System Hosts File Accessedit

Identifies the use of built-in tools to read the contents of \etc\hosts on a local machine. Attackers may use this data to discover remote machines in an environment that may be used for Lateral Movement from the current system.

Rule type: eql

Rule indices:

  • endgame-*
  • auditbeat-*
  • logs-auditd_manager.auditd-*

Severity: low

Risk score: 21

Runs every: 60m

Searches indices from: now-119m (Date Math format, see also Additional look-back time)

Maximum alerts per execution: 100

References: None


  • Domain: Endpoint
  • OS: Linux
  • OS: macOS
  • Use Case: Threat Detection
  • Tactic: Discovery
  • Rule Type: BBR
  • Data Source: Elastic Defend
  • Data Source: Elastic Endgame
  • Data Source: Auditd Manager

Version: 3

Rule authors:

  • Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Rule queryedit

process where event.type == "start" and event.action in ("exec", "exec_event", "executed", "process_started") and in ("vi", "nano", "cat", "more", "less") and process.args == "/etc/hosts"