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Aside from being used to promote genuine domain controllers, the DSRM (Directory Services Restore Mode) account can be used to persist within a Domain. A DC can be configured to allow the DSRM account to logon & be used in the same way as a local administrator account. This detection is looking for any password reset attempts against that account.

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Change
  • Last Updated: 2022-09-08
  • Author: Dean Luxton
  • ID: d1ab841c-36a6-46cf-b50f-b2b04b31182a




ID Technique Tactic
T1098 Account Manipulation Persistence, Privilege Escalation
Kill Chain Phase
  • Installation
  • Exploitation
  • DE.CM
  • CIS 10
| tstats `security_content_summariesonly` min(_time) as _time from datamodel=Change where All_Changes.result_id="4794" AND All_Changes.result="An attempt was made to set the Directory Services Restore Mode administrator password" by All_Changes.action, All_Changes.dest, All_Changes.src, All_Changes.user 
| `drop_dm_object_name(All_Changes)` 
| `windows_ad_dsrm_password_reset_filter`


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: windows_ad_dsrm_password_reset_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
  • All_Changes.result_id
  • All_Changes.result
  • All_Changes.action
  • All_Changes.dest
  • All_Changes.src
  • All_Changes.user

How To Implement

To successfully implement this search, you need to be ingesting eventcode 4794 and have the Advanced Security Audit policy Audit User Account Management within Account Management enabled.

Known False Positives

Resetting the DSRM password for legitamate reasons, i.e. forgot the password. Disaster recovery. Deploying AD backdoor deliberately.

Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
100.0 100 100 DSRM Account Password was reset on $dest$ by $user$

: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

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