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The following analytic identifies a suspicious process enabling the "SeDebugPrivilege" privilege token. SeDebugPrivilege allows a process to inspect and adjust the memory of other processes, and has long been a security concern. SeDebugPrivilege allows the token bearer to access any process or thread, regardless of security descriptors, per Palantir. This technique is abused by adversaries to gain debug privileges with their malicious software to be able to access or debug a process to dump credentials or to inject malicious code.

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

  • Last Updated: 2023-12-27
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 6ece9ed0-5f92-4315-889d-48560472b188




ID Technique Tactic
T1134.002 Create Process with Token Defense Evasion, Privilege Escalation
T1134 Access Token Manipulation Defense Evasion, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
`wineventlog_security` EventCode=4703 EnabledPrivilegeList = "*SeDebugPrivilege*" AND NOT(ProcessName IN ("*\\Program File*", "*\\System32\\lsass.exe*", "*\\SysWOW64\\lsass.exe*", "*\\SysWOW64\\svchost.exe*", "*\\System32\\svchost.exe*")) 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by Computer ProcessName ProcessId SubjectDomainName SubjectUserName SubjectUserSid TargetUserName TargetLogonId TargetDomainName EnabledPrivilegeList action 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_access_token_manipulation_sedebugprivilege_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_access_token_manipulation_sedebugprivilege_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
  • ProcessName
  • Security_ID
  • action
  • result
  • Process_ID
  • Message
  • member_dn
  • ComputerName
  • user

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting Windows Security Event Logs with 4703 EventCode enabled. The Windows TA is also required.

Known False Positives

Some native binaries and browser applications may request SeDebugPrivilege. Filter as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
36.0 60 60 A process $ProcessName$ adjust its privileges with SeDebugPrivilege on $Computer$.

: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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