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The following analytic identifies the Windows Explorer process with a URL within the command-line. Explorer.exe is known Windows process that handles start menu, taskbar, desktop and file manager. Many adversaries abuse this process, like DCRat malware, where it attempts to open the URL with the default browser application on the target host by putting the URL as a parameter on explorer.exe process. This anomaly detection might be a good pivot to check which user and how this process was executed, what is the parent process and what is the URL link. This technique is not commonly used to open an URL.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2022-08-30
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 76753bab-f116-4ea3-8fb9-89b638be58a9




ID Technique Tactic
T1105 Ingress Tool Transfer Command And Control
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 3
  • CIS 5
  • CIS 16
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where (Processes.process_name = explorer.exe OR Processes.original_file_name = explorer.exe) AND NOT (Processes.parent_process_name IN("userinit.exe", "svchost.exe")) Processes.process IN ("* http://*", "* https://*") by  Processes.parent_process_name Processes.parent_process Processes.process_name Processes.original_file_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id Processes.dest Processes.user 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_ingress_tool_transfer_using_explorer_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_ingress_tool_transfer_using_explorer_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.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.parent_process_name
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.original_file_name
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.process
  • Processes.process_id
  • Processes.parent_process_path
  • Processes.process_path
  • Processes.parent_process_id

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 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

False positives may be present based on legitimate applications or third party utilities. Filter out any additional parent process names.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 An instance of $parent_process_name$ spawning $process_name$ was identified on endpoint $dest$ by user $user$ attempting to download a remote payload.

: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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