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This analytic detects a potential process using COM Object like CMLUA or CMSTPLUA to bypass UAC. This technique has been used by ransomware adversaries to gain administrative privileges to its running process.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-05-13
  • Author: Teoderick Contreras, Splunk
  • ID: f87b5062-b405-11eb-a889-acde48001122


ID Technique Tactic
T1218 Signed Binary Proxy Execution Defense Evasion
T1218.003 CMSTP Defense Evasion
`sysmon` EventCode=7  ImageLoaded IN ("*\\CMLUA.dll", "*\\CMSTPLUA.dll", "*\\CMLUAUTIL.dll") NOT(process_name IN("CMSTP.exe", "CMMGR32.exe")) NOT(Image IN("*\\windows\\*", "*\\program files*")) 
| stats count min(_time) as firstTime max(_time) as lastTime by Image ImageLoaded process_name Computer EventCode Signed ProcessId 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)` 
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `cmlua_or_cmstplua_uac_bypass_filter`

Associated Analytic Story

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting logs with the process name and imageloaded executions from your endpoints. If you are using Sysmon, you must have at least version 6.0.4 of the Sysmon TA.

Required field

  • _time
  • Image
  • ImageLoaded
  • process_name
  • Computer
  • EventCode
  • Signed
  • ProcessId

Kill Chain Phase

  • Exploitation

Known False Positives

Legitimate windows application that are not on the list loading this dll. Filter as needed.


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
80.0 80 100 The following module $ImageLoaded$ was loaded by a non-standard application on endpoint $Computer$ by user $user$.


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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