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The following analytic identifies the use of base64 decode on Linux being utilized to deobfuscate a file. Identify the source of the file and determine if legitimate. Review parallel processes for further behavior before and after.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2022-07-27
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: 303b38b2-c03f-44e2-8f41-4594606fcfc7




ID Technique Tactic
T1027 Obfuscated Files or Information Defense Evasion
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process IN ("*base64 -d*","*base64 --decode*") 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)` 
| `linux_obfuscated_files_or_information_base64_decode_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: linux_obfuscated_files_or_information_base64_decode_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

False positives may be present and will require some tuning based on processes. Filter as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
15.0 30 50 An instance of $parent_process_name$ spawning $process_name$ was identified on endpoint $dest$ by user $user$ decoding base64.

: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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