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The following analytic identifies the assignment of the Application Administrator role to an Azure AD user. Users in this role can create and manage all aspects of enterprise applications, application registrations, and application proxy settings. This role also grants the ability to manage application credentials. Users assigned this role can add credentials to an application, and use those credentials to impersonate the applications identity. If the applications identity has been granted access to a resource, such as the ability to create or update User or other objects, then a user assigned to this role could perform those actions while impersonating the application. This ability to impersonate the applications identity may be an elevation of privilege over what the user can do via their role assignments. Red teams and adversaries alike may abuse this role to escalate their privileges in an Azure AD tenant.

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

  • Last Updated: 2023-12-20
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Gowthamaraj Rajendran, Splunk
  • ID: eac4de87-7a56-4538-a21b-277897af6d8d




ID Technique Tactic
T1098 Account Manipulation Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1098.003 Additional Cloud Roles Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
 `azure_monitor_aad`  "operationName"="Add member to role"  "properties.targetResources{}.modifiedProperties{}.newValue"="\"Application Administrator\"" 
| rename properties.* as * 
| rename initiatedBy.user.userPrincipalName as initiatedBy 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by user initiatedBy, result, operationName 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `azure_ad_application_administrator_role_assigned_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: azure_ad_application_administrator_role_assigned_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
  • user
  • properties.targetResources{}.type
  • properties.initiatedBy.user.userPrincipalName
  • properties.result

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. This analytic was written to be used with the azure:monitor:aad sourcetype leveraging the Auditlog log category

Known False Positives

Administrators may legitimately assign the Application Administrator role to a user. Filter as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
35.0 70 50 The privileged Azure AD role Application Administrator was assigned for User $user$ initiated by $initiatedBy$

: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: 2