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The following analytic detects attempts to perform a denial of service (DoS) attack through investigation attachments in Splunk Enterprise Security (ES) versions below 7.1.2. It leverages internal Splunk logs, specifically monitoring the splunkd_investigation_rest_handler for error statuses related to investigation objects. This activity is significant because it can render the Investigation feature inaccessible, disrupting incident response and forensic analysis. If confirmed malicious, this attack could prevent security teams from effectively managing and investigating security incidents, leading to prolonged exposure and potential data breaches.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise Security

  • Last Updated: 2024-05-29
  • Author: Rod Soto, Eric McGinnis, Chase Franklin
  • ID: bb85b25e-2d6b-4e39-bd27-50db42edcb8f




ID Technique Tactic
T1499 Endpoint Denial of Service Impact
Kill Chain Phase
  • Actions On Objectives
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
`splunkd_investigation_rest_handler` status=error object=investigation 
| stats min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime values(status) as status values(msg) as msg values(id) as investigation_id by user 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `splunk_es_dos_through_investigation_attachments_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: splunk_es_dos_through_investigation_attachments_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.

  • user
  • status
  • msg
  • id
  • object

How To Implement

This search requires access to internal indexes, only affects Enterprise Security versions below 7.1.2.

Known False Positives

This search will show the exact DoS event via error message and investigation id. The error however does not point exactly at the uploader as any users associated with the investigation will be affected. Operator must investigate using investigation id the possible origin of the malicious upload. Attack only affects specific investigation not the investigation manager.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
100.0 100 100 Denial of Service detected at Splunk ES affecting $user$

: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

source | version: 2