Try in Splunk Security Cloud


This search looks for AWS CloudTrail events where a user A who has already permission to create access keys, makes an API call to create access keys for another user B. Attackers have been know to use this technique for Privilege Escalation in case new victim(user B) has more permissions than old victim(user B)

  • Type: Hunting
  • Product: Splunk Security Analytics for AWS, Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel:
  • Last Updated: 2021-07-19
  • Author: Bhavin Patel, Splunk
  • ID: 2a9b80d3-6340-4345-11ad-212bf3d0d111


ID Technique Tactic
T1136.003 Cloud Account Persistence
T1136 Create Account Persistence
`cloudtrail` eventName = CreateAccessKey userAgent ! errorCode = success
| search userIdentity.userName!=requestParameters.userName  
|  stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime  by requestParameters.userName src eventName eventSource aws_account_id errorCode userAgent eventID awsRegion userIdentity.principalId user_arn 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

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

Required field

  • _time
  • eventName
  • userAgent
  • errorCode
  • requestParameters.userName

Kill Chain Phase

  • Actions on Objectives

Known False Positives

While this search has no known false positives, it is possible that an AWS admin has legitimately created keys for another user.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
63.0 70 90 User $user_arn$ is attempting to create access keys for $requestParameters.userName$ from this IP $src$


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