SSH Authorized Keys File Modificationedit

The Secure Shell (SSH) authorized_keys file specifies which users are allowed to log into a server using public key authentication. Adversaries may modify it to maintain persistence on a victim host by adding their own public key(s).

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: 100


  • Elastic
  • Host
  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Threat Detection
  • Persistence

Version: 1

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.12.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Rule queryedit

event.category:file and event.type:(change or creation) and"authorized_keys" or "authorized_keys2") and not
(/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/git or
/usr/local/Cellar/maven/*/libexec/bin/mvn or
/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk*.jdk/Contents/Home/bin/java or
/usr/bin/vim or /usr/local/Cellar/coreutils/*/bin/gcat
or /usr/bin/bsdtar or /usr/bin/nautilus
or /usr/bin/scp or /usr/bin/touch or

Threat mappingedit