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The following analytic detects the addition of a new federated domain in an organization's Office 365 environment. Identifies instances where a new federated domain is added to the organization's Office 365 configuration and helps to take immediate action to mitigate the risks, prevent further unauthorized access, and protect the organization's data and systems. The detection is made by the Splunk query o365_management_activity with the parameters Workload=Exchange and Operation="Add-FederatedDomain", which analyzes the management activity logs in Office 365 and filters for the specific operation to add a federated domain. The detection is important because identifying the addition of a new federated domain can indicate potential unauthorized access or compromise of the organization's Office 365 environment. A new Federated domain can be added by an attacker to gain unauthorized access, exfiltrate data, or carry out other malicious activity, which can lead to data breaches, unauthorized access to sensitive information, or compromise of the organization's systems and infrastructure. Next steps include viewing the details of the added federated domain, including the organization name, originating server, user ID, and user key. You must also capture and analyze any relevant on-disk artifacts. Additionally, you must identify the source of the attack by looking for concurrent processes or other indicators of compromise.

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

  • Last Updated: 2023-08-02
  • Author: Rod Soto, Splunk
  • ID: e155876a-6048-11eb-ae93-0242ac130002




ID Technique Tactic
T1136.003 Cloud Account Persistence
T1136 Create Account Persistence
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
`o365_management_activity` Operation IN ("*add*", "*new*") AND Operation="*domain*" 
| stats count values(ModifiedProperties{}.NewValue) as new_value by  user user_agent authentication_service action Workload Operation 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `o365_new_federated_domain_added_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: o365_new_federated_domain_added_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
  • Workload
  • Operation
  • ModifiedProperties{}.NewValue
  • authentication_service
  • user
  • user_agent
  • action

How To Implement

You must install splunk Microsoft Office 365 add-on. This search works with o365:management:activity.

Known False Positives

The creation of a new Federated domain is not necessarily malicious, however these events need to be followed closely, as it may indicate federated credential abuse or backdoor via federated identities at a similar or different cloud provider.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
64.0 80 80 User $user$ has added a new federated domain $new_value$

: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

source | version: 2