This detection has been marked experimental by the Splunk Threat Research team. This means we have not been able to test, simulate, or build datasets for this detection. Use at your own risk. This analytic is NOT supported.

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This search looks for processes referencing the plist files that determine which applications are re-opened when a user reboots their machine.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2020-02-07
  • Author: Jamie Windley, Splunk
  • ID: 40bb64f9-f619-4e3d-8732-328d40377c4b


Kill Chain Phase
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count values(Processes.process) as process values(Processes.parent_process) as parent_process min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process="*com.apple.loginwindow*" by Processes.user Processes.process_name Processes.parent_process_name Processes.dest 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `macos___re_opened_applications_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: macos_-_re-opened_applications_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
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.dest

How To Implement

The detection is based on data that originates from Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) agents. These agents are designed to provide security-related telemetry from the endpoints where the agent is installed. To implement this search, you must ingest logs that contain the process GUID, process name, and parent process. Additionally, you must ingest complete command-line executions. These logs must be processed using the appropriate Splunk Technology Add-ons that are specific to the EDR product. The logs must also be mapped to the Processes node of the Endpoint data model. Use the Splunk Common Information Model (CIM) to normalize the field names and speed up the data modeling process.

Known False Positives

At this stage, there are no known false positives. During testing, no process events refering the com.apple.loginwindow.plist files were observed during normal operation of re-opening applications on reboot. Therefore, it can be asumed that any occurences of this in the process events would be worth investigating. In the event that the legitimate modification by the system of these files is in fact logged to the process log, then the process_name of that process can be added to an allow list.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 tbd

: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 replay.py tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

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