Potential Shadow File Read via Command Line Utilitiesedit

Identifies access to the /etc/shadow file via the commandline using standard system utilities. After elevating privileges to root, threat actors may attempt to read or dump this file in order to gain valid credentials. They may utilize these to move laterally undetected and access additional resources.

Rule type: new_terms

Rule indices:

  • logs-endpoint.events.*
  • endgame-*

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



  • Domain: Endpoint
  • OS: Linux
  • Use Case: Threat Detection
  • Tactic: Privilege Escalation
  • Tactic: Credential Access
  • Data Source: Elastic Endgame
  • Data Source: Elastic Defend

Version: 106

Rule authors:

  • Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Rule queryedit

host.os.type : "linux" and event.category : "process" and event.action : ("exec" or "exec_event") and
(process.args : "/etc/shadow" or (process.working_directory: "/etc" and process.args: "shadow")) and not
(process.executable : ("/bin/chown" or "/usr/bin/chown") and process.args : "root:shadow") and not
(process.executable : ("/bin/chmod" or "/usr/bin/chmod") and process.args : "640")