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The following analytic detects the execution of the "At" application in Linux, which can be used by attackers to create persistence entries on a compromised host. The "At" application can be used for automation purposes by administrators or network operators, so the filter macros should be updated to remove false positives. If a true positive is found, it suggests an attacker is trying to maintain access to the environment or potentially deliver additional malicious payloads, leading to data theft, ransomware, or other damaging outcomes. To implement this analytic, ensure you are ingesting logs with the required fields from your endpoints into the Endpoint datamodel. When a true positive is detected, it suggests that an attacker is attempting to establish persistence or deliver additional malicious payloads by leveraging the "At" application. This behavior can lead to data theft, ransomware attacks, or other damaging outcomes. During triage, the SOC analyst should review the context surrounding the execution of the "At" application. This includes identifying the user, the parent process responsible for invoking the application, and the specific command-line arguments used. It is important to consider whether the execution is expected behavior by an administrator or network operator for legitimate automation purposes. The presence of "At" application execution may indicate an attacker's attempt to maintain unauthorized access to the environment. Immediate investigation and response are necessary to mitigate further risks, identify the attacker's intentions, and prevent potential harm to the organization.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2022-05-26
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: bf0a378e-5f3c-11ec-a6de-acde48001122




ID Technique Tactic
T1053.002 At Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1053 Scheduled Task/Job Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where  Processes.process_name IN ("at", "atd") OR Processes.parent_process_name IN ("at", "atd") by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process_name Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id Processes.process_guid 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `linux_at_application_execution_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: linux_at_application_execution_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
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_id

How To Implement

The detection is based on data that originates from Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) agents. These agents are designed to provide security-related telemetry from the endpoints where the agent is installed. To implement this search, you must ingest logs that contain the process GUID, process name, and parent process. Additionally, you must ingest complete command-line executions. These logs must be processed using the appropriate Splunk Technology Add-ons that are specific to the EDR product. The logs must also be mapped to the Processes node of the Endpoint data model. Use the Splunk Common Information Model (CIM) to normalize the field names and speed up the data modeling process.

Known False Positives

Administrator or network operator can use this application for automation purposes. Please update the filter macros to remove false positives.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
9.0 30 30 At application was executed in $dest$

: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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