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Description

The following analytic identifies the use of a native MacOS utility, PlistBuddy, creating or modifying a properly list (.plist) file. In the instance of Silver Sparrow, the following commands were executed:\

  • PlistBuddy -c "Add :Label string init_verx" ~/Library/Launchagents/init_verx.plist \
  • PlistBuddy -c "Add :RunAtLoad bool true" ~/Library/Launchagents/init_verx.plist \
  • PlistBuddy -c "Add :StartInterval integer 3600" ~/Library/Launchagents/init_verx.plist \
  • PlistBuddy -c "Add :ProgramArguments array" ~/Library/Launchagents/init_verx.plist \
  • PlistBuddy -c "Add :ProgramArguments:0 string /bin/sh" ~/Library/Launchagents/init_verx.plist \
  • PlistBuddy -c "Add :ProgramArguments:1 string -c" ~/Library/Launchagents/init_verx.plist
    Upon triage, capture the property list file being written to disk and review for further indicators. Contain the endpoint and triage further.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-02-22
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: c3194009-e0eb-4f84-87a9-4070f8688f00

ATT&CK

ID Technique Tactic
T1543.001 Launch Agent Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1543 Create or Modify System Process Persistence, Privilege Escalation

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process_name=PlistBuddy (Processes.process=*LaunchAgents* OR Processes.process=*RunAtLoad* OR Processes.process=*true*) by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)`
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
|  `suspicious_plistbuddy_usage_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search you need to be ingesting information on process that include the name of the process responsible for the changes from your endpoints into the Endpoint datamodel in the Processes node.

Required field

  • _time
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_id

Kill Chain Phase

  • Actions on Objectives

Known False Positives

Some legitimate applications may use PlistBuddy to create or modify property lists and possibly generate false positives. Review the property list being modified or created to confirm.

Reference

Test Dataset

Replay any dataset to Splunk Enterprise by using our replay.py tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

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