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The following analytic identifies attempts to disable Windows Defender real-time behavior monitoring via PowerShell commands. It detects the use of specific Set-MpPreference parameters that disable various security features. This activity is significant as it is commonly used by malware such as RATs, bots, or Trojans to evade detection by disabling antivirus protections. If confirmed malicious, this action could allow an attacker to operate undetected, leading to potential data exfiltration, further system compromise, or persistent access within the environment.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2024-05-21
  • Author: Michael Haag, Splunk
  • ID: c148a894-dd93-11eb-bf2a-acde48001122




ID Technique Tactic
T1562.001 Disable or Modify Tools Defense Evasion
T1562 Impair Defenses Defense Evasion
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 `process_powershell` Processes.process="*set-mppreference*" AND Processes.process IN ("*disablerealtimemonitoring*","*disableioavprotection*","*disableintrusionpreventionsystem*","*disablescriptscanning*","*disableblockatfirstseen*","*DisableBehaviorMonitoring*","*drtm *","*dioavp *","*dscrptsc *","*dbaf *","*dbm *") by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process Processes.original_file_name Processes.process_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `powershell_disable_security_monitoring_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: powershell_disable_security_monitoring_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

Limited false positives. However, tune based on scripts that may perform this action.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
25.0 50 50 Windows Defender Real-time Behavior Monitoring disabled 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: 4