Splunk® Enterprise

Securing Splunk Enterprise

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Splunk Enterprise version 8.0 is no longer supported as of October 22, 2021. See the Splunk Software Support Policy for details. For information about upgrading to a supported version, see How to upgrade Splunk Enterprise.
This documentation does not apply to the most recent version of Splunk® Enterprise. For documentation on the most recent version, go to the latest release.
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Safeguards for risky commands

The Splunk platform contains built-in search processing language (SPL) safeguards to warn you when you are about to unknowingly run a search that contains commands that might be a security risk. This warning appears when you click a link or type a URL that loads a search that contains risky commands.

The warning does not appear when you create ad hoc searches.

This warning alerts you to the possibility of unauthorized actions by a malicious user. Unauthorized actions include:

  • Copying or transferring data (data exfiltration)
  • Deleting data
  • Overwriting data

A possible scenario when this might occur is when a malicious person creates a search that includes commands that exfiltrate or damage data. The malicious person then sends an unsuspecting user a link to the search. The URL contains a query string (q) and a search identifier (sid), but the sid is not valid. The malicious person hopes the user will use the link and the search will run.

Commands that trigger the warning

Here is the list of search commands in that are classified as risky. Splunk considers these commands risky because, if used incorrectly, they can pose a security risk or you can potentially lose data by running the commands.

Actions in the warning dialog box

Instead of running the search immediately, the Splunk platform analyzes the search for risky commands. If it identifies one or more risky commands, a warning dialog box appears. You have the option to cancel, run, or investigate the search.

Closes the warning dialog box. The search does not run and the search is removed from the Search bar. Closing the dialog box, by clicking the Close button (X), is the same as clicking Cancel.
Runs the search.
Displays the search in the Search bar so that you can review the SPL. Use this option to copy the syntax of the search. Send a copy of the search, along with any information about the source of the link, to your system administrator.

Deactivate the warning

Only Splunk Enterprise users with write permissions to the Splunk Enterprise instance can edit the web.conf configuration file to turn off the risky SPL command warning dialog box. If you use Splunk Cloud Platform, contact your Splunk account representative to help with updating the web.conf configuration file.

On a Splunk Enterprise instance, you can turn off the warning for a specific command, or for all of the risky commands.

Turn off the warning for a specific command

  1. Copy the commands.conf configuration file, which is located in the $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/default directory.
  2. Paste the copy of the file in the $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/local directory.
  3. Use a text editor to open the commands.conf file you copied.
  4. Locate the command within the file.
  5. After you locate the command, change the is_risky setting for the command from true to false.
  6. Save the commands.conf configuration file and close it.
  7. Restart Splunk Enterprise.

Turn off the warning for all of the commands

  1. Use a text editor to open the web.conf configuration file in the $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/default/ directory.
  2. Locate the enable_risky_command_check setting within the file.
  3. Change the setting value from true to false.
  4. Save the web.conf file and close it.
  5. Restart Splunk Enterprise.

See also

In the Admin Manual:

About configuration files
the commands.conf configuration file specification
the web.conf configuration file specification
Last modified on 01 February, 2023
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This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 8.0.0, 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.0.3, 8.0.4, 8.0.5, 8.0.6, 8.0.7, 8.0.8, 8.0.9, 8.0.10

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