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The following analytic detects the deletion of init daemon scripts on a Linux machine. It leverages filesystem event logs to identify when files within the /etc/init.d/ directory are deleted. This activity is significant because init daemon scripts control the start and stop of critical services, and their deletion can indicate an attempt to impair security features or evade defenses. If confirmed malicious, this behavior could allow an attacker to disrupt essential services, execute destructive payloads, or persist undetected in the environment.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2024-05-18
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 729aab57-d26f-4156-b97f-ab8dda8f44b1




ID Technique Tactic
T1485 Data Destruction Impact
T1070.004 File Deletion Defense Evasion
T1070 Indicator Removal Defense Evasion
Kill Chain Phase
  • Actions On Objectives
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime FROM datamodel=Endpoint.Filesystem where Filesystem.action=deleted Filesystem.file_path IN ( "/etc/init.d/*") by _time span=1h Filesystem.file_name Filesystem.file_path Filesystem.dest Filesystem.process_guid Filesystem.action 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Filesystem)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)`
| `linux_deletion_of_init_daemon_script_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: linux_deletion_of_init_daemon_script_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
  • Filesystem.dest
  • Filesystem.file_create_time
  • Filesystem.file_name
  • Filesystem.process_guid
  • Filesystem.file_path
  • Filesystem.action

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting logs with the process name, parent process, and command-line executions from your endpoints. If you are using Sysmon, you can use the Add-on for Linux Sysmon from Splunkbase.

Known False Positives

Administrator or network operator can execute this command. Please update the filter macros to remove false positives.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
49.0 70 70 Init daemon script deleted on host $dest$ by process GUID- $process_guid$

: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: 3