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The following analytic detects the creation or enabling of services in Linux platforms, specifically using the systemctl or service tool application. This behavior is worth identifying as adversaries may create or modify services to execute malicious payloads as part of persistence. Legitimate services created by administrators for automation purposes may also trigger this analytic, so it is important to update the filter macros to remove false positives. If a true positive is found, it suggests an possible attacker is attempting to persist within the environment or deliver additional malicious payloads, leading to data theft, ransomware, or other damaging outcomes. To implement this analytic, ensure you are ingesting logs with the process name, parent process, and command-line executions from your endpoints.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2024-01-24
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: e0428212-61b7-11ec-88a3-acde48001122




ID Technique Tactic
T1053.006 Systemd Timers Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1053 Scheduled Task/Job Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where (Processes.process_name IN ("systemctl", "service") OR Processes.process IN ("*systemctl *", "*service *")) Processes.process IN ("* start *", "* enable *") AND NOT (Processes.os="Microsoft Windows" OR Processes.vendor_product="Microsoft Windows") by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process_name Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id Processes.process_guid 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `linux_service_started_or_enabled_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: linux_service_started_or_enabled_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.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_id

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

Administrator or network operator can use this commandline for automation purposes. Please update the filter macros to remove false positives.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
42.0 60 70 a commandline $process$ that may create or start a service on $dest

: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

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