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This search looks for events where PsExec.exe is run with the accepteula flag in the command line. PsExec is a built-in Windows utility that enables you to execute processes on other systems. It is fully interactive for console applications. This tool is widely used for launching interactive command prompts on remote systems. Threat actors leverage this extensively for executing code on compromised systems. If an attacker is running PsExec for the first time, they will be prompted to accept the end-user license agreement (EULA), which can be passed as the argument accepteula within the command line.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-09-16
  • Author: Bhavin Patel, Splunk
  • ID: 27c3a83d-cada-47c6-9042-67baf19d2574




ID Technique Tactic
T1021 Remote Services Lateral Movement
T1021.002 SMB/Windows Admin Shares Lateral Movement
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` values(Processes.process) as process min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where `process_psexec` Processes.process=*accepteula* by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process_name Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)`
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)`
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `detect_psexec_with_accepteula_flag_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: detect_psexec_with_accepteula_flag_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
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.original_file_name
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_path
  • Processes.process_path
  • Processes.parent_process_id

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

Administrators can leverage PsExec for accessing remote systems and might pass accepteula as an argument if they are running this tool for the first time. However, it is not likely that you'd see multiple occurrences of this event on a machine

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
35.0 50 70 An instance of $parent_process_name$ spawning $process_name$ was identified on endpoint $dest$ by user $user$ running the utility for possibly the first time.

: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: 4