Using Cloud Audit Logs with the Service Management API

This page describes the audit logs created by Service Management as part of Cloud Audit Logs.

Overview

Google Cloud services write audit logs to help you answer the questions, "Who did what, where, and when?" Your Google Cloud projects each contain only the audit logs for resources that are directly within the project. Other entities, such as folders, organizations, and billing accounts, each contain the audit logs for the entity itself.

For a general overview of Cloud Audit Logs, go to Cloud Audit Logs. For a deeper understanding of Cloud Audit Logs, review Understanding audit logs.

Cloud Audit Logs maintains three audit logs for each Google Cloud project, folder, and organization:

  • Admin Activity audit logs
  • Data Access audit logs
  • System Event audit logs

Service Management writes Admin Activity audit logs, which record operations that modify the configuration or metadata of a resource. You can't disable Admin Activity audit logs.

Only if explicitly enabled, Service Management writes Data Access audit logs. Data Access audit logs contain API calls that read the configuration or metadata of resources, as well as user-driven API calls that create, modify, or read user-provided resource data. Data Access audit logs do not record the data-access operations on resources that are publicly shared (available to All Users or All Authenticated Users) or that can be accessed without logging into Google Cloud.

Service Management writes System Event audit logs, containing log entries for Google Cloud administrative actions that modify the configuration of resources. System Event audit logs are enabled by Google systems; they aren't driven by direct user action.

You can't disable System Event audit logs.

Audited operations

The following summarizes which API operations correspond to each audit log type in Service Management :

In addition, System Event audit logs are written for some Service Management operations.

Audit log format

Audit log entries—which can be viewed in Stackdriver Logging using the Logs Viewer, the Stackdriver Logging API, or the gcloud command-line tool—include the following objects:

  • The log entry itself, which is an object of type LogEntry. Useful fields include the following:

    • logName contains the project identification and audit log type
    • resource contains the target of the audited operation
    • timeStamp contains the time of the audited operation
    • protoPayload contains the audited information
  • The audit logging data, which is an AuditLog object held in the protoPayload field of the log entry.

  • Optional service-specific audit information, which is a service-specific object held in the serviceData field of the AuditLog object. For details, go to Service-specific audit data.

For other fields in these objects, plus how to interpret them, review Understanding audit logs.

Log name

Cloud Audit Logs resource names indicate the project or other entity that owns the audit logs, and whether the log contains Admin Activity, Data Access, or System Event audit logging data. For example, the following shows log names for a project's Admin Activity audit logs and an organization's Data Access audit logs:

projects/[PROJECT_ID]/logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Factivity
organizations/[ORGANIZATION_ID]/logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Fdata_access

Service name

Service Management audit logs use the service name servicemanagement.googleapis.com.

For more details on logging services, go to Mapping services to resources.

Resource types

Service Management audit logs use the following resource types:

  • service_config
  • managed_service
  • service_rollout

For a full list, go to Monitored resource types.

Enabling audit logging

System Event audit logs are always enabled; you can't disable them.

Admin Activity audit logs are always enabled; you can't disable them.

Data Access audit logs are disabled by default and aren't written unless explicitly enabled (the exception is Data Access audit logs for BigQuery, which cannot be disabled).

For instructions on enabling some or all of your Data Access audit logs, go to Configuring Data Access logs.

The Data Access audit logs that you configure can affect your logs pricing in Stackdriver. Review the Pricing section on this page.

Audit log permissions

Cloud Identity and Access Management permissions and roles determine which audit logs you can view or export. Logs reside in projects and in some other entities including organizations, folders, and billing accounts. For more information, go to Understanding roles.

To view Admin Activity or System Event audit logs, you must have one of the following Cloud IAM roles in the project that contains your audit logs:

To view Data Access audit logs, you must have one of the following roles in the project that contains your audit logs:

If you are using audit logs from a non-project entity, such as an organization, then change the Project roles to suitable organization roles.

Viewing logs

You have several options for viewing your audit log entries:

Basic Viewer

You can use the Logs Viewer basic interface in the Cloud Console to retrieve your audit log entries. Do the following:

  1. Go to the Stackdriver Logging > Logs (Logs Viewer) page in the Cloud Console:

    Go to the Logs Viewer page

  2. Select an existing Google Cloud project at the top of the page, or create a new project.

  3. In the first drop-down menu, select the resource type whose audit logs you wish to view. You can select a specific resource or Global for all resources.

  4. In the second drop-down menu, select the log type you want to view: activity for Admin Activity audit logs,data_access for Data Access audit logs, and system_events for System Event audit logs.

    If none of these options are displayed, then there are no audit logs of that type available in the project.

Advanced Viewer

You can use the Logs Viewer advanced interface in the Cloud Console to retrieve your audit log entries. Do the following:

  1. Go to the Stackdriver Logging > Logs (Logs Viewer) page in the Cloud Console:

    Go to the Logs Viewer page

  2. Select an existing Google Cloud project at the top of the page, or create a new project.

  3. In the first drop-down menu, select the resource type whose audit logs you wish to view. You can select a specific resource or Global for all resources.

  4. Click the drop-down arrow (▾) at the far right of the search-query box and select Convert to advanced filter.

  5. Create a query that further specifies the log entries you want to view. To retrieve all audit logs in your project, add the following query. Supply a valid [PROJECT_ID] in each of the log names.

      logName = ("projects/[PROJECT_ID]/logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Factivity"
          OR "projects/[PROJECT_ID]/logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Fsystem_events"
          OR "projects/[PROJECT_ID]logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Fdata_access")
    

    For more details about queries, go to Advanced logs queries.

API

To look at your audit log entries using the Stackdriver Logging API:

  1. Go to the Try this API section in the documentation for the entries.list method.

  2. Put the following into the Request body part of the Try this API form. Clicking on this prepopulated form automatically fills the request body, but you will need to supply a valid [PROJECT_ID] in each of the log names.

      {
        "resourceNames": [
          "projects/[PROJECT_ID]"
        ],
        "pageSize": 5,
        "filter": "logName=(projects/[PROJECT_ID]/logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Factivity OR projects/[PROJECT_ID]/logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Fsystem_events OR projects/[PROJECT_ID]/logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Fdata_access)"
      }
    
  3. Click Execute.

For more details about queries, go to Advanced logs queries.

gcloud

To read your log entries using the gcloud command-line tool, run the following command. Supply a valid [PROJECT_ID] in each of the log names.

gcloud logging read "logName=(projects/[PROJECT_ID]/logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Factivity OR projects/[PROJECT_ID]/logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Fsystem_events OR projects/[PROJECT_ID]/logs/cloudaudit.googleapis.com%2Fdata_access)"

Go to Reading log entries for more information about using the gcloud command-line tool.

For a sample audit log entry and how to find the most important information in it, go to Understanding audit logs.

Exporting audit logs

You can export audit logs in the same way you export other kinds of logs. For details about how to export your logs, go to Exporting logs. Here are some applications of exporting audit logs:

  • To keep audit logs for a longer period of time or to use more powerful search capabilities, you can export copies of your audit logs to Cloud Storage, BigQuery, or Pub/Sub. Using Pub/Sub, you can export to other applications, other repositories, and to third parties.

  • To manage your audit logs across an entire organization, you can create aggregated export sinks that can export logs from any or all projects in the organization.

  • If your enabled Data Access audit logs are pushing your projects over their logs allotments, you can export and exclude the Data Access audit logs from Logging. For details, go to Excluding logs.

Pricing

Stackdriver Logging does not charge you for audit logs that cannot be disabled, including all Admin Activity and System Event audit logs. Stackdriver Logging charges you for Data Access audit logs that you explicitly request.

For more information on audit logs pricing, review Stackdriver pricing.

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