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This search provides detection of suspicious use of sts:AssumeRole. These tokens can be created on the go and used by attackers to move laterally and escalate privileges.

  • Type: Hunting
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel:
  • Last Updated: 2020-07-27
  • Author: Rod Soto, Splunk
  • ID: 8e565314-b6a2-46d8-9f05-1a34a176a662


ID Technique Tactic
T1078 Valid Accounts Defense Evasion, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, Initial Access
`cloudtrail` user_type=AssumedRole userIdentity.sessionContext.sessionIssuer.type=Role 
| table sourceIPAddress userIdentity.arn user_agent user_access_key status action requestParameters.roleName responseElements.role.roleName responseElements.role.createDate 
| `aws_detect_sts_assume_role_abuse_filter`

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
  • user_type
  • userIdentity.sessionContext.sessionIssuer.type
  • sourceIPAddress
  • userIdentity.arn
  • user_agent
  • user_access_key
  • status
  • action
  • requestParameters.roleName
  • esponseElements.role.roleName
  • esponseElements.role.createDate

Kill Chain Phase

  • Lateral Movement

Known False Positives

Sts:AssumeRole can be very noisy as it is a standard mechanism to provide cross account and cross resources access. This search can be adjusted to provide specific values to identify cases of abuse.


Test Dataset

Replay any dataset to Splunk Enterprise by using our replay.py tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

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