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The following analytic detects a source process failing to authenticate with 30 unique users, indicating a potential Password Spraying attack. It leverages Windows Event 4625 with Logon Type 2, collected from domain controllers, member servers, and workstations. This activity is significant as it may represent an adversary attempting to gain initial access or elevate privileges within an Active Directory environment. If confirmed malicious, this could lead to unauthorized access, privilege escalation, or further compromise of the network, posing a severe security risk.

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

  • Last Updated: 2024-05-25
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: 9015385a-9c84-11eb-bef2-acde48001122




ID Technique Tactic
T1110.003 Password Spraying Credential Access
T1110 Brute Force Credential Access
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
 `wineventlog_security` EventCode=4625 Logon_Type=2 ProcessName!="-" 
| bucket span=5m _time 
| stats dc(TargetUserName) AS unique_accounts values(TargetUserName) as tried_accounts by _time, ProcessName, SubjectUserName, Computer 
| rename Computer as dest 
| where unique_accounts > 30 
| `windows_multiple_users_failed_to_authenticate_from_process_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_multiple_users_failed_to_authenticate_from_process_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
  • EventCode
  • Logon_Type
  • ProcessName
  • SubjectUserName
  • TargetUserName
  • Computer

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting Windows Event Logs from domain controllers aas well as member servers and workstations. The Advanced Security Audit policy setting Audit Logon within Logon/Logoff needs to be enabled.

Known False Positives

A process failing to authenticate with multiple users is not a common behavior for legitimate user sessions. Possible false positive scenarios include but are not limited to vulnerability scanners and missconfigured systems.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
49.0 70 70 Potential password spraying attack from $dest$

: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

source | version: 3