This detection has been marked deprecated by the Splunk Threat Research team. This means that it will no longer be maintained or supported.

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DEPRECATION NOTE - This search has been deprecated and replaced with O365 Elevated Mailbox Permission Assigned. This analytic identifies instances where potentially suspicious rights are delegated within the Office 365 environment. Specifically, it detects when a user is granted FullAccess, SendAs, or SendOnBehalf permissions on another users mailbox. Such permissions can allow a user to access, send emails from, or send emails on behalf of the target mailbox. The detection leverages O365 audit logs, focusing on the Add-MailboxPermission operation. By parsing the parameters of this operation, the analytic filters for events where FullAccess, SendAs, or SendOnBehalf rights are granted. It then aggregates this data to capture the source user (who was granted the permissions), the destination user (whose mailbox was affected), the specific operation, and the type of access rights granted. Delegating mailbox rights, especially those as powerful as FullAccess, can pose significant security risks. While there are legitimate scenarios for these permissions, such as an executive assistant needing access to an executives mailbox, there are also malicious scenarios where an attacker or a compromised insider might grant themselves unauthorized access to sensitive mailboxes. Monitoring for these permissions changes is crucial to detect potential insider threats, compromised accounts, or other malicious activities.If the detection is a true positive, it indicates that a user has been granted potentially high-risk permissions on another users mailbox. This could lead to unauthorized access to sensitive emails, impersonation through sending emails as or on behalf of the mailbox owner, or data manipulation by altering or deleting emails. Immediate investigation is required to validate the legitimacy of the permission change and to assess the potential risks associated with the granted access.

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

  • Last Updated: 2020-12-15
  • Author: Patrick Bareiss, Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: b25d2973-303e-47c8-bacd-52b61604c6a7




ID Technique Tactic
T1114.002 Remote Email Collection Collection
T1114 Email Collection Collection
T1098.002 Additional Email Delegate Permissions Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1098 Account Manipulation Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • Installation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
`o365_management_activity` Operation=Add-MailboxPermission 
| spath input=Parameters 
| rename User AS src_user, Identity AS dest_user 
| search AccessRights=FullAccess OR AccessRights=SendAs OR AccessRights=SendOnBehalf 
| stats count earliest(_time) as firstTime latest(_time) as lastTime by user src_user dest_user Operation AccessRights 


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: o365_suspicious_rights_delegation_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
  • Parameters

How To Implement

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

Known False Positives

While there are legitimate scenarios for these permissions, such as an executive assistant needing access to an executive's mailbox, there are also malicious scenarios. Investigate and filter as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
48.0 80 60 User $user$ has delegated suspicious rights $AccessRights$ to user $dest_user$ that allow access to sensitive

: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 replay.py tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

source | version: 2