How to install and use Project Falco with M9sweeper to perform runtime security.

What is Falco?

The Falco Project is an open source runtime security tool originally built by Sysdig, Inc.

What does Falco do?

Falco uses system calls to secure and monitor a system, by:

  • Parsing the Linux system calls from the kernel at runtime
  • Asserting the stream against a powerful rules engine
  • Alerting when a rule is violated

For more information, see the Falco Documentation.

Setup and configuration

M9sweeper consumes HTTP requests from Falco in JSON format to present readable information in our UI.

To accomplish this, FalcoSideKick is deployed to give us more control over Falco’s output.

Configuration Notes:

  • Set the config.webhook.address value to your instance of M9sweeper.
  • Depending on how you are deploying M9sweeper, you might need to set config.webhook.checkcert=false.
  • We recommend setting the minimum priority to “error”. For more information see Minimum Priority

Deploy Falco

Add the Helm Chart Repo then install Falco:
helm repo add falcosecurity https://falcosecurity.github.io/charts
helm repo update
helm install falco falcosecurity/falco \
  --wait \
  --create-namespace \
  --namespace falco \
  --set falco.driver.enabled=true \
  --set-string falco.driver.kind=ebpf \
  --set falco.tty=true \
  --set falco.json_output=true \
  --set falco.json_include_output_property=true \
  --set falco.http_output.enabled=true \
  --set-string falco.http_output.url=http://falcosidekick:2801/ \
  --set falcosidekick.enabled=true \
  --set-string falcosidekick.config.webhook.address= 'https://M9SWEEPER/api/falco/CLUSTERID/create/?key=FALCO_API_KEY' \
  --set falcosidekick.config.webhook.checkcert=true \
  --set-string falcosidekick.config.webhook.minimumpriority='error'


  • Make sure to change the URL value to point to your M9sweeper instance as well as enter the CLUSTER_ID of whatever cluster it is supposed to save to.

  • We recommend using the EBPF driver, however, if you have issues please refer to to the installation page. Or you may try to use the kernel driver and set “falco.driver.kind=module” above.

Anomaly Detection:

  • Anomaly instrusion detection plays vital role in protecting networks against malicious activities.
  • It detects unusual behaviors or threats in cloud-native environments with about 100 out-of-the-box security rules.
  • Administrators can set up alert to receive email notification based on specific priority (severity) level(s) and email frequency that fits individual application needs.
  • Simply go to Falco > Settings

Here is an example of Non-authorized container namespace change violation:

rule: change_thread_namespace
desc: an attempt to change a program/thread\'s namespace (commonly done as a part of creating a container) by calling setns.
condition: syscall.type = setns and not proc.name in (docker, sysdig, dragent)
output: "Namespace change (setns) by unexpected program (user=%user.name command=%proc.cmdline container=%container.id)"
priority: WARNING

Minimum Priority

Falco Alerts can get very noisy. This option lets you choose which levels of alerts you want to include/exclude. Once set, all rules having a priority more severe than this level will be loaded/run. The default is an empty string and includes all alerts. The order is as follows:

  • Emergency
  • Alert
  • Critical
  • Error
  • Warning
  • Notice
  • Info
  • Debug

For more information on Priority please refer to Falco Docs - Priorities

Last modified August 29, 2023: Fixes for release pipeline (e99f051)