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The following analytic detects creation of hidden scheculed tasks such that it this task is not visible on the UI. Such behavior is indicative of certain malware, such as Industroyer2, or attacks leveraging living-off-the-land binaries (LOLBINs) to download additional payloads to a compromised machine. This analytic relies on the Windows Security EventCode 4698, indicating the creation of a scheduled task. The search focuses on identifying instances where the 'Hidden' setting is enabled, signaling potential nefarious activity. To implement this search, you need to ingest logs with task scheduling details from your endpoints. As false positives are currently unknown, it is advised to tune and filter based on the known use of task scheduling in your environment. This analytic provides crucial visibility into stealthy, potentially harmful scheduled tasks on Windows systems.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud

  • Last Updated: 2023-04-14
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 0b730470-5fe8-4b13-93a7-fe0ad014d0cc




ID Technique Tactic
T1053 Scheduled Task/Job Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
`wineventlog_security` EventCode=4698 
| xmlkv Message 
| search Hidden = true 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by  Task_Name, Command, Author, Hidden, dest 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_hidden_schedule_task_settings_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_hidden_schedule_task_settings_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.

Required fields

List of fields required to use this analytic.

  • _time
  • dest
  • Task_Name
  • Command
  • Author
  • Enabled
  • Hidden
  • Arguments

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting logs with the task schedule (Exa. Security Log EventCode 4698) endpoints. Tune and filter known instances of Task schedule used in your environment.

Known False Positives


Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
64.0 80 80 A schedule task with hidden setting enable in host $dest$

:information_source: The Risk Score is calculated by the following formula: Risk Score = (Impact * Confidence/100). Initial Confidence and Impact is set by the analytic author.


Test Dataset

Replay any dataset to Splunk Enterprise by using our tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

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