THIS IS A EXPERIMENTAL DETECTION
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.
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
Kill Chain Phase
- CIS 10
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`
The SPL above uses the following Macros:
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.
List of fields required to use this analytic.
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
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
The Risk Score is calculated by the following formula: Risk Score = (Impact * Confidence/100). Initial Confidence and Impact is set by the analytic author.
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