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The following analytic identifies the deletion of registry keys that disable Local Security Authority (LSA) protection and Microsoft Defender Device Guard. It leverages data from Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) agents, focusing on registry actions and paths associated with LSA and Device Guard settings. This activity is significant because disabling these defenses can leave a system vulnerable to various attacks, including credential theft and unauthorized code execution. If confirmed malicious, this action could allow attackers to bypass critical security mechanisms, leading to potential system compromise and persistent access.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2024-05-19
  • Author: Dean Luxton
  • ID: 45cd08f8-a2c9-4f4e-baab-e1a0c624b0ab




ID Technique Tactic
T1556 Modify Authentication Process Credential Access, Defense Evasion, Persistence
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • Installation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` min(_time) as _time from datamodel=Endpoint.Registry where Registry.registry_path IN ("*\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Control\\Lsa\\LsaCfgFlags", "*\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\Windows\\DeviceGuard\\*", "*\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Control\\Lsa\\RunAsPPL") Registry.action IN (deleted, unknown) by Registry.action Registry.registry_path Registry.process_guid Registry.dest Registry.user
| `drop_dm_object_name(Registry)` 
| join type=outer process_guid [
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count FROM datamodel=Endpoint.Processes by Processes.user Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.dest Processes.parent_process_name Processes.parent_process Processes.process_guid 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)`] 
| table _time action dest user parent_process_name parent_process process_name process process_guid registry_path 
| `disabling_windows_local_security_authority_defences_via_registry_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: disabling_windows_local_security_authority_defences_via_registry_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
  • Registry.action
  • Registry.registry_path
  • Registry.dest
  • Registry.user

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

Potential to be triggered by an administrator disabling protections for troubleshooting purposes.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
60.0 60 100 An attempt to disable Windows LSA defences was detected on $dest$. The reg key $registry_path$ was deleted by $user$.

: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: 3