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DiskShadow.exe is a Microsoft Signed binary present on Windows Server. It has a scripting mode intended for complex scripted backup operations. This feature also allows for execution of arbitrary unsigned code. This analytic looks for the usage of the scripting mode flags in executions of DiskShadow. During triage, compare to known backup behavior in your environment and then review the scripts called by diskshadow.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2022-02-15
  • Author: Lou Stella, Splunk
  • ID: 58adae9e-8ea3-11ec-90f6-acde48001122




ID Technique Tactic
T1218 System Binary Proxy Execution Defense Evasion
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 8
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where `process_diskshadow` (Processes.process=*-s* OR Processes.process=*/s*) by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_diskshadow_proxy_execution_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_diskshadow_proxy_execution_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.process
  • Porcesses.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_id
  • Processes.original_file_name

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search you need to be ingesting information on processes 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

Administrators using the DiskShadow tool in their infrastructure as a main backup tool with scripts will cause false positives that can be filtered with windows_diskshadow_proxy_execution_filter

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
49.0 70 70 Possible Signed Binary Proxy Execution 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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