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This search looks for the execution of adfind.exe with command-line arguments that it uses by default specifically the filter or search functions. It also considers the arguments necessary like objectcategory, see readme for more details: AdFind.exe is a powerful tool that is commonly used for querying and retrieving information from Active Directory (AD). While it is primarily designed for AD administration and management, it has been seen used before by Wizard Spider, FIN6 and actors whom also launched SUNBURST.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2023-06-13
  • Author: Jose Hernandez, Bhavin Patel, Splunk
  • ID: bd3b0187-189b-46c0-be45-f52da2bae67f




ID Technique Tactic
T1018 Remote System Discovery Discovery
Kill Chain Phase
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where (Processes.process="* -f *" OR Processes.process="* -b *") AND (Processes.process=*objectcategory* OR Processes.process="* -gcb *" OR Processes.process="* -sc *") by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.parent_process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_adfind_exe_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_adfind_exe_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.process
  • Processes.dest
  • Processes.user
  • Processes.process_name
  • Processes.parent_process
  • Processes.process_id
  • 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

ADfind is a command-line tool for AD administration and management that is seen to be leveraged by various adversaries. Filter out legitimate administrator usage using the filter macro.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 Windows AdFind Exe

: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