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Detecting privilege escalation in your AWS environment


You are an Amazon Web Services (AWS) admin who manages AWS resources and services across your organization. As part of your role, you need to be able to query your AWS CloudTrail to detect activities related to privilege escalation.

Amazon Web Services provides a feature called Identity and Access Management (IAM) which enables organizations to manage various AWS services and resources in a secure way. All IAM users have roles, groups, and policies associated with them that govern and set permissions to allow a user to access specific restrictions. However, if these IAM policies are misconfigured and have specific combinations of weak permissions, attackers can gain escalated privileges.

These searches are designed to  uncover these potentially malicious events.

Data required

How to use Splunk software for this use case

To deploy this use case, make sure that you have the Splunk ES Content Updates installed on your Splunk Enterprise Security deployment. This extensive content library empowers you to deploy out-of-the-box security detections and analytic stories to enhance your investigations and improve your security posture. If you do not have Splunk Enterprise Security, these detections will still give you an idea of what you can accomplish with SPL in the Splunk platform or with the free app, Splunk Security Essentials.

Some of the detections that can help you with this use case include:

Next steps

In addition, Splunk Enterprise Security provides a number of other searches to help reinforce your cloud security posture, including:

Splunk OnDemand Services: Use these credit-based services for direct access to Splunk technical consultants with a variety of technical services from a pre-defined catalog. Most customers have OnDemand Services per their license support plan. Engage the ODS team at if you require assistance.