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This analytic detects when high-privilege roles, specifically "Exchange Administrator", "SharePoint Administrator", or "Global Administrator", are granted within Office 365. By monitoring O365 audit logs for events where these administrative roles are assigned to any user or service account, the analytic provides insight into critical role changes. The assignment of these roles is of paramount importance to Security Operations Centers (SOCs) as they grant extensive permissions, allowing for broad access and control over critical organizational resources and data. An unexpected or unauthorized role assignment could indicate potential malicious activity, insider threats, or misconfigurations. If an attacker or unauthorized individual is granted one of these roles, the potential impact includes gaining significant control over O365 resources, accessing, modifying, or deleting critical data, making configuration changes, and potentially compromising the overall security and functionality of the O365 environment.

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

  • Last Updated: 2023-10-20
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: e78a1037-4548-4072-bb1b-ad99ae416426




ID Technique Tactic
T1098 Account Manipulation Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1098.003 Additional Cloud Roles Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
`o365_management_activity` Operation="Add member to role." Workload=AzureActiveDirectory 
| eval role_id = mvindex('ModifiedProperties{}.NewValue',2) 
| eval role_name = mvindex('ModifiedProperties{}.NewValue',1) 
| where role_id IN ("29232cdf-9323-42fd-ade2-1d097af3e4de", "f28a1f50-f6e7-4571-818b-6a12f2af6b6c", "62e90394-69f5-4237-9190-012177145e10")  
| stats earliest(_time) as firstTime latest(_time) as lastTime by user Operation ObjectId role_name 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `o365_high_privilege_role_granted_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: o365_high_privilege_role_granted_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
  • Operation
  • Workload
  • ModifiedProperties{}.NewValue
  • user
  • ObjectId

How To Implement

You must install the Splunk Microsoft Office 365 Add-on and ingest Office 365 management activity events.

Known False Positives

Privilege roles may be assigned for legitimate purposes, filter as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
48.0 80 60 $user$ granted high privilege roles to $ObjectId$

: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

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