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The following hunting analytic identifies registry artifacts when an ISO container is opened, clicked or mounted on the Windows operating system. As Microsoft makes changes to macro based document execution, adversaries have begun to utilize container based initial access based phishing campaigns to evade preventative controls. Once the ISO is clicked or mounted it will create a registry artifact related to this event as a recent application executed or opened.

  • Type: Hunting
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2022-09-19
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: cb38ee66-8ae5-47de-bd66-231c7bbc0b2c




ID Technique Tactic
T1566.001 Spearphishing Attachment Initial Access
T1566 Phishing Initial Access
Kill Chain Phase
  • Delivery
  • DE.AE
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime FROM datamodel=Endpoint.Registry where Registry.registry_key_name= "*\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\RecentDocs\\.iso" OR Registry.registry_key_name= "*\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\RecentDocs\\.img" by Registry.registry_key_name Registry.user Registry.registry_path Registry.registry_value_data Registry.action Registry.dest 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Registry)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `windows_phishing_recent_iso_exec_registry_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_phishing_recent_iso_exec_registry_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
  • Registry.registry_key_name
  • Registry.user
  • Registry.registry_path
  • Registry.registry_value_data
  • Registry.action
  • Registry.dest

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search you need to be ingesting information on process that include the name of the process responsible for the changes from your endpoints into the Endpoint datamodel in the Registry node. In addition, confirm the latest CIM App 4.20 or higher is installed and the latest TA for the endpoint product.

Known False Positives

False positives may be high depending on the environment and consistent use of ISOs. Restrict to servers, or filter out based on commonly used ISO names. Filter as needed.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
40.0 50 80 An ISO file was mounted on $dest$ and should be reviewed and filtered as needed.

: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

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