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The following detection identifes when a policy is deleted on AWS. This does not identify whether successful or failed, but the error messages tell a story of suspicious attempts. There is a specific process to follow when deleting a policy. First, detach the policy from all users, groups, and roles that the policy is attached to, using DetachUserPolicy , DetachGroupPolicy , or DetachRolePolicy.

  • Type: Hunting
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud, Splunk Security Analytics for AWS
  • Datamodel:
  • Last Updated: 2021-04-01
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: ec3a9362-92fe-11eb-99d0-acde48001122


ID Technique Tactic
T1098 Account Manipulation Persistence
`cloudtrail` eventName=DeletePolicy (userAgent!=* 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime values(requestParameters.policyArn) as policyArn by src eventName eventSource aws_account_id errorCode errorMessage userAgent eventID awsRegion userIdentity.principalId userIdentity.arn 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `aws_iam_delete_policy_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

The Splunk AWS Add-on and Splunk App for AWS is required to utilize this data. The search requires AWS Cloudtrail logs.

Required field

  • _time
  • eventName
  • userAgent
  • errorCode
  • requestParameters.policyArn

Kill Chain Phase

  • Actions on Objectives

Known False Positives

This detection will require tuning to provide high fidelity detection capabilties. Tune based on src addresses (corporate offices, VPN terminations) or by groups of users. Not every user with AWS access should have permission to delete policies (least privilege). In addition, this may be saved seperately and tuned for failed or success attempts only.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
10.0 20 50 User $user_arn$ has deleted AWS Policies from IP address $src$ by executing the following command $eventName$


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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