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Description

This detection identifies the loading of the mshtml.dll module into an Office product. This behavior is associated with CVE-2021-40444, where a malicious document loads ActiveX, thereby activating the MSHTML component. The vulnerability is found within the MSHTML component itself. During triage, it is important to identify concurrent processes and document any file modifications for further analysis.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud

  • Last Updated: 2024-03-14
  • Author: Michael Haag, Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: 5f1c168e-118b-11ec-84ff-acde48001122

Annotations

ATT&CK

ATT&CK

ID Technique Tactic
T1566 Phishing Initial Access
T1566.001 Spearphishing Attachment Initial Access
Kill Chain Phase
  • Delivery
NIST
  • DE.CM
CIS20
  • CIS 10
CVE
ID Summary CVSS
CVE-2021-40444    
1
2
3
4
5
`sysmon` EventID=7 process_name IN ("winword.exe","excel.exe","powerpnt.exe","mspub.exe","visio.exe","wordpad.exe","wordview.exe","onenote.exe","onenotem.exe","onenoteviewer.exe","onenoteim.exe", "msaccess.exe","Graph.exe","winproj.exe") loaded_file_path IN ("*\\mshtml.dll", "*\\Microsoft.mshtml.dll","*\\IE.Interop.MSHTML.dll","*\\MshtmlDac.dll","*\\MshtmlDed.dll","*\\MshtmlDer.dll") 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by user_id, dest, process_name, loaded_file, loaded_file_path, original_file_name, process_guid 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `mshtml_module_load_in_office_product_filter`

Macros

The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: mshtml_module_load_in_office_product_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
  • ImageLoaded
  • process_name
  • OriginalFileName
  • process_id
  • dest

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting logs with the process names and image loads from your endpoints. If you are using Sysmon, you must have at least version 6.0.4 of the Sysmon TA.

Known False Positives

Limited false positives will be present, however, tune as necessary. Some applications may legitimately load mshtml.dll.

Associated Analytic Story

RBA

Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
80.0 80 100 An instance of $process_name$ was identified on endpoint $dest$ loading mshtml.dll.

: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: 3