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The following analytic identifies a suspicious file creation of /etc/at.allow or /etc/at.deny. These 2 files are commonly abused by malware, adversaries or red teamers to persist on the targeted or compromised host. These config files can restrict or allow user to execute "at" application (another schedule task application in linux). attacker can create a user or add the compromised username to that config file to execute "at" to schedule it malicious code. This anomaly detection can be a good indicator to investigate further the entry in created config file and who created it to verify if it is a false positive.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-12-17
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 977b3082-5f3d-11ec-b954-acde48001122


ID Technique Tactic
T1053.003 Cron Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
T1053 Scheduled Task/Job Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation

| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime FROM datamodel=Endpoint.Filesystem where Filesystem.file_path IN ("*/etc/at.allow", "*/etc/at.deny") by Filesystem.dest Filesystem.file_create_time Filesystem.file_name Filesystem.process_guid Filesystem.file_path 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Filesystem)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `linux_at_allow_config_file_creation_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting logs with the file name, file path, and process_guid executions from your endpoints. If you are using Sysmon, you can use the Add-on for Linux Sysmon from Splunkbase.

Required field

  • _time
  • Filesystem.dest
  • Filesystem.file_create_time
  • Filesystem.file_name
  • Filesystem.process_guid
  • Filesystem.file_path

Kill Chain Phase

  • Privilege Escalation

Known False Positives

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


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 A file $file_name$ is created in $file_path$ on $dest$


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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