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This search will detect a spike in the number of API calls made to your cloud infrastructure environment by a user.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Security Analytics for AWS, Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Change
  • Last Updated: 2020-09-07
  • Author: David Dorsey, Splunk
  • ID: 0840ddf1-8c89-46ff-b730-c8d6722478c0


ID Technique Tactic
T1078.004 Cloud Accounts Defense Evasion, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, Initial Access
T1078 Valid Accounts Defense Evasion, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, Initial Access

| tstats count as api_calls values(All_Changes.command) as command from datamodel=Change where All_Changes.user!=unknown All_Changes.status=success by All_Changes.user _time span=1h 
| `drop_dm_object_name("All_Changes")` 
| eval HourOfDay=strftime(_time, "%H") 
| eval HourOfDay=floor(HourOfDay/4)*4 
| eval DayOfWeek=strftime(_time, "%w") 
| eval isWeekend=if(DayOfWeek >= 1 AND DayOfWeek <= 5, 0, 1) 
| join user HourOfDay isWeekend [ summary cloud_excessive_api_calls_v1] 
| where cardinality >=16 
| apply cloud_excessive_api_calls_v1 threshold=0.005 
| rename "IsOutlier(api_calls)" as isOutlier 
| where isOutlier=1 
| eval expected_upper_threshold = mvindex(split(mvindex(BoundaryRanges, -1), ":"), 0) 
| where api_calls > expected_upper_threshold 
| eval distance_from_threshold = api_calls - expected_upper_threshold 
| table _time, user, command, api_calls, expected_upper_threshold, distance_from_threshold 
| `abnormally_high_number_of_cloud_infrastructure_api_calls_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

You must be ingesting your cloud infrastructure logs. You also must run the baseline search Baseline Of Cloud Infrastructure API Calls Per User to create the probability density function.

Required field

  • _time
  • All_Changes.command
  • All_Changes.user
  • All_Changes.status

Kill Chain Phase

  • Actions on Objectives

Known False Positives


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
15.0 30 50 user $user$ has made $api_calls$ api calls, violating the dynamic threshold of $expected_upper_threshold$ with the following command $command$.


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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