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The following analytic detects attempts to stop security-related services on the endpoint and helps to mitigate potential threats earlier, thereby minimizing the impact on the organization's security. The detection is made by using a Splunk query that searches for processes that involve the "sc.exe" command and include the phrase "stop" in their command. The query collects information such as the process name, process ID, parent process, user, destination, and timestamps. The detection is important because attempts to stop security-related services can indicate malicious activity or an attacker's attempt to disable security measures. This can impact the organization's security posture and can lead to the compromise of the endpoint and potentially the entire network. Disabling security services can allow attackers to gain unauthorized access, exfiltrate sensitive data, or launch further attacks, such as malware installation or privilege escalation. False positives might occur since there might be legitimate reasons for stopping these services in certain situations. Therefore, you must exercise caution and consider the context of the activity before taking any action. Next steps include reviewing the identified process and its associated details. You must also investigate any on-disk artifacts related to the process and review concurrent processes to determine the source of the attack.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2023-06-13
  • Author: Rico Valdez, Splunk
  • ID: c8e349c6-b97c-486e-8949-bd7bcd1f3910




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` values(Processes.process) as process min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime from datamodel=Endpoint.Processes where `process_net` OR  Processes.process_name = sc.exe Processes.process="* stop *" by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.parent_process Processes.parent_process_name Processes.process_name Processes.original_file_name Processes.process Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
|lookup security_services_lookup service as process OUTPUTNEW category, description 
| search category=security 
| `attempt_to_stop_security_service_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: attempt_to_stop_security_service_filter is a empty macro by default. It allows the user to filter out any results (false positives) without editing the SPL.


The SPL above uses the following Lookups:

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

None identified. Attempts to disable security-related services should be identified and understood.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
20.0 40 50 An instance of $parent_process_name$ spawning $process_name$ was identified attempting to disable security services on endpoint $dest$ by user $user$.

: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