:warning: THIS IS A EXPERIMENTAL DETECTION

This detection has been marked experimental by the Splunk Threat Research team. This means we have not been able to test, simulate, or build datasets for this detection. Use at your own risk. This analytic is NOT supported.

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Description

The following analytic identifies an unusual number of remote authentication attempts from a single source by leveraging Windows Event ID 4624, which logs successful account logons. It uses statistical analysis, specifically the 3-sigma rule, to detect deviations from normal behavior. This activity is significant for a SOC as it may indicate lateral movement, malware staging, or reconnaissance. If confirmed malicious, this behavior could allow an attacker to move laterally within the network, escalate privileges, or gather information for further attacks.

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

  • Last Updated: 2024-05-11
  • Author: Mauricio Velazco, Splunk
  • ID: acb5dc74-5324-11ec-a36d-acde48001122

Annotations

ATT&CK

ATT&CK

ID Technique Tactic
T1078 Valid Accounts Defense Evasion, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, Initial Access
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • Installation
  • Delivery
NIST
  • DE.AE
CIS20
  • CIS 10
CVE
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
 `wineventlog_security` EventCode=4624 Logon_Type=3 Account_Name!="*$" 
| eval Source_Account = mvindex(Account_Name, 1) 
| bucket span=2m _time 
| stats dc(ComputerName) AS unique_targets values(ComputerName) as target_hosts by _time, Source_Network_Address, Source_Account 
| eventstats avg(unique_targets) as comp_avg , stdev(unique_targets) as comp_std by Source_Network_Address, Source_Account 
| eval upperBound=(comp_avg+comp_std*3) 
| eval isOutlier=if(unique_targets >10 and unique_targets >= upperBound, 1, 0) 
| `unusual_number_of_remote_endpoint_authentication_events_filter`

Macros

The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: unusual_number_of_remote_endpoint_authentication_events_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
  • Caller_Process_Name
  • Security_ID
  • Account_Name
  • ComputerName

How To Implement

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

Known False Positives

An single endpoint authenticating to a large number of hosts is not common behavior. Possible false positive scenarios include but are not limited to vulnerability scanners, jump servers and missconfigured systems.

Associated Analytic Story

RBA

Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
42.0 70 60 Unusual number of remote authentication events from $Source_Network_Address$

: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.

Reference

Test Dataset

Replay any dataset to Splunk Enterprise by using our replay.py tool or the UI. Alternatively you can replay a dataset into a Splunk Attack Range

source | version: 2