The following detection identifies the module load of mshtml.dll into an Office product. This behavior has been related to CVE-2021-40444, whereas the malicious document will load ActiveX, which activates the MSHTML component. The vulnerability resides in the MSHTML component. During triage, identify parallel processes and capture any file modifications for analysis.
- Type: TTP
Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
- Last Updated: 2023-07-11
- Author: Michael Haag, Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
- ID: 5f1c168e-118b-11ec-84ff-acde48001122
Kill Chain Phase
- CIS 10
1 2 3 4 5 6 `sysmon` EventID=7 parent_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") ImageLoaded 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 Computer, process_name, ImageLoaded, OriginalFileName, ProcessGuid | rename Computer as dest | `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` | `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` | `mshtml_module_load_in_office_product_filter`
The SPL above uses the following Macros:
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.
List of fields required to use this analytic.
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.
Associated Analytic Story
- Spearphishing Attachments
- Microsoft MSHTML Remote Code Execution CVE-2021-40444
- CVE-2023-36884 Office and Windows HTML RCE Vulnerability
|80.0||80||100||An instance of $process_name$ was identified on endpoint $dest$ loading mshtml.dll.|
The Risk Score is calculated by the following formula: Risk Score = (Impact * Confidence/100). Initial Confidence and Impact is set by the analytic author.
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