The following analytic utilizes PowerShell Script Block Logging (EventCode=4104) to identify suspicious PowerShell execution. Script Block Logging captures the command sent to PowerShell, the full command to be executed. Upon enabling, logs will output to Windows event logs. Dependent upon volume, enable on critical endpoints or all.
This analytic identifies the common PowerShell stager used by PowerShell-Empire. Each stager that may use PowerShell all uses the same pattern. The initial HTTP will be base64 encoded and use
system.net.webclient. Note that some obfuscation may evade the analytic.
During triage, review parallel processes using an EDR product or 4688 events. It will be important to understand the timeline of events around this activity. Review the entire logged PowerShell script block.
- Type: TTP
Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
- Last Updated: 2022-02-24
- Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
- ID: bc1dc6b8-c954-11eb-bade-acde48001122
Kill Chain Phase
1 2 3 4 5 `powershell` EventCode=4104 (ScriptBlockText=*system.net.webclient* AND ScriptBlockText=*frombase64string*) | stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by Opcode Computer UserID EventCode ScriptBlockText | `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` | `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` | `detect_empire_with_powershell_script_block_logging_filter`
The SPL above uses the following Macros:
detect_empire_with_powershell_script_block_logging_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.
List of fields required to use this analytic.
How To Implement
To successfully implement this analytic, you will need to enable PowerShell Script Block Logging on some or all endpoints. Additional setup here https://docs.splunk.com/Documentation/UBA/220.127.116.11/GetDataIn/AddPowerShell#Configure_module_logging_for_PowerShell.
Known False Positives
False positives may only pertain to it not being related to Empire, but another framework. Filter as needed if any applications use the same pattern.
Associated Analytic Story
|81.0||90||90||The following behavior was identified and typically related to PowerShell-Empire on $Computer$ by $UserID$.|
The Risk Score is calculated by the following formula: Risk Score = (Impact * Confidence/100). Initial Confidence and Impact is set by the analytic author.
source | version: 2