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The following analytic identifies the successful deletion of an IAM group in AWS. It leverages CloudTrail logs to detect DeleteGroup events with a success status. This activity is significant as it could indicate potential changes in user permissions or access controls, which may be a precursor to further unauthorized actions. If confirmed malicious, an attacker could disrupt access management, potentially leading to privilege escalation or unauthorized access to sensitive resources. Analysts should review related IAM events, such as recent user additions or new group creations, to assess the broader context.

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

  • Last Updated: 2024-05-29
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: e776d06c-9267-11eb-819b-acde48001122




ID Technique Tactic
T1069.003 Cloud Groups Discovery
T1098 Account Manipulation Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1069 Permission Groups Discovery Discovery
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • Installation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
`cloudtrail` eventName=DeleteGroup errorCode=success (userAgent!=* 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime values(requestParameters.groupName) as group_deleted by src eventName eventSource errorCode user_agent awsRegion userIdentity.principalId user_arn 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `aws_iam_successful_group_deletion_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: aws_iam_successful_group_deletion_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.groupName

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.

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 groups (least privilege).

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
5.0 10 50 User $user_arn$ has sucessfully deleted mulitple groups $group_deleted$ from $src$

: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