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The following analytic identifies the creation of a new Azure Automation account within an Azure tenant. Azure Automation is a cloud-based automation platform that allows administrators to automate Azure management tasks and orchestrate actions across external systems within Azure using PowerShell and Python. Azure Automation can also be configured to automate tasks on on premise infrastructure using a component called a Hybrid Runbook Worker. Automation accounts serve as a container to isolate Automation resources, runbooks, assets, and configurations from the resources of other accounts. They allow administrators to separate resources into logical environments or delegated responsibilities. Adversaries or red teams who have obtained privileged access to an Azure tenant may create an Azure Automation account with elevated privileges to maintain persistence in the Azure tenant. A malicious Automation Runbook can be created to create Global Administrators in Azure AD, execute code on VMs, etc.

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

  • Last Updated: 2022-08-18
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: 860902fd-2e76-46b3-b050-ba548dab576c




ID Technique Tactic
T1136 Create Account Persistence
T1136.003 Cloud Account Persistence
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
 `azure_audit` operationName.localizedValue="Create or Update an Azure Automation account" status.value=Succeeded 
| dedup object 
| stats values(object) by _time, caller, claims.ipaddr, resourceGroupName, object_path 
| `azure_automation_account_created_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: azure_automation_account_created_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.localizedValue
  • status.value
  • object
  • caller
  • claims.ipaddr
  • resourceGroupName
  • object_path

How To Implement

You must install the latest version of Splunk Add-on for Microsoft Cloud Services from Splunkbase ( You must be ingesting Azure Audit events into your Splunk environment. Specifically, this analytic leverages the Azure Activity log category.

Known False Positives

Administrators may legitimately create Azure Automation accounts. Filter as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
63.0 70 90 A new Azure Automation account $object$ was created by $caller$

: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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