Try in Splunk Security Cloud


Monitoring service principal authentication events in Azure Active Directory is crucial, but to effectively leverage this detection, teams should first conduct a thorough inventory of all service principals and their source IPs to establish a baseline of normal behavior. The detection, using azure_monitor_aad, specifically targets "Sign-in activity" within ServicePrincipalSignInLogs, gathering key details like sign-in frequency, timing, source IPs, and accessed resources. This baseline is essential for SOC teams to distinguish between regular application authentication and anomalous patterns that might suggest compromised credentials or malicious activities.

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

  • Last Updated: 2024-02-12
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: 5a2ec401-60bb-474e-b936-1e66e7aa4060




ID Technique Tactic
T1078.004 Cloud Accounts Defense Evasion, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, Initial Access
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • Installation
  • Delivery
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
 `azure_monitor_aad` operationName="Sign-in activity" category=ServicePrincipalSignInLogs 
| rename properties.* as * 
| stats count earliest(_time) as firstTime latest(_time) as lastTime by user, user_id, src_ip, resourceDisplayName, resourceId 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `azure_ad_service_principal_authentication_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: azure_ad_service_principal_authentication_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
  • operationName
  • category
  • properties.resourceDisplayName
  • properties.resourceId
  • user
  • src_ip
  • user_id

How To Implement

You must install the latest version of Splunk Add-on for Microsoft Cloud Services from Splunkbase ( You must be ingesting Azure Active Directory events into your Splunk environment through an EventHub. This analytic was written to be used with the azure:monitor:aad sourcetype leveraging the SignInLogs log category.

Known False Positives

Service Principals will legitimally authenticate remotely to your tenant. Implementing this detection after establishing a baseline enables a more accurate identification of security threats, ensuring proactive and informed responses to safeguard the Azure AD environment. source ips.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 Service Principal $user$ authenticated from $src_ip$

: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