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The following analytic detects the disabling of Windows Defender logging by identifying changes to the Registry keys DefenderApiLogger or DefenderAuditLogger set to disable. It leverages data from the Endpoint.Registry datamodel to monitor specific registry paths and values. This activity is significant as it is commonly associated with Remote Access Trojan (RAT) malware attempting to evade detection. If confirmed malicious, this action could allow an attacker to conceal their activities, making it harder to detect further malicious actions and maintain persistence on the compromised endpoint.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2024-05-18
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 76406a0f-f5e0-4167-8e1f-337fdc0f1b0c




ID Technique Tactic
T1562.001 Disable or Modify Tools Defense Evasion
T1562 Impair Defenses Defense Evasion
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Registry where (Registry.registry_path = "*WMI\\Autologger\\DefenderApiLogger\\Start" OR Registry.registry_path = "*WMI\\Autologger\\DefenderAuditLogger\\Start")  Registry.registry_value_data ="0x00000000" by  Registry.registry_path Registry.registry_value_name Registry.registry_value_data Registry.process_guid Registry.action Registry.dest Registry.user 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Registry)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_impair_defenses_disable_win_defender_auto_logging_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_impair_defenses_disable_win_defender_auto_logging_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
  • Registry.registry_key_name
  • Registry.registry_value_name
  • Registry.dest
  • Registry.user
  • Registry.registry_path
  • Registry.action

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search you need to be ingesting information on process that include the name of the process responsible for the changes from your endpoints into the Endpoint datamodel in the Registry node.

Known False Positives

It is unusual to turn this feature off a Windows system since it is a default security control, although it is not rare for some policies to disable it. Although no false positives have been identified, use the provided filter macro to tune the search.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
24.0 30 80 Windows Defender Logger registry key set to 'disabled' 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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