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This search is used to detect the abuse of web applications by adversaries. Adversaries may install a backdoor or script onto web servers by exploiting known vulnerabilities or misconfigruations. Web shells are used to establish persistent access to systems and provide a set of executable functions or a command-line interface on the system hosting the Web server.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2023-07-10
  • Author: Steven Dick
  • ID: 22597426-6dbd-49bd-bcdc-4ec19857192f




ID Technique Tactic
T1505 Server Software Component Persistence
T1505.003 Web Shell Persistence
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count max(_time) as lastTime, min(_time) as firstTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where (Processes.process_name IN ("arp.exe","at.exe","bash.exe","bitsadmin.exe","certutil.exe","cmd.exe","cscript.exe", "dsget.exe","dsquery.exe","find.exe","findstr.exe","fsutil.exe","hostname.exe","ipconfig.exe","ksh.exe","nbstat.exe", "net.exe","net1.exe","netdom.exe","netsh.exe","netstat.exe","nltest.exe","nslookup.exe","ntdsutil.exe","pathping.exe", "ping.exe","powershell.exe","pwsh.exe","qprocess.exe","query.exe","qwinsta.exe","reg.exe","rundll32.exe","sc.exe", "scrcons.exe","schtasks.exe","sh.exe","systeminfo.exe","tasklist.exe","tracert.exe","ver.exe","vssadmin.exe", "wevtutil.exe","whoami.exe","wmic.exe","wscript.exe","wusa.exe","zsh.exe") AND Processes.parent_process_name IN ("w3wp.exe", "http*.exe", "nginx*.exe", "php*.exe", "php-cgi*.exe","tomcat*.exe")) by Processes.dest,Processes.user,Processes.parent_process,Processes.parent_process_name,Processes.process,Processes.process_name 
| `drop_dm_object_name("Processes")` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `detect_webshell_exploit_behavior_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

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

Supported Add-on (TA)

List of Splunk Add-on’s tested to work with the analytic.

Required fields

List of fields required to use this analytic.

  • _time
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.process_name

How To Implement

The detection is based on data that originates from Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) agents. These agents are designed to provide security-related telemetry from the endpoints where the agent is installed. To implement this search, you must ingest logs that contain the process GUID, process name, and parent process. Additionally, you must ingest complete command-line executions. These logs must be processed using the appropriate Splunk Technology Add-ons that are specific to the EDR product. The logs must also be mapped to the Processes node of the Endpoint data model. Use the Splunk Common Information Model (CIM) to normalize the field names and speed up the data modeling process.

Known False Positives

Legitimate OS functions called by vendor applications, baseline the environment and filter before enabling. Recommend throttle by dest/process_name

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
80.0 100 80 Webshell Exploit Behavior - $parent_process_name$ spawned $process_name$ on $dest$.

: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

source | version: 2