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The following analytic detects the deletion of services on a Linux machine. It leverages filesystem event logs to identify when service files within system directories (e.g., /etc/systemd/, /lib/systemd/, /run/systemd/) are deleted. This activity is significant because attackers may delete or modify services to disable security features or evade defenses. If confirmed malicious, this behavior could indicate an attempt to impair system functionality or execute a destructive payload, potentially leading to system instability or data loss. Immediate investigation is required to determine the responsible process and user.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2024-05-17
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: b509bbd3-0331-4aaa-8e4a-d2affe100af6




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/systemd/*", "*/lib/systemd/*", "*/run/systemd/*") Filesystem.file_path = "*.service" 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_services_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: linux_deletion_of_services_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
64.0 80 80 A services file $file_name$ deteted 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