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This search looks for AWS CloudTrail events where a user is making successful API calls to view/update/delete the existing password policy in an AWS organization. It is unlikely for a regular user to conduct this operation. These events may potentially be malicious, adversaries often use this information to gain more understanding of the password defenses in place and exploit them to increase their attack surface when a user account is compromised.

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

  • Last Updated: 2023-01-26
  • Author: Bhavin Patel, Splunk
  • ID: aee4a575-7064-4e60-b511-246f9baf9895




ID Technique Tactic
T1201 Password Policy Discovery Discovery
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
`cloudtrail` eventName IN ("UpdateAccountPasswordPolicy","GetAccountPasswordPolicy","DeleteAccountPasswordPolicy") errorCode=success 
| stats count values(eventName) as eventName values(userAgent) min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by eventSource aws_account_id errorCode  awsRegion userIdentity.principalId user_arn src_ip 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)`  
| `aws_password_policy_changes_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: aws_password_policy_changes_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
  • userAgent
  • errorCode
  • requestParameters.userName
  • eventSource
  • user_arn
  • aws_account_id
  • src_ip

How To Implement

You must install Splunk AWS Add on and Splunk App for AWS. This search works with AWS CloudTrail logs.

Known False Positives

While this search has no known false positives, it is possible that an AWS admin has legitimately triggered an AWS audit tool activity which may trigger this event.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
72.0 90 80 User $user_arn$ is attempting to $eventName$ the password policy for account id $aws_account_id$

: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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