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This detection rule is designed to identify the execution of the Windows shutdown command via command line interface. The shutdown command can be utilized by system administrators to properly halt, power off, or reboot a computer. However, in a security context, attackers who have gained unauthorized access to a system may also use this command in an effort to erase tracks, or to cause disruption and denial of service. In some instances, they might execute the shutdown command after installing a backdoor, to force the system to restart, ensuring that changes take effect or evading detection by security tools. Monitoring for the use of the Windows shutdown command, especially in conjunction with other unusual or unauthorized activities, can be an important part of identifying malicious behavior within a network. It is advised that security professionals analyze the context in which the shutdown command is being executed to differentiate between legitimate administrative functions and potentially malicious activity.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2023-06-20
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 4fee57b8-d825-4bf3-9ea8-bf405cdb614c




ID Technique Tactic
T1529 System Shutdown/Reboot Impact
Kill Chain Phase
  • Actions On Objectives
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` values(Processes.process) as process min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where (Processes.process_name = shutdown.exe OR Processes.original_file_name = shutdown.exe) Processes.process="*shutdown*" AND Processes.process IN("* /s*", "* -s*") AND Processes.process IN ("* /t*","* -t*","* /f*","* -f*") by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process 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_system_shutdown_commandline_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_system_shutdown_commandline_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

Administrator may execute this commandline to trigger shutdown or restart the host machine.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
49.0 70 70 Process $process_name$ seen to execute shutdown via commandline 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.


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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