6. Configuration

Aurora uses the YAML format for its configuration file. All values set in the config file can also be used as command line flags.

There are two modes of operation:

  1. Aurora started directly from the command line, optionally using a config passed with the --config / -c flag

  2. Aurora started as a service (see chapter Installation) for more details) with a config file located in C:\Program Files\Aurora-Agent\agent-config.yml

6.1. Configuration Presets

To facilitate the use of Aurora, four configuration files are part of the Aurora package:

  • Standard (agent-config-standard.yml)

  • Reduced (agent-config-reduced.yml)

  • Minimal (agent-config-minimal.yml)

  • Intense (agent-config-intense.yml)

An installation that uses the preset named "reduced" would look like this:

C:\aurora>aurora-agent.exe --install -c agent-config-reduced.yml

The configuration presets effect the following settings:

Affected Setting





Deactivated Sources


Raw Disk Access,

Kernel Handles,

Create Remote Thread,

Process Access,

Image Loads


Raw Disk Access,

Kernel Handles,

Create Remote Thread,

Process Access


Raw Disk Access,

Kernel Handles,

Create Remote Thread

CPU Limit

20 %

30 %

35 %

100 %

Process Priority





Minimum Reporting Level





Deactivated Modules

LSASS Dump Detector,


LSASS Dump Detector


Intense preset uses the most system resources and can put the system under heavy load, especially if a process accesses many registry keys in a short amount of time.

We recommend using this preset only on a very selective set of systems or in cases in which maximum detection is required.

6.1.1. Custom Profiles

If you need a more specialized configuration than these predefined ones, you can also create your own configuration for maximal adaptability.

6.2. Output Options

The following output options are available

  • Windows Eventlog (default)

  • Log file

  • UDP target

  • TCP target

Output is usually formatted in a human readable way (with KEY: value pairs). For machine ingestion, using --json is recommended, which changes the format to JSON structs.

6.2.1. ASGARD Analysis Cockpit

Whenever you install an ASGARD Agent, the controlled Aurora Agent Services gets its configuration automatically. In a default setup, all logs generated by an Aurora Agent will be relayed via an ASGARD to an Analysis Cockpit system.

6.2.2. Windows Eventlog

By default Aurora writes its event into the Windows event log "Application". To review the events use the Windows "EventViewer". Make sure to check the "Details" tab to see all fields and values.

Aurora Events in Windows Eventlog

6.2.3. UDP / TCP Targets

UDP or TCP log targets can be specified via the --udp-target and --tcp-target options. These options take an argument in the form host:port, e.g. myloggingsystem.internal:8443.

6.2.4. Log File

A log file can be specified using --logfile. By default, no log file is written.

The log file is automatically rotated by Aurora once more than --log-size bytes have been written to it (default is 10MB). --log-rotate can be used to specify the number of log rotations that are retained (defaults to 7).

Log rotation can be disabled by setting --log-size to 0.

6.3. Process Exclusions

To exclude specific processes from analysis, you can configure Aurora to ignore all events from specific image paths.

In order to do so, the excluded images must be specified (as regular expressions) in a file that is passed to --process-excludes. By default, config\process-excludes.cfg is used. This file contains further examples on how to specify the excludes.

Adding the expressions in the file results in

  1. Lower CPU load caused by the exclusion of the process

  2. No more matches on events generated by the excluded process

The process exclusion file is loaded at startup. If you change the file, you'll need to restart Aurora to apply those changes.

Please be aware that adding process exclusions can cause malware that uses process hollowing or similar techniques to mask themselves as an excluded process to go unreported.

6.3.1. Exclusion Examples

To get get a full list of high volume event sources, use the following command:

aurora-agent-64.exe --status --trace

By process:
    866420 events from C:\Program Files (x86)\NoisyService\serv.exe
    66420 events from C:\Windows\System32\svchost.exe
    11369 events from C:\Program Files\Microsoft VS Code\Code.exe

You identify the first entry in the list as the top speaker that you'd like to exclude from the observation. Accordingly, the exclusion should look like this:

C:\\Program Files \(x86\)\\NoisyService\\serv\.exe

The expressions are applied:

  • as contains, so there is no need to add .* at the beginning or the end of it

  • case-sensitive

Make sure that escape every character that has a meaning in regular expressions.

This CyberChef recipe can be used for the regular expression escaping.

6.4. False Positive Filtering

When encountering false positives or known anomalies, besides reporting them, you can also exclude them using a false positive filter file. By default, config\false-positives.cfg is used.

The file passed should contain a regular expression per line; any log lines where any of these false positive regexps matches will not be logged.

If you want to exclude all events from a specific process, process exclusions might be a better choice than a false positive filter since they also cancel any analysis on those events; see Process Exclusions for more details.