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The following analytic detects the execution of tasks registered in Windows Task Scheduler by monitoring EventID 200 (action run) and 201 (action completed) from the Task Scheduler logs. This detection leverages Task Scheduler logs to identify potentially suspicious or unauthorized task executions. Monitoring these events is significant for a SOC as it helps uncover evasive techniques used for persistence, unauthorized code execution, or other malicious activities. If confirmed malicious, this activity could lead to unauthorized access, data exfiltration, or the execution of harmful payloads, posing a significant threat to the environment.

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

  • Last Updated: 2024-05-20
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: b3632472-310b-11ec-9aab-acde48001122




ID Technique Tactic
T1053.005 Scheduled Task Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
`wineventlog_task_scheduler` EventCode IN ("200","201")  
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by TaskName dest EventCode 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `winevent_windows_task_scheduler_event_action_started_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: winevent_windows_task_scheduler_event_action_started_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
  • TaskName
  • ActionName
  • EventID
  • dest
  • ProcessID

How To Implement

Task Scheduler logs are required to be collected. Enable logging with inputs.conf by adding a stanza for [WinEventLog://Microsoft-Windows-TaskScheduler/Operational] and renderXml=false. Note, not translating it in XML may require a proper extraction of specific items in the Message.

Known False Positives

False positives will be present. Filter based on ActionName paths or specify keywords of interest.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
80.0 80 100 A Scheduled Task was scheduled and ran 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

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