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The following analytic detects the use of the copy command to dump credentials from a shadow copy so that you can detect potential threats earlier and mitigate the risks associated with credential dumping. The detection is made by using a Splunk query to search for specific processes that indicate credential dumping activity. The query looks for processes with command lines that include references to certain files, such as "sam", "security", "system", and "ntds.dit", located in system directories like "system32" or "windows". The detection is important because it suggests that an attacker is attempting to extract credentials from a shadow copy. Credential dumping is a common technique used by attackers to obtain sensitive login information and gain unauthorized access to systems to escalate privileges, move laterally within the network, or gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. False positives might occur since legitimate processes might also reference these files. During triage, it is crucial to review the process details, including the source and the command that is run. Additionally, you must capture and analyze any relevant on-disk artifacts and investigate concurrent processes to determine the source of the attack

  • Type: TTP
  • Product: Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Enterprise Security, Splunk Cloud
  • Datamodel: Endpoint
  • Last Updated: 2021-09-16
  • Author: Patrick Bareiss, Splunk
  • ID: d8c406fe-23d2-45f3-a983-1abe7b83ff3b




ID Technique Tactic
T1003.003 NTDS Credential Access
T1003 OS Credential Dumping Credential Access
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_cmd` (Processes.process=*\\system32\\config\\sam* OR Processes.process=*\\system32\\config\\security* OR Processes.process=*\\system32\\config\\system* OR Processes.process=*\\windows\\ntds\\ntds.dit*) by Processes.dest Processes.user Processes.process_name Processes.process  Processes.parent_process Processes.original_file_name Processes.process_id Processes.parent_process_id  Processes.parent_process_name 
| `drop_dm_object_name(Processes)` 
| `security_content_ctime(firstTime)`
| `security_content_ctime(lastTime)` 
| `credential_dumping_via_copy_command_from_shadow_copy_filter` 


The SPL above uses the following Macros:

:information_source: credential_dumping_via_copy_command_from_shadow_copy_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


Associated Analytic Story


Risk Score Impact Confidence Message
81.0 90 90 An instance of $parent_process_name$ spawning $process_name$ was identified on endpoint $dest$ by user $user$ attempting to copy SAM and NTDS.dit for offline password cracking.

: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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