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Description

The following analytic identifies wmiprvse.exe spawning mshta.exe. This behavior is indicative of a DCOM object being utilized to spawn mshta from wmiprvse.exe or svchost.exe. In this instance, adversaries may use LethalHTA that will spawn mshta.exe from svchost.exe.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-01-20
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: 4d33a488-5b5f-11eb-ae93-0242ac130002

Annotations

ATT&CK

ATT&CK

ID Technique Tactic
T1218 System Binary Proxy Execution Defense Evasion
T1218.005 Mshta Defense Evasion
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
NIST
  • PR.PT
  • DE.CM
CIS20
  • CIS 8
CVE
1
2
3
4
5
6
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count values(Processes.process_name) as process_name values(Processes.process) as process min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where (Processes.parent_process_name=svchost.exe OR Processes.parent_process_name=wmiprvse.exe) AND `process_mshta` by Processes.dest Processes.parent_process Processes.user Processes.original_file_name
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `suspicious_mshta_spawn_filter`

Macros

The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: suspicious_mshta_spawn_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

To successfully implement this search you need to be ingesting information on process that include the name of the process responsible for the changes from your endpoints into the Endpoint datamodel in the Processes node. In addition, confirm the latest CIM App 4.20 or higher is installed and the latest TA for the endpoint product.

Known False Positives

Although unlikely, some legitimate applications may exhibit this behavior, triggering a false positive.

Associated Analytic Story

RBA

Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
42.0 70 60 mshta.exe spawned by wmiprvse.exe on $dest$

: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.

Reference

Test Dataset

Replay any dataset to Splunk Enterprise by using our replay.py tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

source | version: 2