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This analytic is to looks for file creation of sudoers.tmp file cause by editing /etc/sudoers using visudo or editor in linux platform. This technique may abuse by adversaries, malware author and red teamers to gain elevated privilege to targeted or compromised host. /etc/sudoers file controls who can run what commands as what users on what machines and can also control special things such as whether you need a password for particular commands. The file is composed of aliases (basically variables) and user specifications (which control who can run what).

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-12-23
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: be254a5c-63e7-11ec-89da-acde48001122




ID Technique Tactic
T1548.003 Sudo and Sudo Caching Privilege Escalation, Defense Evasion
T1548 Abuse Elevation Control Mechanism Privilege Escalation, Defense Evasion
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 3
  • CIS 5
  • CIS 16
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime FROM datamodel=Endpoint.Filesystem where Filesystem.file_path IN ("*sudoers.tmp*") by Filesystem.dest Filesystem.file_name Filesystem.process_guid Filesystem.file_path 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Filesystem)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `linux_sudoers_tmp_file_creation_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: linux_sudoers_tmp_file_creation_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

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
72.0 80 90 A file $file_name$ is created in $file_path$ on $dest$

: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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