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Core dumps configuration file modification detection


The CorePatternModification signature detects unauthorized changes to the core dump configuration file (core_pattern), an integral component within Linux systems.


In Linux, the core dump mechanism captures the memory content of a crashed program, typically written to disk. This aids in debugging and analyzing the cause of the crash. The location and format of these core dumps are defined by the core_pattern configuration file located within /proc/sys/kernel/.

Any unauthorized modification to the core_pattern could be indicative of an adversary attempting to exploit kernel's core dump capabilities, particularly for container escape maneuvers. Such techniques can allow attackers to run arbitrary commands when a program crashes, and as such, any changes to the core_pattern should be monitored closely.

The CorePatternModification signature specifically identifies unauthorized attempts to modify this configuration file.


The primary intent of this signature is to identify and raise alerts for unauthorized modifications to the core_pattern file. By keeping an eye on alterations to this file, the system can preemptively counter attempts at exploiting the core dump functionality, especially for container escapes or other privilege escalation tactics.


  • ID: TRC-1011
  • Version: 1
  • Name: Core dumps configuration file modification detected
  • EventName: core_pattern_modification
  • Description: The signature observes any alterations to the core dump configuration file (core_pattern). Any unauthorized change can be a precursor to an attacker leveraging kernel's core dump mechanisms for nefarious ends, such as container escapes.
  • Properties:
  • Severity: 3 (Moderate threat level)
  • Category: privilege-escalation
  • Technique: Escape to Host
  • Kubernetes_Technique: N/A
  • id: attack-pattern--4a5b7ade-8bb5-4853-84ed-23f262002665
  • external_id: T1611


Upon detecting a potential threat, the signature returns a Finding data structure, which includes:

  • SigMetadata: Metadata that offers insights about the threat based on the signature.
  • Event: Specific details of the event that prompted the signature's activation.
  • Data: Currently set to nil, indicating that there isn't any additional data linked with this structure.

Events Used

This signature is contingent on the following event:

  • security_file_open: This event is triggered when a file is accessed. The signature analyzes the accessed file's pathname and associated flags to discern if the core_pattern file undergoes any modification.