Creation of Hidden Files and Directoriesedit

Users can mark specific files as hidden simply by adding a . as the first character in the file or folder name. Adversaries can use this to their advantage to hide files and folders on the system for persistence and defense evasion. This rule looks for hidden files or folders in common writable directories.

Rule type: query

Rule indices:

  • auditbeat-*

Severity: medium

Risk score: 47

Runs every: 5 minutes

Searches indices from: now-9m (Date Math format, see also Additional look-back time)

Maximum alerts per execution: 33


  • Elastic
  • Host
  • Linux
  • Threat Detection
  • Defense Evasion

Version: 5 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.9.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.11.2

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License

Potential false positivesedit

Certain tools may create hidden temporary files or directories upon installation or as part of their normal behavior. These events can be filtered by the process arguments, username, or process name values.

Rule queryedit

event.category:process AND event.type:(start or process_started) AND
process.working_directory:("/tmp" or "/var/tmp" or "/dev/shm") AND
process.args:/\.[a-zA-Z0-9_\-][a-zA-Z0-9_\-\.]{1,254}/ AND NOT or find)

Threat mappingedit


Rule version historyedit

Version 5 (7.11.2 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 4 (7.11.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 3 (7.10.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.9.1 release)
  • Formatting only