctl disable firewalld;  systemctl mask firewalld
    • Install and configure NTP
    • yum install -y ntpdate ntp
    • (optionally edit /etc/ntp.conf to select the NTP servers you want your new ESM system to use)
    • systemctl enable ntpd; systemctl start ntpd
    • Edit /etc/rsyslog.conf and enable forwarding of syslog events to your friendly neighborhood syslog SmartConnector (optional, but otherwise how do you monitor your ESM installation?) .. you can typically just uncomment the log handling statements at the bottom of the file and fill in your syslog SmartConnector hostname or IP address. Note the forward statement I use only has a single at sign – indicating UDP versus TCP designated by two at signs:
    • $ActionQueueFileName fwdRule1 # unique name prefix for spool files
      $ActionQueueMaxDiskSpace 1g   # 1gb space limit (use as much as possible)
      $ActionQueueSaveOnShutdown on # save messages to disk on shutdown
      $ActionQueueType LinkedList   # run asynchronously
      $ActionResumeRetryCount -1    # infinite retries if host is down
      # remote host is: name/ip:port, e.g., port optional
      #*.* @@remote-host:514
      *.* @
    • Restart rsyslog after updating the conf file
    • systemctl restart rsyslog
    • Optionally add some packages that support trouble shooting or other non-ESM functions you run on the ESM server, such as system monitoring
    • yum install -y mailx tcpdump
  3. Untar the ESM distribution tar ball, ensure the files are owned by the “arcsight” user, then run the Tools/ to adjust the maximum open files and other requirements that we used to manually update in previous releases.  NOTE: in 6.9.1 there are some previous “shadow” requirements that are now enforced (eg. you don’t get to change) .. such as the application owner account must be “arcsight”, the installation directory must be “/opt/arcsight”.  The “” script will check to see if there already is an “arcsight” user and if not, will create it.  I usually manually create all the common users on my various systems since I want them to have the same uid / gid across all my systems.
  4. Run the Tools/ script as “root” user
    • cd Tools
    • ./
  5. Run the ESM install as the “arcsight” user
    • ./ArcSightESMSuite.bin
  6. Download content from the HPE ArcSight Marketplace at
  7. Install your ESM 6.9.1 console on Windows, Linux or Mac OS X .. although the web interface is much richer in the last couple releases, you’ll still need to use the console for content creation and editing.
  8. Optionally extend the session timeout period for the web interface.  There still isn’t an easy setting to do this in the GUI, so get into command line on your ESM server and edit or add the following lines .. which indicate the timeout period in seconds.  The default is around five (5) minutes. You should be able to edit these configuration files as the “arcsight” user, but I typically restart the services as “root”.
    • Edit /opt/arcsight/manager/config/
    • service.session.timeout=28800
    • Edit /opt/arcsight/logger/userdata/logger/user/logger/
    • Restart the ESM services .. I typically run this as “root”
    • /etc/init.d/arcsight_services stop
    • /etc/init.d/arcsight_services start
  9. Optionally configure the manager to display a static banner at the top of each console interface so you can have multiple consoles open and know what manager each is connected to (cool!):
    • Edit /opt/arcsight/manager/config/ and add server.staticbanner.* properties (backgroundcolor, textcolor, text). Both backgroundcolor and textcolor take black, blue, cyan, gray, green, magenta, orange, pink, red, white, yellow as acceptable arguments. Text is the identifier you would like that manager to display, such as “super-awesome-production-box”
    • server.staticbanner.textcolor=green
    • server.staticbanner.backgroundcolor=black
    • server.staticbanner.text=esm691
    • Restart the ESM manager service .. I typically run this as “root”
    • /etc/init.d/arcsight_services stop manager
    • /etc/init.d/arcsight_services start manager
  10. If you are going to install any SmartConnectors on the system hosting your Enterprise Security Manager, check out my post regarding required libraries for CentOS and RedHat, before you try to run the Linux SmartConnector install. This includes any Model Import Connectors (MIC) or forwarding connectors (SuperConnectors).

BlockSync Project

Welcome to the BlockSync Project

This project aims to provide an efficient way to provide mutual protection from deemed bad actors that attack Internet facing servers. The result will be an open source set of communication tools that use established protocols for high speed and light weight transmission of attacker information to a variable number of targets (unicasting to a possibly large number of hosts).


There are many open source firewall technologies in widespread use, most based on either packet filter (pf) or netfilter (iptables). There is much technology that provides network clustering (for example, OpenBSD’s CARP and pfsync; netfilter; corosync and pacemaker), however it’s difficult for disparate (loosely coupled) servers to communicate the identity of attackers in real time to a trusted community of (tightly coupled) peers. Servers or firewalls that use state-table replication techniques, such as pfsync or netfilter, have a (near) real-time view of pass/block decisions other members have made. There needs to be a mechanism for loosely coupled servers to share block decisions in a similar fashion.

Our goal is to create an open source tool for those of us that have multiple Internet facing servers to crowd source information that will block attackers via the firewall technology of choice (OpenBSD/FreeBSD pf/pfSense, iptables, others).

Project Page

All project files are still private yet, but when we publish to GitHub or SourceForge, this section will be updated.


We have published a GoFundMe page to acquire more lab equipment here at

Using the ArcSight ESM Console to Create Replay Files

HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager (ESM) has some built-in capabilities to generate event files suitable for use with the ArcSight Test SmartConnector.  These replay files can be used to test functioning of new ESM content (Dashboards, Datamonitors, Filters, Rules, Queries, Trends, Reports, etc).  The Test connector has some very powerful features including the ability to replay the captured data as is, or to update the date/time stamp on each event to make the data appear as current versus historical data.  The Test connector can also run multiple replay files into it’s configured destinations simultaneously and at a variable rate suitable to support initial content development as well as high speed, high volume performance testing.

Preparing to Generate Replay File

There are multiple ways to generate replay files, but in this post we will focus on use of the ESM console application software to generate the replay file from selected events already existing in the ESM instance.  In order to constrain the events to a selected subset, we need to have a filter prepared to chose the appropriate events.

1-ReplayFileGen  2-ReplayFileGen

For this example, a filter named router4 will be used, where it simply selects all events that have been generated by device name router4 or device address

Generating the Replay File

On the workstation or system where the ESM Console software is installed, start the replay file generator with a replayfilegen argument to the arcsight script in the bin directory.  If the console is installed on Linux or Mac OS X, simply use ./arcsight replayfilegen as the command.


When the replayfilegen tool starts, it will display a GUI that allows the user to select the target filename to be generated, the timeframe to query and the filter to select the event data.


Note that a relative time frame may be specified by using relative start and end time operators – these will calculate the absolute time frames needed.


Once the collection has started, there will be a progress display showing the generation of the replay file.


Deploying and Using the Replay File

Now the replay file has been generated, the user can simply copy the file to the current directory of the Test SmartConnector. There can be multiple replay files in the current directory and all will be displayed when the Test connector GUI starts.


The user can select which replay files are to be read and events forwarded to the Test connector destinations.  Any or all of the replay files may be selected, making the Test connector ideal for assisting in content development for multiple use cases.


Once the desired replay files are selected, the events will be replayed to the configured destinations at the rate specified by the user, as soon as the Continue button is pressed.


The Test connector will run through all the event data in each selected replay file and stop. By default there will only be one pass through the data files and no event data is altered. ESM Manager Receipt Time will show the current date/time however the original timestamps will be present in the event data.  The event rate can be changed dynamically while the replay is in progress, so for example, some basic event data could be played to the destinations for some time then the user could adjust the event rate substantially higher to speed the event ingest to the destinations.  This is useful for testing use cases where there may be denial of service or worm outbreak detection that is sensitive to event rates.

There are many run-time options that can be set for the Test Connector, including the ability to loop on the replay files, replay the event data with current time stamps and other event handling options.

ESM ActiveList Import Script

<shamelessly copied from Konrad Kaczkowski’s post on iRock>

ESM Active List Import script –

Version 20

Active List import script (PYTHON) – Version 0.6


Fixed special character encoding in active list import over XML (tested on symantec GIN source adv_ip URLs)

Symbol Description ArcSight Active List MAP in XML
Double quotes (or speech marks) &quot;
& Ampersand \A
+ Comma \C
< Less than (or open angled bracket) \L
> Greater than (or close angled bracket) \G
\ Backslash \\
| Vertical bar \|


Fixed temporary files removing from /tmp directory – if AL was huge can use all /tmp space

Fixed verification of access to archive.log [ tree = ElementTree.parse(TEMP_FILE) …  IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: ‘/tmp/AL_IN_ESM_INVALID’ ]

Fixed TEMP_FILE access verification – if no write rights generate new variable for TEMP_FILE

Things to add:

  • check capacity of Active List and compare to import file
  • check activelist.max_capacity and activelist.max_columns from
  • check activelist.max_capacity and activelist.max_columns from

THIS SCRIPT IS AFTER BETA TESTS on RedHat 6.5 with Python 2.6

Test scenario at the end of post

How does it work:

  • check if import csv file exist
  • check connectivity with ESM (validate if available, if password is correct and account is not vlocked)
  • check if Active List exist on ESM  [ use /opt/arcsight/manager bin/arcsight archive -action export command ]
  • check if number of columns from Active List is the same as number of columns from csv file
  • prepare xml file/files to import
  • import xml file   [ use /opt/arcsight/manager/bin/arcsight archive -action import command ]
  • if syslog server is specified send CEF events to syslog server
  • if option -c was set – delete successfully imported files – otherise change name to *.xml.done


./ -r 20 -l “/All Active Lists/BCC/al_IP” -f /opt/asset_import/al_IP.csv -m ManagerName -u UserName -p UserPass -s -P 514 -d -c

where parameters are:


-r 10                      [ numers of rows per single import ]
-l Actve List           [ avtive list full URI in format “/All Avtive Lists/customer/malware” ]
-f filename             [ if file contains space – use filename in ” QUITAS ” ]
-m ESM manager   [ HP ArcSight ESM manager FQDN ]
-u ESM user          [ HP ArcSight ESM import user ]


-p ESM user pass  [ HP ArcSoght ESM user password ]
-s Syslog Server    [ Syslog server ]
-P Syslog Port       [ Syslog server port ]
-c                          [ clean (delete) imported files ]
-d                          [ debugging – display detailed information from processing ]


-h  [ help ]
-v  [ version ]


# Possible reconfiguration options:
# Place where are stored xml files for import: line 66
# export_dlobal_dir = “/opt/asset_import/active list
# Device interface name: line 89
# CEF_dvc = get_ip(‘eth0‘)


Test scenarios

Test scenario 1:

– Active List 1 [ size: 400000, columns: 4, Type: Event-based ]
Import rows: 331776
Batch size ( -r ) : 100000
Time of import :
– processing time: 20 s
– importing: 4 x 12 s

Test scenario 2:

– Active List 2 [ size: 1200000, columns: 1, Type: Field-based ]
Import rows: 1100000
Batch size ( -r ) : 200000
Time of import :
– processing time: 95 s
– importing: 6 x 45 s

When Batch Size [ -r ] was set to 300k import failed.

Below ESM Active Channel

ESM ActiveChannel


How To Increase ArcSight ESM Command Center GUI Timeout

In the appliance versions of most ArcSight products, there is the ability to set the user session timeout period. Typically this defaults to somewhere between five (5) and 15 minutes – good for a default but incredibly annoying for any real user.  In ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager (ESM), there is no such GUI configuration that allows modification of the user session timeout – so this is what has worked for me:

Set ArcSight Command Center (ACC) timeout greater than 900 seconds (15 minutes) – set to 28800 seconds (8 hours)
vi /opt/arcsight/manager/config/
/sbin/service arcsight_services stop all
/sbin/service arcsight_services start all

Default is 600 seconds = 5 minutes.

In 6.5, 6.5.1 and 6.8 you also need to add the following for the Logger interface in ESM:

vi /opt/arcsight/logger/userdata/logger/user/logger/
/sbin/service arcsight_services stop all
/sbin/service arcsight_services start all

Default is 600 seconds = 5 minutes.

Yes, eight (8) hours may seem like a long time, so chose what is appropriate for your site.  🙂

Common ArcSight Command Line Operations

Here are a number of command line operations that are frequently needed within the ArcSight ecosystem.

Export Enterprise Security Manager Certificate without a GUI
Use for ESM 6 or later.
Lookup the manager certificate details and alias name by running a list operation:
arcsight keytool -store clientcerts -list | grep manager
self-arcsight-manager-esm6c, Feb 20, 2013, trustedCertEntry,
Export the certificate by running an export operation with the certificate alias name:
arcsight keytool -store clientcerts -exportcert -alias self-arcsight-manager-esm6c -file /home/arcsight/manager.cer
The manager certificate can then be imported into Logger via the web interface or into the cacerts certificate store for a SmartConnector.

Launch SmartConnector Keytool GUI

To launch the keytool GUI for editing the certificate store used by a specific connector, use the following syntax, where … refers to the installation directory of the SmartConnector:

cd .../current/bin
./arcsight agent keytoolgui

Send syslog events via SmartConnector

To replay syslog events from a flat file to a syslog daemon destination, use the following syntax, where … refers to the installation directory of the SmartConnector:

cd /opt/agents/syslog-udp-1514/current/bin
./arcsight agent runjava com.arcsight.agent.loadable._PerfTestSyslog -H -P 1514 -f ~arcsight/udp.txt -x 50

Required Parameters:
-H Host where packets will be sent to
-P Port where packets will be sent to

Optional Parameters:
-d Source IP address (
-f syslog-data-file
-x Max. rate (5000)

-h help – Get help for this command
-m multiple devices – Simulate multiple devices
-s sequential – Use sequence numbers as time
-t use raw TCP instead of UDP

See also: How to replay syslog events using the performance testing feature of ArcSight SmartConnectors and Creating event replay files for ArcSight SmartConnectors

Send SNMP events via SmartConnector

To replay SNMP events from a flat file to a SNMP daemon destination, use the following syntax, where … refers to the installation directory of the SmartConnector (note it does not have to be a SNMP SmartConnector):

cd /opt/agents/syslog-udp-1514/current/bin
./arcsight agent runjava com.arcsight.agent.loadable._PerfTestSyslog -H -P 162 -f ~arcsight/snmp.txt

Required Parameters:
-H Host where packets will be sent to
-P Port where packets will be sent to

Optional Parameters:
-d Source IP address (
-f SNMP file to read
-x Max. rate (5000)

-h help – Get help for this command
-m multiple devices – Simulate multiple devices
-s sequential – Use sequence numbers as time

See also: Creating event replay files for ArcSight SmartConnectors