Suspicious CronTab Creation or Modificationedit

Identifies attempts to create or modify a crontab via a process that is not crontab (i.e python, osascript, etc.). This activity should not be highly prevalent and could indicate the use of cron as a persistence mechanism by a threat actor.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:


Severity: medium

Risk score: 47

Runs every: 5m

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: 1

Rule authors:

  • Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Rule queryedit

file where event.type != "deletion" and != null and
  file.path : "/private/var/at/tabs/*" and not process.executable == "/usr/bin/crontab"