Potential Persistence via Login Hookedit

Identifies the creation or modification of the login window property list (plist). Adversaries may modify plist files to run a program during system boot or user login for persistence.

Rule type: query

Rule indices:

  • auditbeat-*
  • logs-endpoint.events.*

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
  • macOS
  • Threat Detection
  • Persistence

Version: 2 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.12.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 7.13.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Investigation guideedit

## Triage and analysis

Starting in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), users can specify certain applications to be re-opened when a user reboots their machine. This can be abused to establish or maintain persistence on a compromised system.

Rule queryedit

event.category:"file" and not event.type:"deletion" and
file.name:"com.apple.loginwindow.plist" and process.name:(* and not
(systemmigrationd or DesktopServicesHelper or diskmanagementd or rsync
or launchd or cfprefsd or xpcproxy or ManagedClient or MCXCompositor))

Threat mappingedit


Rule version historyedit

Version 2 (7.13.0 release)
  • Formatting only