Try in Splunk Security Cloud


The following analytic identifies the addition of a Service Principal Name to a domain account that is quickly deleted within 5 minutes or less. While this event may be part of a legitimate action part of certain administrative operations, it may also be evidence of a persistence attack. Domain accounts with Service Principal Names are vulnerable to a technique called Kerberoasting that enables attackers to potentially obtain the cleartext password of the account by performing offline cracking. An adversary who has obtained privileged access to a domain environment may add an SPN to a privileged account to then leverage the Kerberoasting technique and attempt to obtain its clertext password. To clean things up, the adversary may delete the SPN which will trigger this detection.

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

  • Last Updated: 2022-11-18
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: b681977c-d90c-4efc-81a5-c58f945fb541




ID Technique Tactic
T1098 Account Manipulation Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
 `wineventlog_security` EventCode=5136 AttributeLDAPDisplayName=servicePrincipalName 
| transaction ObjectDN AttributeValue startswith=(EventCode=5136 OperationType="%%14674") endswith=(EventCode=5136 OperationType="%%14675") 
| eval short_lived=case((duration<300),"TRUE") 
| search short_lived = TRUE 
| rename ObjectDN as user 
| `windows_ad_short_lived_domain_account_serviceprincipalname_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_ad_short_lived_domain_account_serviceprincipalname_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
  • EventCode
  • ObjectDN
  • signature
  • SubjectUserName
  • Computer

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you ned to be ingesting eventcode 5136. The Advanced Security Audit policy setting Audit Directory Services Changes within DS Access needs to be enabled. Additionally, a SACL needs to be created for AD objects in order to ingest attribute modifications.

Known False Positives

A Service Principal Name should only be added to an account when an application requires it. Adding an SPN and quickly deleting it is less common but may be part of legitimate action. Filter as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
40.0 50 80 A Servince Principal Name for $user$ was set and shortly deleted

: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: 1