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The following analytic detects UpdateTrail events in AWS CloudTrail logs. It identifies attempts to modify CloudTrail settings, potentially to evade logging. The detection leverages CloudTrail logs, focusing on UpdateTrail events where the user agent is not the AWS console and the operation is successful. This activity is significant because altering CloudTrail settings can disable or limit logging, hindering visibility into AWS account activities. If confirmed malicious, this could allow attackers to operate undetected, compromising the integrity and security of the AWS environment.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud

  • Last Updated: 2024-05-17
  • Author: Gowthamaraj Rajendran, Splunk
  • ID: 7c921d28-ef48-4f1b-85b3-0af8af7697db




ID Technique Tactic
T1562 Impair Defenses Defense Evasion
T1562.008 Disable or Modify Cloud Logs Defense Evasion
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
`cloudtrail` eventName = UpdateTrail eventSource = userAgent ! errorCode = success
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime values( as cloudtrail_name by src region eventName userAgent user_arn aws_account_id 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)`
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)`
| `aws_defense_evasion_update_cloudtrail_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: aws_defense_evasion_update_cloudtrail_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.

  • _time
  • eventName
  • eventSource
  • userAgent
  • aws_account_id
  • src
  • region

How To Implement

You must install Splunk AWS Add on and enable CloudTrail logs in your AWS Environment.

Known False Positives

While this search has no known false positives, it is possible that an AWS admin has updated cloudtrail logging. Please investigate this activity.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
90.0 100 90 User $user_arn$ has updated a cloudtrail logging for account id $aws_account_id$ from IP $src$

: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