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The following analytic identifies the execution of the Windows command line to reboot a host machine using "shutdown.exe" with specific parameters. This detection leverages data from Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) agents, focusing on process names and command-line arguments. This activity is significant as it is often associated with advanced persistent threats (APTs) and remote access trojans (RATs) like dcrat, which may use system reboots to disrupt operations, aid in system destruction, or inhibit recovery. If confirmed malicious, this could lead to system downtime, data loss, or hindered incident response efforts.

  • Type: Anomaly
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2024-05-28
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: 97fc2b60-c8eb-4711-93f7-d26fade3686f




ID Technique Tactic
T1529 System Shutdown/Reboot Impact
Kill Chain Phase
  • Actions On Objectives
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` values(Processes.process) as process min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where (Processes.process_name = shutdown.exe OR Processes.original_file_name = shutdown.exe) Processes.process="*shutdown*" Processes.process IN ("* /r*", "* -r*") Processes.process IN ("* /t*","* -t*","* /f*","* -f*") by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process Processes.process_name Processes.original_file_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_system_reboot_commandline_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_system_reboot_commandline_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

The detection is based on data that originates from Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) agents. These agents are designed to provide security-related telemetry from the endpoints where the agent is installed. To implement this search, you must ingest logs that contain the process GUID, process name, and parent process. Additionally, you must ingest complete command-line executions. These logs must be processed using the appropriate Splunk Technology Add-ons that are specific to the EDR product. The logs must also be mapped to the Processes node of the Endpoint data model. Use the Splunk Common Information Model (CIM) to normalize the field names and speed up the data modeling process.

Known False Positives

Administrator may execute this commandline to trigger shutdown or restart the host machine.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
30.0 60 50 Process $process_name$ that executed reboot via commandline 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

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