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The following analytic detects the execution of PowerShell commands that use the Invoke-Command cmdlet to start a process on a remote endpoint via the WinRM protocol. It leverages PowerShell Script Block Logging (EventCode=4104) to identify such activities. This behavior is significant as it may indicate lateral movement or remote code execution attempts by adversaries. If confirmed malicious, this activity could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code on remote systems, potentially leading to further compromise and persistence within the network.

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

  • Last Updated: 2024-05-25
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: 7d4c618e-4716-11ec-951c-3e22fbd008af




ID Technique Tactic
T1021 Remote Services Lateral Movement
T1021.006 Windows Remote Management Lateral Movement
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
`powershell` EventCode=4104 (ScriptBlockText="*Invoke-Command*" AND ScriptBlockText="*-ComputerName*") 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by EventCode ScriptBlockText Computer user_id 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `remote_process_instantiation_via_winrm_and_powershell_script_block_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: remote_process_instantiation_via_winrm_and_powershell_script_block_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
  • ScriptBlockText
  • Opcode
  • Computer
  • UserID
  • EventCode

How To Implement

To successfully implement this analytic, you will need to enable PowerShell Script Block Logging on some or all endpoints. Additional setup instructions can be found

Known False Positives

Administrators may leverage WinRM and Invoke-Command to start a process on remote systems for system administration or automation use cases. This activity is usually limited to a small set of hosts or users. In certain environments, tuning may not be possible.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
45.0 90 50 A process was started on a remote endpoint from $Computer$ by abusing WinRM using PowerShell.exe

: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

source | version: 3