Persistence via Login or Logout Hookedit

Identifies use of the Defaults command to install a login or logoff hook in MacOS. An adversary may abuse this capability to establish persistence in an environment by inserting code to be executed at login or logout.

Rule type: eql

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
  • macOS
  • Threat Detection
  • Persistence

Version: 5 (version history)

Added (Elastic Stack release): 7.11.0

Last modified (Elastic Stack release): 8.2.0

Rule authors: Elastic

Rule license: Elastic License v2

Investigation guideedit

## Config

If enabling an EQL rule on a non-elastic-agent index (such as beats) for versions <8.2, events will not define `event.ingested` and default fallback for EQL rules was not added until 8.2, so you will need to add a custom pipeline to populate `event.ingested` to @timestamp for this rule to work.

Rule queryedit

process where event.type == "start" and == "defaults"
and process.args == "write" and process.args in ("LoginHook",
"LogoutHook") and not process.args : (
Support/JAMF/ManagementFrameworkScripts/" )

Threat mappingedit


Rule version historyedit

Version 5 (8.2.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 4 (7.13.0 release)
  • Updated query, changed from:

    process where event.type in ("start", "process_started") and == "defaults" and process.args == "write" and
    process.args in ("LoginHook", "LogoutHook")
Version 3 (7.12.0 release)
  • Formatting only
Version 2 (7.11.2 release)
  • Formatting only