Hosts File Modifiededit

The hosts file on endpoints is used to control manual IP address to hostname resolutions. The hosts file is the first point of lookup for DNS hostname resolution so if adversaries can modify the endpoint hosts file, they can route traffic to malicious infrastructure. This rule detects modifications to the hosts file on Microsoft Windows, Linux (Ubuntu or RHEL) and macOS systems.

Rule type: query

Rule indices:

  • auditbeat-*
  • winlogbeat-*

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: 100



  • Elastic
  • Host
  • Linux
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Threat Detection
  • Impact

Version: 3 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.10.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.11.2

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License

Investigation guideedit

For Windows systems using Auditbeat, this rule requires adding C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc as an additional path in the file_integrity module of auditbeat.yml.

Rule queryedit

event.category:file and event.type:(change or creation) and
file.path:("/private/etc/hosts" or "/etc/hosts" or

Threat mappingedit


Rule version historyedit

Version 3 (7.11.2 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.11.0 release)
  • Formatting only