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The following analytic identifies the use of Ldifde.exe, which provides the ability to create, modify, or delete LDAP directory objects. Natively, the binary is only installed on a domain controller. However, adversaries or administrators may install the Windows Remote Server Admin Tools for ldifde.exe. Ldifde.exe is a Microsoft Windows command-line utility used to import or export LDAP directory entries. LDAP stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, which is a protocol used for accessing and managing directory information services over an IP network. LDIF, on the other hand, stands for LDAP Data Interchange Format, a standard plain-text data interchange format for representing LDAP directory entries. -i This is a flag used with Ldifde.exe to denote import mode. In import mode, Ldifde.exe takes an LDIF file and imports its contents into the LDAP directory. The data in the LDIF file might include new objects to be created, or modifications or deletions to existing objects. -f This flag is used to specify the filename of the LDIF file that Ldifde.exe will import from (in the case of the -i flag) or export to (without the -i flag). For example, if you wanted to import data from a file called data.ldif, you would use the command ldifde -i -f data.ldif. Keep in mind that while the use of Ldifde.exe is legitimate in many contexts, it can also be used maliciously. For instance, an attacker who has gained access to a domain controller could potentially use Ldifde.exe to export sensitive data or make unauthorized changes to the directory. Therefore, it's important to monitor for unusual or unauthorized use of this tool.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2023-05-25
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: 35cd29ca-f08c-4489-8815-f715c45460d3




ID Technique Tactic
T1105 Ingress Tool Transfer Command And Control
T1069.002 Domain Groups Discovery
Kill Chain Phase
  • Command and Control
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where Processes.process_name=ldifde.exe Processes.process IN ("*-i *", "*-f *") by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process_name Processes.process_name Processes.original_file_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_ldifde_directory_object_behavior_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_ldifde_directory_object_behavior_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, filter as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
40.0 80 50 An instance of $parent_process_name$ spawning $process_name$ was identified on endpoint $dest$ by user $user$ utilizing ldifde on a domain controller.

: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

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