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In Splunk Enterprise versions below 9.0.5, 8.2.11, and 8.1.14, a low-privilege user with access to the Splunk App for Lookup File Editing can, with a specially crafted web request, trigger a path traversal exploit that can then be used to read and write to restricted areas of the Splunk installation directory, including but not limited to the password hash file for the instance.

  • Type: Hunting
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise

  • Last Updated: 2023-05-11
  • Author: Rod Soto, Eric McGinnis
  • ID: 8ed58987-738d-4917-9e44-b8ef6ab948a6




ID Technique Tactic
T1083 File and Directory Discovery Discovery
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
`splunkda` uri_query=*lookup_file* 
| table clientip uri_query lookup_file owner namespace  version 
| stats count by clientip namespace lookup_file uri_query 
| `splunk_path_traversal_in_splunk_app_for_lookup_file_edit_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: splunk_path_traversal_in_splunk_app_for_lookup_file_edit_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.

Required fields

List of fields required to use this analytic.

  • clientip
  • uri_query
  • event_message
  • lookup_file
  • owner
  • method
  • user

How To Implement

This detection does not require you to ingest any new data. The detection does require the ability to search the _internal index. This detection is meant for on premise environments, and if executed on internet facing servers without a WAF may produce a lot of results. This detection will not work against obfuscated path traversal requests.

Known False Positives

This search may find additional path traversal exploitation attempts or malformed requests.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
40.0 50 80 Path traversal exploitation attempt from $clientip$

:information_source: The Risk Score is calculated by the following formula: Risk Score = (Impact * Confidence/100). Initial Confidence and Impact is set by the analytic author.


Test Dataset

Replay any dataset to Splunk Enterprise by using our tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

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