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The following analytic identifies a process command line used to enumerate DNS records. Adversaries, threat actors, or red teamers may employ this technique to gather information about a victim's DNS, which can be utilized during targeting. This method was also observed as part of a tool used by the Sandworm APT group in a geopolitical cyber warfare attack. By using the dnscmd.exe Windows application, an attacker can enumerate DNS records for specific domains within the targeted network, potentially aiding in further attacks. This anomaly detection can serve as a valuable starting point for identifying users and hostnames that may be compromised or targeted by adversaries seeking to collect data information.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2023-04-05
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 347e0892-e8f3-4512-afda-dc0e3fa996f3




ID Technique Tactic
T1590.002 DNS Reconnaissance
Kill Chain Phase
  • Reconnaissance
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process_name = "dnscmd.exe" Processes.process = "* /enumrecords *" by Processes.parent_process Processes.process_name Processes.process_id Processes.process_guid Processes.process Processes.user Processes.dest 
| `drop_dm_object_name("Processes")` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_dns_gather_network_info_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_dns_gather_network_info_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

network administrator can execute this command to enumerate DNS record. Filter or add other paths to the exclusion as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 A process commandline $process$ to enumerate dns record in $dest$

: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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