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Sudoers File Modification Detection


The SudoersModification signature is designed to detect unauthorized or unexpected changes to the sudoers configuration files on a system.

The sudoers file is a critical part of Unix and Linux systems, controlling which users can run which commands as superuser. Unauthorized changes to this file can lead to privilege escalation and unauthorized command execution.


The sudoers file, traditionally located at /etc/sudoers, contains the rules that users must follow when they use the sudo command. It dictates who can run what, as whom, and from where. Any unauthorized changes to this file, or the related configuration in /etc/sudoers.d/, could allow an attacker to elevate their privileges and take control of a system.


The main aim of this signature is to monitor for modifications to the sudoers configuration. By doing so, it helps in the early detection of possible security breaches or misconfigurations which could jeopardize the security posture of a system.


  • ID: TRC-1028
  • Version: 1
  • Name: Sudoers file modification detected
  • EventName: sudoers_modification
  • Description: Monitors for unauthorized changes to the sudoers file. The sudoers file manages permissions for the sudo command. Unauthorized changes could allow an attacker to elevate privileges or run commands without proper authorization.
  • Properties:
  • Severity: 2
  • Category: privilege-escalation
  • Technique: Sudo and Sudo Caching
  • Kubernetes_Technique: N/A
  • id: attack-pattern--1365fe3b-0f50-455d-b4da-266ce31c23b0
  • external_id: T1548.003


On detecting a potential unauthorized modification to the sudoers configuration, a Finding is generated. This Finding contains detailed information about the event, along with associated threat metadata, enabling responders to take appropriate action.

Events Used

This signature is chiefly concerned with two events:

  • security_file_open: Triggered when a file is accessed. The signature checks if the file is being opened with write permissions.

  • security_inode_rename: This event signifies the renaming of a file or directory. Renaming critical files, like the sudoers file, might be an indicator of malicious activity.

The signature checks if the path associated with these events matches the known paths for sudoers files or starts with the directory paths designated for sudoers configurations.