WARNING THIS IS A EXPERIMENTAL object

We have not been able to test, simulate, or build datasets for this object. Use at your own risk. This analytic is NOT supported.

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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

Annotations

ATT&CK
ID Technique Tactic
T1543.001 Launch Agent Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1543 Create or Modify System Process Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Actions on Objectives
NIST
CIS20
CVE
1
2
3
4
5
6
| 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`

Macros

The SPL above uses the following Macros:

Note that suspicious_plistbuddy_usage_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.

Required field

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

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.

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.

Associated Analytic story

RBA

Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 tbd

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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